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All taxonomy terms: BYU Cougars, College Football, Utah Utes
Path: /college-football/top-5-college-football-games-byu-vs-utah-rivalry-history

It is great to see BYU and Utah renewing their rivalry, at least for the next four years.  The two schools are 45 minutes from each other and – minus three years during World War II — faced each other annually for more than 80 years. Most importantly, the schools hate each other intensely. Many public state universities have intense rivalries with the elite private school down the road, but only the BYU/Utah rivalry is dubbed the “Holy War.”


Related: Interesting Facts About the BYU vs. Utah College Football Rivalry


To give you an idea of the hatred, the two schools can’t even agree on the number of games they played. Utah counts six games that the two schools played between 1896 and 1898, when BYU was Brigham Young Academy. However, BYU does not count those games and states that the rivalry began when it officially launched its football program in 1922. To be fair, Brigham Young Academy officially split into a high school and the university in 1903. The Academy had a solid football team but banned football for 20 years after a football-related death in 1900. Utah is ahead either way — 58-34-4 by their numbers and 55-31-4 by BYU’s.


The yearly contest was suspended in 2013 due to conference realignment, but the two schools are scheduled to play each other in the regular season from 2016-20. They also met late last year in the Las Vegas Bowl, a game where Utah jumped out to a 35-0 lead and BYU staged a furious comeback to lose by only one touchdown. It was a good game, but it wasn’t one of the five best...


5. Utah 41, BYU 34 (OT)

Provo – Nov. 19, 2005

After Utah quarterback Brian Johnson suffered a season-ending injury, backup Brett Ratliff made his first start. He performed brilliantly, throwing for 240 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for 112 yards and another score. The game was tied at 34-34 at the end of regulation. In overtime, Ratliff found wide receiver Travis LaTendresse in the end zone to put the Utes ahead 41-34. Utah then stopped BYU on downs on the six-yard line to secure the win. Ratliff went on to be the starter his senior season for the Utes in 2006.


4. BYU 26, Utah 24

Salt Lake City – Nov. 21, 1998

This game is known as “The Doink Heard ‘Round Utah,” thanks to Steve Sarkisian. BYU was up 26-17 with less than three minutes play, but the Utes’ Daniel Jones returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to close the gap to 26-24. Utah then got the ball again and drove to the Cougars’ 15-yard line. With five seconds left, Utah kicker Ryan Kaneshiro lined up to kick a 32-yard field goal, but it bounced off the right upright. After the game, Sarkisian, BYU’s backup quarterback at the time, who had spent the game on the sidelines, described the missed field goal to media as a “doink” and the name stuck.


3. Utah 33, BYU 32

Salt Lake City – Nov. 26, 1953

NBC broadcast this Thanksgiving Day matchup, giving a national television audience the opportunity to see the high-flying passing attacks of both schools. BYU had only won two games that season but played its rival close the entire game. The two schools went in at halftime tied 13-13. Utah scored in the third quarter to take a 20-13 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, BYU was flagged for a personal foul. The rule at the time gave the ball to the Utes, who scored another touchdown to make the lead 26-13 (Thankfully, that rule has since been changed.). The Cougars roared back and tied the game at 26 apiece. Utah added another touchdown to take a 33-26 lead, but BYU responded with a score of its own. On the extra point try, however, BYU quarterback and holder Lavon Satterfield fumbled the snap, giving Utah the win.


2. Utah 23, BYU 22

Salt Lake City – Nov. 18, 1978

BYU quarterback Jim McMahon is best remembered in Provo for the amazing comebacks that he engineered, but this is one that got away from his team. The sophomore quarterback had the Cougars leading 22-7 entering the fourth quarter, but Utah responded with a flurry. The Utes’ defense shut McMahon and company down, while quarterback Randy Gomez threw two touchdown passes and kicker Jeff Hucko added a 37-yard field goal. The shocking comeback snapped BYU’s six-game winning streak over Utah.


1. BYU 26, Utah 23 (OT)

Provo – Nov. 28, 2009

Both teams were 9-2 and ranked in the top 20 entering what would be the best contest of the series. Utah jumped out to a 6-0 first quarter lead on the strength of two field goals from kicker Joe Phillips. BYU responded with 20 unanswered points to take a 20-6 lead entering the fourth quarter. Utah then kicked a field a goal and scored a touchdown with 7:16 left. On the two-point play, quarterback Jordan Wynn hit David Reed in the end zone to make the score 20-17. Utah got ball back on its own 33-yard line with 2:44 left and drove 44 yards to the BYU 23. Phillips tied the game with 29 seconds left. Utah got the first possession in overtime and Phillips kicked his fifth field goal of the game. However, after the Cougars got the ball, BYU quarterback Max Hall proceeded to hit tight end Andrew George over the middle and he sprinted into the end zone for the thrilling win.


— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

Top 5 College Football Games in BYU vs. Utah Rivalry History
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 12:00
Path: /college-football/5-things-oklahomas-do-list-after-season-opening-loss-houston

Oklahoma’s bid to return to the College Football Playoff didn’t exactly get off to a rousing start with last weekend’s 33-23 loss to Houston.


The Sooners’ early offensive onslaught didn’t faze the Cougars, who counterpunched effectively behind quarterback Greg Ward Jr. and their attacking defense. Meanwhile, sloppy miscues prevented OU from getting back in the game after UH took a halftime lead.


Despite the disappointing result, recent history has shown that one loss doesn’t end seasons anymore. In fact, OU is facing three teams presently ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll in the next four games. That opens the door for the Sooners to get right back to about where they started the season in the rankings by the middle of October.


A gimme on Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe gives Bob Stoops and his staff a little extra time to work out some kinks before the team begins its Ohio State-TCU-Texas gauntlet. Here are five tasks that should definitely be on their to-do list.


1. Get Baker Mayfield chilled out

Mayfield received plenty of due credit last season for his role in sparking OU’s offensive renaissance. This week, however, he has shouldered his fair share of the blame for the Sooners’ stalling out against the Cougars.


OU’s star quarterback often looked as though he was hell bent on beating UH on his own — passing up easy completions in hopes of landing long bombs and bailing out of the pocket early to scramble. As a result, the Sooners struggled to move the chains consistently and get into an offensive rhythm.


It’s possible that Mayfield felt pressured to do more on his own with star receiver Sterling Shepard now in the NFL, or his new targets might not have his complete trust. Whatever the case may be, OU has too many weapons and too good of a coordinator in Lincoln Riley for its QB to be doing so much outside the confines of its offense.


2. Keep finding touches for Joe Mixon

As a freshman, Mixon averaged a combined 11 receptions and rushes per game, matching his total against Houston. That number should be higher. With apologies to backfield mate Samaje Perine, Mixon is OU’s most dynamic offensive player.


In fact, putting both stud RBs on the field at the same time should create more room for each to operate. With Perine serving as Mr. Inside, Mixon can find more opportunities in open space. Win-win.


3. Identify a new cornerback to play opposite Jordan Thomas

Thomas, OU’s stud cover man, saw little work against Houston as the Cougars picked on his counterpart. Ward and lanky wideout Stephen Dunbar (6-3, 210) repeatedly went after diminutive senior Dakota Austin (5-10, 170) to capitalize on the size mismatch. The strategy paid off to the tune of seven receptions and 125 yards for the junior pass catcher.


Austin drew praise from coaches and teammates for his toughness and dedication in earning the starting nod in preseason camp. Unfortunately, he won’t be growing any taller overnight. So long as he’s manning one side of the field, OU can expect the spread-heavy offenses of the Big 12 to isolate and attack Austin.


Secondary coach Kerry Cooks already has a number of younger players pushing for playing time at the spot. Look for heralded freshman Parrish Cobb, who got some burn versus UH, or converted receiver Michiah Quick to make a move up to the first line of the depth chart, possibly as soon as this weekend.


4. Learn how to play Obo

Ogbonnia “Obo” Okoronkwo had an uneven game in his first start at outside linebacker. A coverage bust gave away a touchdown to the Cougars in the first half. Later in the game, a careless roughing the passer penalty extended a UH scoring drive.


On the other hand, Obo terrorized Ward and Houston’s offensive line in the second half. He finished the game with nine tackles, a sack and three QB hurries, according to the official stats.


Obo’s ability to wreak havoc in opposing backfields represents easily the strongest part of his game. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops might consider tinkering with his scheme to keep the talented rusher almost exclusively in search-and-destroy mode.


(Consider this one more of a “maybe do” than a “must do,” given the highs of Obo’s performance after halftime.)


5. Give Mykel Jones a look at slot receiver

Jarvis Baxter has made solid contributions as a slot receiver since arriving in Norman just prior to the start of preseason camp last year. As of now, he appears to be pushing up against his ceiling.


In contrast, Jones is nothing but potential. He may not be ready to move into the starting lineup ahead of Baxter just yet, but there’s no reason not to give him some plays on Saturday in a glorified scrimmage against Louisiana-Monroe.


At some point this season, Jones will see the field. The four-star recruit and Rivals100 prospect out of Louisiana is too talented not to. No time like the present.


— Written by Allen Kenney, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Kenney is founder and editor of and host of the Blatant Homerism Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BlatantHomerism.

5 Things on Oklahoma's To-Do List After Season-Opening Loss to Houston
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 11:30
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/betting-against-spread-nfl-week-1-2016-picks-odds-lines

The long NFL offseason is finally over and we've got real football to talk about, as well as other good stuff like odds, picks, lines, over/under — you get the idea. The fans are happy and the league is too with all of the negative publicity it got. Up front, last year's 50-25-2 record I put up was the best I've ever done in pro football.


The oddsmakers are very sharp when it comes to this sport. When it comes to betting this sport, a lot is about betting spots although that doesn't come into play until later on. No team is overlooking Week 1 for the matchup that looms in Week 2. Also remember that even the poor teams will have good crowds early because everyone has hope. Time to see if I can approach the lofty record I set forth last year.


Record: 0-0


Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0)

This one figures to be a defensive battle on Sunday with two of the better units in the league. Cincinnati is trying to finally take that next stop when it comes to the playoffs and it starts in New York against the Jets. Andy Dalton and All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green are back, but his sidekicks Marvin Jones and Mohamad Sanu are elsewhere (and Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert is still recovering from offseason surgery). The Jets’ run defense was one of the best in the league last year so this unit should be able to bottle up Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. On the other side, you've got Ryan Fitzpatrick with the keys to the car. He's got Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker to throw to and Matt Forte out to prove he's got something left. The Bengals have gone under in 12 of their last 17 road games. Meanwhile, in games with tight lines, the Jets have gone under in nine of their last 13. I think this one could be a field position type contest with a lot of punts and a lot of field goals. SELECTION: Under 42


Green Bay Packers (0-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0)

Jacksonville has a sellout for Sunday's home game against the Packers. The Jaguars are one of those teams this offseason that has been touted as a sleeper team and I'm going to agree with it. Blake Bortles had a good 2015 and he turned Allen Robinson into one of the better receivers in the league. The team has a pair of solid RBs in T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory so the offense shouldn't have too much of an issue moving the ball. The defense continues to add young pieces and some players in free agency. Now, it'll be a challenge to slow down the Packers, which are out to reclaim the NFC North. Jordy Nelson is getting closer and closer to 100 percent after tearing his ACL in the preseason last year. Aaron Rodgers is going to be in the MVP mix once again, but he may struggle in this one. Letting go of Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton was an interesting move for an offensive line that has had some continuity the past few years. I think the Jaguars can get a bit of a pass rush in this one. I'd love to get another half a point of value, but I’ll take it where it is. SELECTION Jaguars +5.5


Detroit Lions (0-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-0)

Andrew Luck is back under center as the Colts host the Lions. There are a lot of question marks for Indianapolis, starting (once again) with the offensive line. If Luck can get the time, he's got two very good wide receivers and Frank Gore, who continues to run well despite being in a battle with Father Time. The Detroit defense is an underrated unit and has one of my favorite CBs in Darius Slay. I think the Lions should be able to get some pressure up front to make life miserable. In Indy's dress rehearsal preseason game, the Eagles pushed them around up front. On the opposite side, I may have an irrational love for the potential for the Lions’ offense. Calvin Johnson is gone, but I like the additions of Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin. If Detroit can get any semblance of a running game, this offense will be really dangerous. The Colts’ defense doesn't scare anyone and the loss of cornerback Vontae Davis confirms that. The Colts have covered in just five of their last 12 games where the total is 49.5 or more. SELECTION: Lions +4


— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

Betting Against the Spread: NFL Week 1 Picks and Odds
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/penn-state-nittany-lions-vs-pittsburgh-panthers-preview-and-prediction

For the first time in 16 years, Penn State and Pitt are going to play a football game. For those who grew up counting on these two Pennsylvania college football powers clashing on an annual basis, it may be difficult to comprehend the idea that nearly an entire generation has gone by with no recollection of these two schools playing a game, never mind the game having any deep meaning on a national scale.


The stakes are certainly not as high as they may have been in the 1980s, but a tremendous amount of pride will be on the line, not to mention bragging rights for a whole year. The build-up has been going on for years and it is finally here. Penn State. Pitt. Let’s do this.


Penn State at Pittsburgh


Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. ET


Spread: Pitt -6


Three Things to Watch


1. Running Back Excellence: Saquon Barkley and James Conner

The state of Pennsylvania is home to two of the better running backs around the country, and this weekend they will be on the same field (albeit at different times, obviously). Pittsburgh’s Conner scored two touchdowns in his inspirational return to the field last week against Villanova, and he will be expected to carry the brunt of the offense this week against a Nittany Lions defense that struggled at times against lowly Kent State a week ago.


For Penn State, the offense revolves around its sensational sophomore running back. Barkley rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown last week against a solid Kent State defense. Both Barkley and Conner should play a huge role in how this game plays out, and Penn State might even get freshmen Andre Robinson or Pittsburgh native Miles Sanders involved as well.


2. Pat Narduzzi is familiar with Penn State

This may be the first time Pitt and Penn State are meeting on the same field since the 2000 season, but that doesn’t mean there is a lack of familiarity between the two programs. This game has been hyped for some time, so there has likely been some extra prep work done by both teams. Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi also has some previous experience against Penn State and his coaching counterpart, James Franklin. Narduzzi saw Penn State first-hand as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator two years ago, Franklin’s first season at Penn State. This will, however, be Narduzzi’s first chance going up against Penn State since switching offensive coordinators and quarterback.


3. Can Pitt gain an edge on defense, or was Penn State holding back vs. Kent State?

The Panthers returned the majority of a decent defense from last season and this unit took care of shutting down FCS opponent Villanova last week. Meanwhile, in State College, Penn State’s new-look offense with new offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead and quarterback Trace McSorley looked like a brand-new offense still getting its feet wet for a while. The hope for Penn State fans is they were playing a rather vanilla style in hopes of unloading some new looks against Pitt. The Panthers will hope to crack Penn State’s offensive line, which allowed just one sack last weekend (down by nine from theiseason-opener a year ago at Temple). Pitt recorded six sacks against Villanova (Penn State had seven sacks vs. Kent State).


Final Analysis


After years of anticipation, it is finally put-up-or-shut-up time in the Keystone State. Pittsburgh appears to have a slight edge overall with a slightly better defense to rely on (Penn State’s defense could take some time to gel), and the offense for the Nittany Lions still appeared to be working out some kinks. Maybe Penn State's offense is better than it appeared against Kent State. If so, that could change the whole dynamic of this game. At this time Pitt is more put-together, but will have to keep Saquon Barkley from making big plays. Do that and the Panthers could win a tight one against their renewed in-state rival. This one should come down to the wire. A calm and steady senior quarterback Nathan Peterman for Pitt could give one significant edge over Penn State with sophomore Trace McSorley until proven otherwise.


Prediction: Pitt 24, Penn State 23


— Written by Kevin McGuire, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. McGuire also contributes to College Football Talk and The Comeback as well as hosts the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast. Follow him on Twitter @KevinOnCFB and Like him on Facebook

Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 10:56
Path: /college-football/ucf-knights-vs-michigan-wolverines-preview-and-prediction-2016

Week 1 could not have gone much better for the Michigan Wolverines (1-0), as they were in cruise control for much of the afternoon, defeating Hawaii with ease in the 63-3 blowout victory. Starting quarterback Wilton Speight rebounded from an interception on his first throw of the game, completing 10 of his next 12 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns.


The Michigan defense looked equally as impressive, returning two interceptions for touchdowns and holding the Warriors to just 1-for-11 on third down.


Saturday could pose a different challenge for the Wolverines’ defense as the UCF Knights roll into Ann Arbor after racking up 462 yards of total offense in their 38-0 win over South Carolina State. First-year head coach Scott Frost has installed a new no-huddle offense that will need to move the ball some in order to keep this game competitive into the second half.


UCF at Michigan


Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: Michigan -34.5


Three Things to Watch


1. The Starting Job Belongs to Wilton Speight
Jim Harbaugh was able to hide his decision about the starting quarterback all the way up until Michigan’s first drive last week, and after one game, it looks like he made the correct choice. Following a poor decision on his first throw that resulted in an interception, Speight went on to toss three touchdowns in the first half, and more importantly, play mistake-free football with the game well in hand. Surprisingly though, backup John O’Korn received very little playing time even with the Wolverines up by such a wide margin, leading some to think this competition is all but over at this point. With the way Michigan’s defense is flying around and a rejuvenated rushing attack (more on that later), Speight will not be asked to do too much as the Wolverines navigate through the early portion of the schedule.


2. Oregon 2.0?
Through much of the first half last week, UCF did not resemble anything like the high-powered offense Scott Frost used to lead as the offensive coordinator at Oregon. The Knights managed just four field goals against FCS foe South Carolina State before a late second quarter touchdown from quarterback Justin Holman blew the game open. UCF dominated the second half, racking up 466 total yards on the night, including 201 yards on the ground. It is a giant leap going from facing South Carolina State at home to the Big House, but if the Knights are to have any shot at pulling the upset, controlling the clock with said ground game will be imperative. 


3. Freshman Phenom
True freshman Chris Evans had only eight carries this past Saturday, but made the most of his opportunities with 112 yards and two touchdowns, including a 43-yard scamper right through the heart of the Hawaii defense. With that run, Evans became only the third freshman in Michigan football history to top the 100-yard mark in his debut. Throughout fall camp, Evans was mentioned multiple times by the coaching staff as one of the possible impact performers coming from this freshmen class and it was evident why right from the onset. Evans provides a different skill set than starter De’Veon Smith, or even backup Ty Isaac, who are more between-the-tackles-type backs while Evans is a former track athlete that brings some much-needed burst to the position. Whether or not the score gets out of hand, expect Evans to see a handful of touches yet again on Saturday.


Final Analysis


We can try and come up with all of the wacky and insane ways in which UCF can hang with the Wolverines, but it would just be a waste of time. The Knights will be a dangerous team to contend with once first-year head coach Scott Frost brings in the recruits to run the up-tempo offense to his liking, but that will not happen overnight. Look for Michigan’s defense to force multiple turnovers like the Wolverines did against Hawaii and give UCF its first loss of the season.


Prediction: Michigan 41, UCF 13


— Written by Mike Bainbridge, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Bainbridge is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @MikeBainbridge2.

UCF Knights vs. Michigan Wolverines Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 10:55
Path: /college-football/nc-state-wolfpack-vs-east-carolina-pirates-preview-and-prediction-2016

One of the many reasons college football is such a great game is because of the magnitude of its rivalry games. Unlike most in the NFL, a number of college football rivalries have lasted more than a century. While the NC State-East Carolina rivalry hasn’t been around that long, it is one of the most heated in the state of North Carolina.


On Saturday, the Wolfpack and the Pirates will meet for the third time in seven years. The two teams last met in 2013 when the Pirates defeated the Wolfpack 42-28 at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.


Last weekend, NC State won its opener against William & Mary 48-14 behind running back Matt Dayes’ 138 yards rushing and two touchdowns. East Carolina also was victorious in its season opener, rolling over Western Carolina 52-7.


East Carolina has won two straight against NC State and seven out of the last 11 meetings.


NC State at East Carolina


Kickoff: Saturday, Sept. 10 at 12 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: NC State -4.5


Three Things to Watch


1. Ryan Finley

After completing 81 percent of his passes against William & Mary, Ryan Finley will be NC State's starting quarterback against East Carolina. He also threw for 174 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Finley's performance certainly caught the eye of East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery.


“At quarterback, they've done a good job bringing in a person that understands the offense,” Montgomery said at his weekly press conference. “He was on fire last week. He didn't miss but about three or four throws, so it's a challenge as well on defense and I think we will be up to it. We just have to have a great week of communication practice and work."


Finley transferred from Boise State in May as a graduate student. On of the major reasons Finley decided to come to Raleigh is that his former offensive coordinator at Boise State was Eliah Drinkwitz, who is now in the same position with the Wolfpack.


East Carolina will need to get a lot of pressure on Finley to force him to make errant throws. That’s something William & Mary was unable to do.


Related: College Football's Top 20 Quarterback Debuts of 2016


2. Zay Jones

East Carolina’s Jones is probably the nation’s underrated wide receiver in college football. He is the Pirates' best weapon on offense and the Wolfpack secondary will have to keep a close eye on him.


Last season as a junior, Jones caught 98 passes for 1,099 yards and five touchdowns. Last week against Western Carolina, Jones recorded 10 catches for 180 yards and a touchdown.


Montgomery knows how much of a game-changer Jones is for East Carolina’s offense.


“He did some fantastic things with the football and without the football, Montgomery. “(It was) a very unselfish game by him.”


3. NC State Defense

In the Wolfpack’s last two games to end the 2015 season, their defense surrendered a total of 96 points to archrival North Carolina and Belk Bowl opponent Mississippi State. The NC State defense will against have its hands full slowing down East Carolina quarterback Philip Nelson and his high-powered offense.


One thing that the Wolfpack has going for them is they have a number of playmakers on that side of the ball. Defensive lineman Bradley Chubb, who finished the 2015 season with 5.5 sacks, is expected to take on a bigger role defensively following the departure of sack leader Mike Rose.


East Carolina also will have to pay close attention to junior linebackers Airius Moore and Jerod Fernandez, who have played together for the last three seasons. Moore led the Wolfpack in tackles a year ago with 77. Fernandez started eight games last season and recorded 47 tackles and two interceptions.


Final Analysis


In a weak Week 2 schedule in college football, this game in Greenville has the potential to be one of the better games of the weekend. Both NC State and East Carolina should put up a lot of points in this contest, so the game will come down to which defense can make more stops.


NC State has the more experienced defense, but teams have been able to move the ball against the Wolfpack. If East Carolina can slow down running back Matt Dayes and NC State’s rushing attack, that will set up tougher situations for Finley and the offense.


This game could go either way, but it is hard to go against East Carolina at home, even against an ACC opponent.


Prediction: East Carolina 38, NC State 34


— 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, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

NC State Wolfpack vs. East Carolina Pirates Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 10:50
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-week-2-2016

Week 1 of the 2016 college football season turned out to be pretty much everything we expected and then some. We saw upsets, close calls and dominant performances by some dominant programs. We also saw a fair amount of outrageousness.


That won't stop in Week 2, and as always, I'm right here to give you an idea of some of the outrageousness you can expect as we head into the weekend.


Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 2


UCF upsets Michigan

UCF head coach Scott Frost knows how to win football games, literally at every level. His Knights pitched a shutout (albeit against an FCS school) in the season opener and looked like a very confident team in doing so. The difference in caliber of athletes between UCF and Michigan is probably not a big as the causal fan might assume. I like Central Florida's underrated athleticism and depth on offense to keep the Michigan D on its heels all day. On the other side of the ball, don't be shocked if that same athleticism limits Michigan's big plays through the air and renders the Wolverines relatively one-dimensional. UCF is playing with house money, and the longer the Knights keep this one close, the more confident they'll become on their way to the biggest upset of this young season.


Northwestern starts the year 0-2

After losing a heartbreaker at home against Western Michigan to open the season, Pat Fitzgerald's crew has to pick up the pieces and prepare for yet another solid-yet-underrated opponent. Illinois State is one of the very best FCS programs in the country, and they aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with a middle-of-the-road Power Five team (which Northwestern is). The Redbirds' running back-receiver combo of George Moreira and Anthony Warrum will be one of the better offensive duos the Wildcats face all season. I expect Illinois State to come out swinging early while Northwestern tries its hardest to simply out-muscle the visitors. By the time the Wildcats figure out that their strategy isn't working and decide they need to open up the offense, they'll be well on their way to 0-2.


UCLA starts the year 0-2

A lot of people had the Bruins as a dark-horse contender for the College Football Playoff — and some still do. The overtime loss to Texas A&M put a damper on things to begin the year, but it also exposed some weaknesses of Jim Mora's team. Texas A&M provided the blueprint for disrupting UCLA's passing attack and throwing off the Bruins' timing routes. Look for UNLV head coach Tony Sanchez — a sneaky-good X's and O's guy — to put his Rebels in position to do the same. On the other side of the ball, UNLV features an offense that is more than comfortable getting into a shootout with Josh Rosen and company. Rebels starting quarterback Johnny Stanton (transfer from Nebraska) didn't need to throw the ball much last weekend, but when he did, he was deadly accurate. Having one of the nation's top receivers in Devonte Boyd to target can't hurt. Expect a high-scoring affair with the boys from Sin City coming out on top in this one.


The SEC runs the table (sort of)

Week 1 was not great for the SEC, and as a result, the haters and trolls (myself included) were out in full force. They'll have very little fodder this weekend, as the conference's slate looks a bit less challenging than last week's. Of the non-conference games involving SEC teams, only Tennessee-Virginia Tech, Arkansas-TCU and LSU-Jacksonville State (I'll get to that one later) should be anything close to dicey. Look for Tennessee to have learned from its scare against Appalachian State and come away with a sound win over the Hokies. As far as Arkansas, I like Bret Bielema to have TCU's spread attack scouted perfectly, leading to a Razorback upset. The SEC's only losses will come courtesy of head-to-head matchups within the conference.


LSU barely escapes with a win against Jacksonville State

Just like Northwestern, the Tigers will try to bounce back from a demoralizing loss by taking on one of the best teams from the FCS. Jacksonville State has the horses to make this one more than interesting, especially on defense. I'm not calling for the outright upset, but the Tigers will be pushed to their limits in this one, with their depth being the difference in a one-score game.


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

Outrageous College Football Predictions for Week 2
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, syndicated
Path: /college-football/fcs-football-best-games-and-predictions-week-2-2016

The first full week of the FCS season was reserved for teams taking on FBS programs, and four (Richmond, Northern Iowa, Eastern Washington and Albany) delivered wins.

Related: FCS Power Poll for Week 2


There are plenty more games between the two Division I levels this week, but excellent FCS intersectional matchups command the spotlight, with the biggest involving Big Sky and Missouri Valley teams.


Here are the FCS games of the week:


Note: All times ET

Saturday, Sept. 10


No. 18 Youngstown State (1-0) at West Virginia (1-0), 2 p.m.

The Mountaineers’ faithful may get Youngstown State head coach Bo Pelini a bit feisty, but the Penguins need to play with composure and own a halftime lead to have a shot at an upset. They were excellent in all facets in a season-opening rout of Duquesne.

Pick: West Virginia


No. 7 Eastern Washington (1-0) at No. 1 North Dakota State (1-0), 3:30 p.m.

On the way to winning the 2010 FCS national title, Eastern handed NDSU its only loss (38-31 in overtime in the quarterfinals) in the Bison’s FCS playoff history (a 22-1 record). The five-time reigning champs are probably glad they had an extra week to prepare for new Eagles quarterback Gage Gubrud and all-world wide receiver Cooper Kupp.

Pick: North Dakota State


No. 21 Northern Arizona (0-1) at No. 17 Western Illinois (1-0), 4 p.m.

This is only the third-best of the Big Sky-Missouri Valley showdowns, but it’s terrific nevertheless. Quarterback Case Cookus is back on the road trying to keep NAU, the Big Sky’s preseason favorite, from an 0-2 start. WIU already owns a good win over Eastern Illinois behind running back Steve McShane.

Pick: Western Illinois


No. 14 Montana (1-0) at No. 3 Northern Iowa (1-0), 5 p.m.

Montana has won the five previous meetings, including three in the playoffs. This one features one of the better QB matchups of the FCS season: Montana’s Brady Gustafson versus UNI’s Aaron Bailey.

Pick: Montana


Saint Francis (0-1) at No. 19 Towson (0-1), 6 p.m.

These are two pretty good teams and one of them is going to be 0-2. Towson (and Oregon transfer) quarterback Morgan Mahalak, who completed just 44 percent of his passes in the loss at South Florida, needs to get it going against a solid SFU secondary that features free safety Lorenzo Jerome and already has faced Montana’s passing attack.

Pick: Towson


No. 15 McNeese (1-0) at UL Lafayette (0-1), 7 p.m.

Here's an opportunity for first-year head coach Lance Guidry to make some waves. McNeese leads the series, 20-15-2, although this is the first meeting since 2007. The Cowboys have the kind of running game and defense to pull an upset.

Pick: McNeese


Holy Cross (1-0) at New Hampshire (0-1), 7 p.m.

There’s buzz at UNH over Wildcat Stadium debuting under the lights. UNH’s 31-0 goose egg at San Diego State was one of the worst performances by a CAA Football team in opening week. Meanwhile, quarterback Peter Pujals led Holy Cross to the most impressive performance by a Patriot League team, a 27-point win at Morgan State.

Pick: New Hampshire


Samford (1-0) at Central Arkansas (1-0), 7 p.m.

The winner here could move into next week’s FCS Top 25. Samford won at home 45-16 in last year’s meeting and Devlin Hodges wasn’t even the starting quarterback yet. There are impressive freshmen to watch in Samford wide receiver TaDarryl Marshall and UCA running back Carlos Blackman.

Pick: Samford


Jackson State (0-1) at Tennessee State (1-0) in Memphis, 7 p.m.

The Southern Heritage Classic matches Tigers versus Tigers. TSU has won the last four meetings and 11 in the last 13 years. While the youth movement is paying off at Tennessee State, Jackson State has a veteran team that is hoping to give new head coach Tony Hughes his first win.

Pick: Tennessee State


No. 5 Jacksonville State (1-0) at LSU (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

It’s tough enough to play in Death Valley, but Jacksonville State has to do so with LSU coming off a loss. The Gamecocks have only lost to FBS teams (Michigan State in 2014, Auburn in '15) in the last two regular seasons. They have some SEC transfers on their roster, just not enough of them.

Pick: LSU


— 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 @CraigHaley.


(Top photo by North Dakota State Athletics)

FCS Football: Best Games and Predictions for Week 2
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-10-best-position-battles-watch-week-2-2016

After the best opening week ever in college football and some of the most anticipated position battles of the season, week 2 pumps the brakes a little when it comes to the product on the field. The non-conference slate is a little bare when it comes to power teams taking on other worthy challengers but there are still plenty of one-on-one battles that will be worth tuning in for.


Whether you’re a college football fan, a coach or an NFL scout, here are 10 of the best position vs. position battles between offensive stars and their defensive counterparts on the other side:


1. Iowa DB Desmond King vs. Iowa State WR Allen Lazard

King is the reigning Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back and opted to skip the NFL Draft to return to Iowa for one more season. He’ll have one of his toughest challenges of the year in Lazard, a junior who is the top passing threat for the Cyclones and the most dangerous player on the ISU offense.


2. Utah DL Kyle Fitts vs. BYU QB Taysom Hill

Fitts is now the top dog on the defensive line and figures to be active as can be when rival BYU comes to town. He’ll have to have a big game if the team wants another win in the series however, trying to both contain Hill when the quarterback takes off to run and get to him when he drops back to pass.


3. San Diego State CB Damontae Kazee vs. Cal QB Davis Webb

San Diego State had one of the more impressive seasons in the country last year even if it went under the radar and Kazee was a big part of that with an impressive eight interceptions in 2015. It will be interesting to see how much Webb, one of the top passers in Week 1, even looks Kazee’s way.


4. Washington State LB Peyton Pelluer vs. Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols

McNichols was the focus of the Boise State offense last year while breaking in a new quarterback and still delivered despite the defensive focus with 26 touchdowns on the ground and through the air. If Washington State wants to bounce back from its opening loss, Pelluer will have to shut down the Broncos’ star from his linebacker spot.


5. Texas LB Malik Jefferson vs. UTEP RB Aaron Jones

Jones went off for 249 yards and two scores in the Miners’ opener but faces a much stiffer test at Texas. Jefferson was all over the field in the Longhorns’ victory over Notre Dame but will have to face a vastly different offense this week.


6. Alabama CB Marlon Humphrey vs. Western Kentucky WR Taywan Taylor

Taylor racked up an incredible 1,467 yards and 17 scores last season for the Hilltoppers and was one of QB Mike White’s favorite targets in the opener. Humphrey played a big part in limiting USC’s JuJu Smith-Schuster in the opener and will look to do the same in one of the few battles worth watching in this contest.


7. Nebraska DB Nate Gerry vs. Wyoming QB Josh Allen

Gerry will be seeing his first action of the season after serving a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules but is among the most experienced players for the Blackshirts defense. He’ll have to be on his toes this week in both defending the pass and coming up in run support after the dual-threat Allen was named Mountain West offensive player of the week in an upset of Northern Illinois.


8. Virginia Tech DB Chuck Clark vs. Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs

Clark is the veteran on the back end for the Hokies and he’ll be roving all over the temporary field at Bristol Motor Speedway against Tennessee on Saturday trying to limit big plays against Dobbs. Clark also will likely be counted on to come up to support the run against Jalen Hurd and whenever Dobbs takes off to run.


9. North Carolina DB Des Lawrence vs. Illinois QB Wes Lunt

Lawrence isn’t as well-known as he should be outside ACC circles but he will have a chance to jump out to folks in one of the few games between Power Five programs on Saturday. Lunt has a quick release and, if given time, should be able to find Malik Turner and Justin Hardee if they’re open.


10. TCU DB Ranthony Texada vs. Arkansas WR Keon Hatcher

Texada is slowing getting back into game shape after missing most of last season but was a key part of the Horned Frogs’ defense two years ago. He’ll have his hands full with Hatcher, who also is coming off an injury that caused him to miss last season but is making up for last time as the top option for QB Austin Allen.


— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.

College Football's 10 Best Position Battles to Watch in Week 2
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:30
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-flex-rankings-week-1

Week 1 of the NFL and fantasy football season is here, which means positional rankings have returned, including flex. Although it may not be a position utilized by every fantasy football league out there, if your lineup does include a flex spot, these rankings can be one of the most essential tools for those pesky “start or sit” conundrums.


Like with any position, keep this page and the other positional rankings bookmarked or saved in your browser so you can stay up to date on any last-minute changes before setting your final lineup prior to kickoff.


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


Here are the Week 1 flex rankings:




— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Fantasy Football 2016 Flex Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-wide-receiver-rankings-week-1

Fantasy football is (finally) upon us, which means it’s time for Week 1 wide receiver rankings. And I am sure everyone read all of the content here on prior to your draft(s), which means you wound up with teams that will dominate all season long.


Even if that is the case, however, maybe you have a few too many wide receivers and now you have no idea who to start as your WR2 or at flex position.


Have no fear, as Athlon’s weekly positional rankings are back. Use these rankings to help determine a start or sit question as well as for DFS plays if you like.


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


Here are the Week 1 wide receiver rankings:




— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Fantasy Football 2016 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-tight-end-rankings-week-1

You can imagine who’s No. 1 in the Week 1 fantasy football tight end rankings. Of course it’s Rob Gronkowski. And even though Gronk has a new running mate (Martellus Bennett) and will have a "new" quarterback for the first four games, there’s no reason to remove him from the top spot. At least not yet.


But Gronk aside, the tight end position this year has plenty of sleepers that could be really good streaming plays on a week-to-week basis if you didn’t happen to land one of the bigger names in your fantasy draft.


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


Let’s find out where everyone falls in the Week 1 tight end rankings:


Rk Player Team Opp
1  Rob Gronkowski NE at ARI
2  Jordan Reed WAS vs. PIT (Mon.)
3  Travis Kelce KC vs. SD
4  Greg Olsen CAR at DEN (Thurs.)
5  Zach Ertz PHI vs. CLE
6  Coby Fleener NO vs. OAK
7  Gary Barnidge CLE at PHI
8  Delanie Walker TEN vs. MIN
9  Dwayne Allen IND vs. DET
10  Julius Thomas JAC vs. GB
11  Eric Ebron DET at IND
12  Antonio Gates SD at KC
13  Jason Witten DAL vs. NYG
14  Martellus Bennett NE at ARI
15  Zach Miller CHI at HOU
16  Vance McDonald SF vs. LA (Mon.)
17  Jesse James PIT at WAS (Mon.)
18  Charles Clay BUF at BAL
19  Clive Walford OAK at NO
20  Kyle Rudolph MIN at TEN
21  Cameron Brate TB at ATL
22  Jared Cook GB at JAC
23  Jacob Tamme ATL vs. TB
24  Luke Willson SEA vs. MIA
25  Lance Kendricks LA at SF (Mon.)
26  Jordan Cameron MIA at SEA
27  Virgil Green DEN vs. CAR (Thurs.)
28  Tyler Kroft CIN at NYJ
29  Ryan Griffin HOU vs. CHI
30  Richard Rodgers GB at JAC


— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Fantasy Football 2016 Tight End Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-running-back-rankings-week-1

Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for — Week 1 fantasy football running back rankings. Week 1 brings the the dawn of a brand-new fantasy football season. A season that brings so much promise because (hopefully) your fantasy team is still intact.


Week 1 for running backs has some intriguing potential. At the top you’ll find some of the usual suspects, but some new names have popped into the top 10 that might end the week in the top five. And don’t forget that Le’Veon Bell is suspended for the first three games.


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


So let’s get to it. Here are the RB rankings for Week 1:


Rk Player Team Opp
1 Toddy Gurley LA at SF (Mon.)
2 David Johnson ARI vs. NE
3 Ezekiel Elliot DAL vs. NYG
4 Adrian Peterson MIN at TEN
5 Lamar Miller HOU vs. CHI
6 Devonta Freeman ATL vs. TB
7 DeAngelo Williams PIT at WAS
8 Spencer Ware KC vs. SD
9 Mark Ingram NO vs. OAK
10 Latavius Murray OAK at NO
11 Doug Martin TB at ATL
12 Eddie Lacy GB at JAC
13 LeSean McCoy BUF at BAL
14 Ryan Matthews PHI vs. CLE
15 C.J. Anderson DEN vs. CAR (Thurs.)
16 Christine Michael SEA vs. MIA
17 Ameer Abdullah DET at IND
18 Carlos Hyde SF vs. LA (Mon.)
19 DeMarco Murray TEN vs. MIN
20 Rashad Jennings NYG at DAL
21 Matt Forte NYJ vs. CIN
22 Frank Gore IND vs. DET
23 Jeremy Langford CHI at HOU
24 Melvin Gordon SD at KC
25 T.J. Yeldon JAC vs. GB
26 Jeremy Hill CIN at NYJ
27 Jonathan Stewart CAR at DEN (Thurs.)
28 Giovani Bernard CIN at NYJ
29 Isaiah Crowell CLE at PHI
30 Arian Foster MIA at SEA
31 Danny Woodhead SD at KC
32 Matt Jones WAS vs. PIT
33 Duke Johnson CLE at PHI
34 Charles Sims TB at ATL
35 Derrick Henry TEN vs. MIN
36 Chris Ivory JAC vs. GB
37 Justin Forsett BAL vs. BUF
38 James White NE at ARI
39 Tevin Coleman ATL vs. TB
40 Theo Riddick DET at IND
41 LeGarrette Blount NE at ARI
42 Bilal Powell NYJ vs. CIN
43 Darren Sproles PHI vs. CLE
44 Jerick McKinnon MIN at TEN
45 Javorius Allen BAL vs. BUF
46 James Starks GB at JAC
47 Jay Ajayi MIA at SEA
48 Shane Vereen NYG at DAL
49 Thomas Rawls SEA vs. MIA
50 Terrance West BAL vs. BUF


— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Fantasy Football 2016 Running Back Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-defense-special-teams-rankings-week-1

When looking at a defense/special teams to round out your fantasy football lineup, the biggest key is pick a defense from the team that should win the game. Typically home teams fare better than the visiting teams, but that's not always the case.


For example, Carolina is basically matchup-proof, which is why Luke Kuechly and the Panthers come in at No. 2 this week even though they are playing in Denver, while the visiting Rams are appealing because of their opponent (49ers).


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


For Week 1, the DST rankings are based on last year's performance and how they have looked in the preseason. It's hard to tell what will happen in a new season, but here are the Week 1 DST rankings:




— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Fantasy Football 2016 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-kicker-rankings-week-1

Following in last year's footsteps, Stephen Gostkowski is the top-ranked kicker for Week 1 of the fantasy football season. Even though the Patriots are going to be in a tough matchup Sunday night against Arizona, and the offense will be led by Jimmy Garoppolo instead of Tom Brady, Gostkowski has proven that he can be a reliable fantasy kicker, regardless of matchup.


Picking kickers is tough, but going with guys that are fixtures on their team and haven't let fantasy owners down in the past is key.


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


Here are the Week 1 kicker rankings:




— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Fantasy Football 2016 Kicker Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, syndicated, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2016-quarterback-rankings-week-1

Fantasy football season is finally upon us, and Week 1 lineups need to be set. Quarterback is the backbone of professional football teams, and quarterback should be the backbone of fantasy teams as well.


For Week 1, there aren't many surprises in the top 10, as it's hard to predict what teams and defenses will look like in 2016, so these rankings are largely based on past track record and preseason performances.


Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex


Here is a look at the fantasy quarterback rankings for Week 1:




— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Fantasy Football 2016 Quarterback Rankings: Week 1
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, NFL
Path: /nfl/carolina-panthers-vs-denver-broncos-preview-and-prediction-2016

The 2016 NFL season will pick up right where it left off with a highly anticipated Week 1 rematch of Super Bowl 50, the first of its kind since 1970. Sports Authority Field at Mile High will serve as the backdrop for the Thursday night season opener as the Denver Broncos play host to the Carolina Panthers.


The Broncos were able to bring Carolina’s dream season to an end with a stellar defensive performance that led to an emphatic win in Super Bowl 50. Denver would like nothing more than to validate that victory by beating the Panthers once again to kick off the new season.


For the Panthers, it is all about redemption. Carolina head coach Ron Rivera has downplayed the revenge factor for this matchup, as have the players, but it is difficult to believe that payback is not at the forefront of their minds.


The stakes may not be as high this time around, but there is plenty on the line in tonight’s big season opener. Despite the fact that these two teams have a relatively brief history against one another, with just five prior meetings dating back to 1997, this game certainly has a rivalry feel to it.


Carolina at Denver


Kickoff: Thursday, Sept. 8 at 8:30 p.m. ET


Spread: Carolina -3


Three Things to Watch


1. Trevor Siemian

It took an odd twist of events for Siemian to ultimately end up as the Broncos' Week 1 starter at quarterback, but low and behold here we are. Other than a so-so college career at Northwestern and a few preseason NFL snaps, very little is known about the former seventh-round draft pick. While no one can replace the experience and leadership of a Peyton Manning, Siemian does possess some physical tools that Manning lacked at the end of his career. He also appears to have earned the confidence of head coach Gary Kubiak and general manager John Elway, which speaks volumes.


In spite of the Broncos' confidence in their new signal-caller, Siemian probably won’t be asked to do too much in his first career start. And while he will be tested by a stingy Carolina front seven on defense, it bodes well that the Panthers may have two rookie cornerbacks making their first NFL starts as well. Regardless, Siemian will have his work cut out for him.


2. The Panthers' Offensive Line

The Panthers' offensive line, led by Pro Bowlers Ryan Kalil and Trai Turner, proved to be one of the biggest reasons for Carolina’s overwhelming success most of last season. Unfortunately, that was not the case in Super Bowl 50. The Broncos' defense managed to exploit the Carolina front in every way possible, leading to seven sacks for 68 yards and four critical turnovers.


The same starting five up front from Super Bowl 50 will be on the field tonight. That includes RT Mike Remmers, who couldn’t stop Super Bowl MVP Von Miller to save his life in the last meeting. This has to be a legitimate concern for Carolina. While Denver may have some new faces on defense, Miller and DeMarcus Ware, who combined for 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in Super Bowl 50, are still in Bronco uniforms.


The Panthers'  offensive line is by no means void of talent, but it will require a much better effort, combined with a much better game plan, to slow down the Denver pass rush. If those two things fail to materialize, Miller and company will wreak havoc on this group once again.


3. Plenty of New Faces

While this game has been billed as a rematch of Super Bowl 50, the personnel on the field will look quite a bit different this time around. Many of the key players are still around, but there also will be plenty of new faces to keep an eye on. There also will be some pretty big shoes to fill.


Siemian replacing a future Hall of Famer at quarterback is the most glaring, but the Broncos' overhauled offensive line is quite notable as well, new starting tackles Russell Okung and Donald Stephenson in particular. Additionally, Virgil Green replacing Owen Daniels at tight end is worth keeping an eye on. On defense, DL Jared Crick and ILB Todd Davis will attempt to fill the shoes of two key difference-makers in DL Malik Jackson and ILB Danny Trevathan.


The Panthers have plenty of continuity on offense, returning their entire starting 11 from Super Bowl 50. Star wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin also is back after missing all of last season with a torn ACL, which should pay huge dividends for Cam Newton and the passing game. Carolina also returns most of its key players in the front seven on defense. However, the same cannot be said about the secondary, which took a huge hit with the loss of lockdown, All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman. The Panthers' new-look secondary will feature three new starters, including a pair of rookie cornerbacks in James Bradberry and Daryl Worley.


Final Analysis


Look for the Denver Broncos to employ a very similar strategy to the one that helped them win Super Bowl 50: a game plan that relies heavily on running the football and playing stellar defense. Running backs C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker will need to come up big to take the heat off of the passing game. The Broncos' revamped offensive line will need to play a huge role in that regard as well. New starting quarterback Trevor Siemian cannot be counted on to try to win this game on his own, but he must avoid critical mistakes that will lose the game.


The key for the Panthers starts up front with their offensive line. They cannot afford to have a repeat performance of Super Bowl 50. Cam Newton doesn’t require much time to work his magic, but the line cannot turn into Swiss cheese again if the passing game is to gain traction. While the Panthers probably won’t keep the Broncos out of the backfield for the entire game, they should have a better scheme in place to minimize mistakes and blown assignments this time around. Defensively, the Panthers will likely try to attack the run first and foremost, but they will definitely do their best to rattle Siemian early and often as well.


While the Broncos have proven that they can win games with little help from their offense, there are just too many question marks with so many new faces on that side of the ball. Siemian as an unproven, first-time starter at quarterback alone provides a substantial advantage for a star-studded Carolina defense. This game also will come down to effort and which team wants it more. In that case, the edge has to go to the Panthers as well. They have had this date circled on their calendar for a long time, and I expect a much better performance from their offense this time around. The Broncos' defense will keep it close, but the Panthers will be poised to get their revenge.


Prediction: Panthers 24, Broncos 17


— Written by Rob McVey, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @Rob_UTVOLS.

Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-week-2-preview

Week 2 doesn't look like a great weekend of college football but the guys break down all of the intigue.


- Why did college football schedule all of the best games this week in the same time slot? Dammit!


- Penn State and Pitt highlight the early slate so why is James Franklin downplaying the game so much?


- There are some interesting conference games in the SEC and ACC for coaches who need wins badly.


- How huge is Arkansas' trip to TCU for both programs and coaching staffs?


- The Battle at Bristol takes center stage at night.


- And late night Pac-12 action should keep fans up as Washington State, Oregon and Cal all play interesting games.


- PICKS AGAINST THE SPREAD: Braden and Mitch will go head-to-head all season long.



1. Mitch: 4-1 (4-1 LW)

2. Braden: 0-5 (0-5 LW)




Check out the Athlon Sports 2016 College Football Rankings No. 1 to 128.


You can order your preseason Athlon Sports college football magazines here with


Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall @AthlonMitch or @DavidFox615 or email [email protected]. The podcast can be found on and our podcast RSS feed.

College Football Podcast: The Week 2 Preview
Post date: Thursday, September 8, 2016 - 08:17
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl-monday-night-football-schedule-2016-tv-kickoff-times

Before power rankings can be set, before fantasy football scores are final, there is Monday Night Football. ESPN closes out the NFL schedule each week with a primetime game (or two) to give you one reason to be excited about Mondays. Check the schedule below to find out who will be taking the field each week and when to tune in.


(All times ET)


Week 1

September 12, 7:10 PM, Steelers @ Redskins [ESPN]

September 12, 10:20 PM, Rams @ 49ers [ESPN]


Week 2

September 19, 8:30 PM, Eagles @ Bears [ESPN]


Week 3

September 26, 8:30 PM, Falcons @ Saints [ESPN]


Week 4

October 3, 8:30 PM, Giants @ Vikings [ESPN]


Week 5

October 10, 8:30 PM, Buccaneers @ Panthers [ESPN]


Week 6

October 17, 8:30 PM, Jets @ Cardinals [ESPN]


Week 7

October 24, 8:30 PM, Texans @ Broncos [ESPN]


Week 8

October 31, 8:30 PM, Vikings @ Bears [ESPN]


Week 9

November 7, 8:30 PM, Bills @ Seahawks [ESPN]


Week 10

November 14, 8:30 PM, Bengals @ Giants [ESPN]


Week 11

November 21, 8:30 PM, Texans @ Raiders [ESPN]


Week 12

November 28, 8:30 PM, Packers @ Eagles [ESPN]


Week 13

December 5, 8:30 PM, Colts @ Jets [ESPN]


Week 14

December 12, 8:30 PM, Ravens @ Patriots [ESPN]


Week 15

December 19, 8:30 PM, Panthers @ Redskins [ESPN]


Week 16

December 26, 8:30 PM, Lions @ Cowboys [ESPN]

Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 16:02
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl-sunday-night-football-schedule-2016-kickoff-tv-times

On any given fall Sunday there are a dozen NFL games going on throughout the afternoon, with fans in different regions tuning in to watch their favorite team. At night, however, the country comes together to watch one game every week on NBC. Check below to see the full lineup of Sunday Night Football games and how to watch them.


(All times ET)


Week 1

September 11, 8:30 PM, Patriots @ Cardinals [NBC]


Week 2

September 18, 8:30 PM, Packers @ Vikings [NBC]


Week 3

September 25, 8:30 PM, Bears @ Cowboys [NBC]


Week 4

October 2, 8:30 PM, Chiefs @ Steelers [NBC]


Week 5

October 9, 8:30 PM, Giants @ Packers [NBC]


Week 6

October 16, 8:30 PM, Colts @ Texans [NBC]


Week 7

October 23, 8:30 PM, Seahawks @ Cardinals [NBC]


Week 8

October 30, 8:30 PM, Eagles @ Cowboys [NBC]


Week 9

November 6, 8:30 PM, Broncos @ Raiders [NBC]


Week 10

November 13, 8:30 PM, Seahawks @ Patriots [NBC]


Week 11

November 20, 8:30 PM, Packers @ Redskins [NBC]


Week 12

November 27, 8:30 PM, Patriots @ Jets [NBC]


Week 13

December 4, 8:30 PM, Panthers @ Seahawks [NBC]


Week 14

December 11, 8:30 PM, Cowboys @ Giants [NBC]


Week 15

December 18, 8:30 PM, Steelers @ Bengals [NBC]


Week 16

December 25, 8:30 PM, Broncos @ Chiefs [NBC]

Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 15:55
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl-thursday-night-football-schedule-kickoff-tv-times-2016

For years, fans were tired of waiting until Sunday each week to get a taste of pro football action. The NFL has responded in recent years by creating a full slate of Thursday Night Football games. These games will be aired on CBS, NBC and NFL Network over the next 16 weeks. In addition, this season Twitter will be streaming 10 games live on Thursday nights, free for fans worldwide. Check the list below to see when your favorite team is playing and how you can watch the game.


(All time ET)

Week 1

September 8, 8:30 PM, Panthers @ Broncos [NBC]


Week 2

September 15, 8:25 PM, Jets @ Bills [CBS/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 3

September 22, 8:25 PM, Texans @ Patriots [CBS/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 4

September 29, 8:25 PM, Dolphins @ Bengals [NFL Network]


Week 5

October 6, 8:25 PM, Cardinals @ 49ers [CBS/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 6

October 13, 8:25 PM, Broncos @ Chargers [CBS/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 7

October 20, 8:25 PM, Bears @ Packers [CBS/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 8

October 27, 8:25 PM, Jaguars @ Titans [NFL Network]


Week 9

November 3, 8:25 PM, Falcons @ Buccaneers [NFL Network]


Week 10

November 10, 8:25 PM, Browns @ Ravens [NFL Network]


Week 11

November 17, 8:25 PM, Saints @ Panthers [NBC/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 12

November 24, 8:30 PM, Steelers @ Colts [NBC]


Week 13

December 1, 8:25 PM, Cowboys @ Vikings [NBC/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 14

December 8, 8:25 PM, Raiders @ Chiefs [NBC/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 15

December 15, 8:25 PM, Rams @ Seahawks [NBC/NFL Network/Twitter]


Week 16

December 22, 8:25 PM, Giants @ Eagles [NBC/NFL Network/Twitter]

Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 15:43
All taxonomy terms: BYU Cougars, College Football, Utah Utes, Pac 12
Path: /college-football/holy-war-interesting-facts-about-byu-vs-utah-college-football-rivalry

Pure entertainment and off-the-charts intensity is what you can expect when BYU and Utah face off on a football field. The Holy War has grown into one of the nation's fiercest rivalries because of a series of memorable plays and dramatic finishes over the years.


Related: Top 5 College Football Games in BYU vs. Utah Rivalry History


The Cougars and the Utes will renew their rivalry in Salt Lake City this weekend after taking a regular season hiatus over the past two seasons. Both teams capped off the 2015 season by meeting in the Las Vegas Bowl — a contest that ended in a 35-28 victory for Utah after the Utes capitalized on five first quarter turnovers to jump out to a 35-0 lead.


Incredible records, fantastic individual performances and unique lore are tied up in the history of one of the nation's most underrated college football rivalries.


False Start?

Counting wins and losses in the Holy War can differ based on your allegiance. BYU and Utah can't agree on the actual overall record of the series. The Utes claim a 58-34-4 lead in the all-time series. The Cougars, on the other hand, claim the series record is 55-31-4 in favor of Utah.


A reason for the discrepancy? Utah counts six games it played against Brigham Young Academy — BYU's original name from 1875-03 — from 1896-98. BYU, on the other hand, only counts games played starting from 1922 — the year the school officially counts as its inaugural football season.


Record-Setting Offensive Performances

In a two-year span, BYU and Utah each set team scoring records in the series. It started in 1988 when the Utes broke a nine-year losing streak in the series by demolishing the Cougars 57-28. Utah forced eight turnovers in the game and set a series record for points scored against BYU. It also was the most lopsided victory over the Cougars at the time, dating back to a 47-13 rout in 1964.


BYU exacted revenge the next season, drubbing Utah 70-31 in 1989. Behind sophomore quarterback Ty Detmer, BYU scored eight touchdowns on its first eight drives and rolled up 750 yards of total offense. The 70 points scored by the Cougars remains the most points a Utah defense has ever given up in a single game.


Ending BYU's Scoring Streak

Under long-time head coach LaVell Edwards, BYU built its college football identity around a prolific offense that scored in bunches. The Cougars set a then NCAA record scoring streak of 361 games that extended from 1975 to 2003. Ironically, the streak came to end against Utah.


Utah, in Urban Meyer's first season as head coach, locked down BYU completely in a 3-0 victory. It marked the 18th time the Utes had shut out the Cougars in series history. BYU generated only 153 yards of total offense. The game's lone score came when Bryan Borreson converted a 41-yard field goal with 4:13 left in the second quarter.


Early Domination

Before Edwards made football relevant at BYU, wins over Utah were a rare phenomenon for the Cougars. From 1896 to 1971, Utah amassed a 41–8–4 (.811) record against BYU. The Utes strung together a 21-game unbeaten streak stretching from 1898 to 1941, shutting out BYU 12 times and allowing just 71 total points. Utah, on the other hand, averaged 25.2 points per contest.


Just being competitive soon became a big deal for the Cougars. In 1953, BYU faced Utah in one of the first college football games broadcast nationwide on television. The Utes held off a late fourth quarter rally to win 33-32. Several BYU players celebrated the close loss by carrying head coach Chick Atkinson off the field after the game.


Wilson's NCAA Record

BYU produced a string of quarterbacks under Edwards that routinely rewrote the NCAA record book during their playing careers. One record, in particular, came at the expense of Utah. Sophomore quarterback Marc Wilson broke a single-game NCAA record (since broken) when he threw for 571 yards in a 38-8 victory over the Utes in 1977.


The only problem? BYU coaches put Wilson back into the game in the final minutes with the game well in hand so he could get the record. He completed three passes, including an eight-yard touchdown pass to John VanDerWouden, to set the record. This move drew the ire of Utah head coach Wayne Howard after the game. The Utes exacted revenge a year later, upsetting BYU 23-22 after rallying from a 16-point halftime deficit.


Final Play Fireworks

One thing that has made the Holy War one of the nation's best rivalries is the sheer amount of the games that have gone down to the wire in recent seasons. Twelve of the last 15 games between BYU and Utah have been decided by a touchdown or less. Incredibly, the game has been decided on the final play four different times in that stretch.


BYU won 33-31 in 2006 when John Beck hit Jonny Harline with an 11-yard TD pass on the final play. The Cougars also won 26-23 in 2009 when Max Hall connected with Andrew George on a 25-yard score in overtime. Utah won 17-16 in 2010 when Brandon Burton blocked a field goal as time expired and the Utes prevailed by a 24-21 score in 2012 when a 36-yard field goal from Riley Stephenson bounced off the upright on the final play.



BYU won 19 of 21 games over Utah from 1972-92. This two-decade domination came to a halt when Utah head coach Ron McBride broke through with three straight wins in the series (1993-95).The first two victories came by identical 34-31 scores.


Utah notched a 34-31 victory in 1993 when kicker Chris Yergensen drilled a 55-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. Yergensen missed two other field goals from 35 and 37 yards earlier before hitting the game winner. The Utes won 34-31 again a year later after a 67-yard kickoff return by Cal Beck set up a game-winning, 20-yard TD pass from current San Diego Chargers head coach Mike McCoy to receiver Charlie Brown.


— Written by John Coon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Coon has more than a decade of experience covering sports for different publications and outlets, including The Associated Press, Salt Lake Tribune, ESPN, Deseret News, MaxPreps, Yahoo! Sports and many others. Follow him on Twitter @johncoonsports.


(Top photo courtesy of Getty Images)

The Holy War: Interesting Facts About the BYU vs. Utah College Football Rivalry
Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 15:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, syndicated, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/nfl-best-lineups-fanduel-and-draftkings-week-1-2016

The NFL has returned and with it so has fantasy football and daily fantasy football. Perhaps you played daily fantasy football (DFS) on FanDuel or DraftKings or on some other site regularly last year, or dabbled in it every now and again. Maybe you won a few weeks in a row, got cocky and decided to roll more money out each week. Only you will know if you won or lost, and unless you lost a lot of money the odds are that you enjoyed playing DFS.


No matter which type of DFS player you were last year, or if you didn’t play at all, I am here to offer my assistance. What I will be doing in this space is sharing my top plays for the week, a few value plays, and most importantly a lineup or two. I will likely be focusing on cash games (50/50 and Double Up) and not GPP (tournaments, multi-player) contests. My Week 1 lineups should work in both formats.


I personally love DFS, but do not invest much time or money in tournaments solely because they are riskier, they tend to lose more, and as much as I love building lineups I found I didn’t have adequate time to invest in the necessary research to routinely win. Nor did I have the money, which is kind of important. Cash games it is for me with a few random tourneys for novelty sake. Many of my lineups will have risk, and that could work well in tournaments as well.


Week 1 Top Plays


This will be my top plays of the week. These are players who I will try to have in as many lineups of mine as possible. If I can I will use all three in one lineup. A reminder that for cash games going with an elite quarterback is typically recommended. This week I am opting not to do this.


QB: Derek Carr, Oakland at New Orleans ($7,700 FanDuel/$7,300 DraftKings)

Carr fell off towards the end of last season, but he has the weapons to do some real damage against the uninspiring Saints defense this week. He comes relatively cheap too for those who won’t spend on Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton.


RB: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota at Tennessee ($8,200 FanDuel/$7,600 DraftKings)

Peterson remains elite, he is healthy and with a new quarterback you can expect a heavy workload from the All-Pro this week. He will produce and should meet value in Week 1


WR: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh at Washington ($9,300 FanDuel/$9,800 DraftKings) (Monday Night Game)

Honestly if you are looking for a reason to not play Brown ever you are wasting your time. Week One and no Le’Veon Bell smells like 10-plus receptions and 100 yards easily. Toss in a TD too, why not?


WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston vs. Chicago ($8,400 FanDuel/$8,800 DraftKings)

Hopkins is another high-end option who can be plugged in to main slate contests. His matchup against an injury-plagued Bears secondary should lead to good numbers.


TE: Coby Fleener, New Orleans vs. Oakland ($5,400 FanDuel/$4,900 DraftKings)

Fleener is with a new team and a productive quarterback who loves throwing to his tight end. Fleener may not be the second coming of Jimmy Graham in his prime, BUT he is capable of coming close and Week 1 we should see heavy usage.


The Lineup(s)


FanDuel (Cash or GPP)

FanDuel NFL Perfect Lineup Picks


DraftKings (GPP)

DraftKings NFL Perfect Lineup Picks


DraftKings (Cash)


— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

NFL Best Lineups for FanDuel and DraftKings (Week 1)
Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 14:00
All taxonomy terms: syndicated, NFL
Path: /nfl/predictions-every-nfl-game-week-1-2016

As entertaining as the first week of the college football was, it’s time for the big men on campus to step aside for the professionals – the NFL is back! After a seven-month hiatus, the 2016 regular season kicks off Thursday night with a Super Bowl rematch between Carolina and Denver.


Related: NFL 2016 Regular and Postseason Predictions


And speaking of the Broncos, starter Trevor Siemian isn’t the only quarterback making his debut, whether it’s for a new team or as a pro. Former Bronco Brock Osweiler makes his first appearance for the Texans against the Bears, while Robert Griffin III will lead Cleveland against No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz and Philadelphia. Elsewhere, the Eagles’ former starter, Sam Bradford, and/or Shaun Hill will look to fill Teddy Bridgewater’s shoes as Minnesota opens on the road against Tennessee. And in Dallas, Dak Prescott gets his first shot as Tony Romo’s injury replacement against the division rival Giants. And let’s not forget about the Jimmy Garoppolo-led Patriots out in the desert against Arizona on Sunday night.


So which teams will come out on top in every NFL game to open the 2016 season? Athlon's own Rob Doster (AthlonDoster), John Gworek (JohnGworek), Steven Lassan (AthlonSteven), and Mark Ross (AthlonMarkR), along with contributor Bryan Fischer (BryanDFischer), predict the winners for every game this week:


NFL Week 1 Predictions












Carolina at

Denver (Thurs.)

Green Bay at


Buffalo at


Chicago at


Cleveland at


Tampa Bay at


Minnesota at


Cincinnati at

NY Jets

Oakland at

New Orleans

San Diego at

Kansas City

Miami at


Detroit at


NY Giants

at Dallas

New England at


Pittsburgh at

Washington (Mon.)

Los Angeles at
San Francisco (Mon.)

Predictions for Every NFL Game in Week 1
Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 13:30
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, 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/predicting-which-team-will-win-every-game-week-2-college-football-2016

College football’s Week 2 slate doesn’t have the marquee matchups that covered the schedule in Week 1, but there are several intriguing games to watch this Saturday. The Week 2 action kicks off on Friday night with two games, as Maryland travels to FIU and Louisville meets Syracuse to open ACC play for both teams. Saturday’s slate is headlined by Virginia Tech and Tennessee meeting at Bristol Motor Speedway, Arkansas visiting TCU, Penn State and Pitt renewing their in-state rivalry, the Holy War rivalry between Utah and BYU, along with an interesting clash of offenses between Boise State and Washington State.  


Which teams will come out on top in every FBS game for Week 2? Bryan Fischer and Jim Weber join Athlon Sports' Steven Lassan and Mitch Light to provide weekly predictions for every contest:


College Football Week 2 Predictions









Maryland at


Louisville at


Rice at


NC State at

East Carolina

Nicholls at


Boston College at


UCF at


Penn State at


Cincinnati at


Howard at


Lamar at


Indiana State at


Wyoming at


C. Michigan at

Oklahoma State

Prairie View at

Texas A&M

Troy at 


C. Southern at

Florida State

Stony Brook at


Youngstown St. at

West Virginia

Utah State at


Georgia State at

Air Force

Ohio at


Mercer at

Georgia Tech

Old Dominion at

Appalachian State

North Dakota at

Bowling Green

Wake Forest at


Kentucky at


Eastern Illinois at

Miami, Ohio

Nevada at 

Notre Dame

Tulsa at

Ohio State

WKU at


SMU at


Illinois State at


Akron at


UConn at


Ball State at


Wofford at

Ole Miss




Colorado State

Portland State at


Idaho at


Idaho State at


Elon at


N. Carolina A&T at

Kent State

FAU at


Morgan State at


Northern Illinois at


Maine at


S.C. State at

La. Tech

McNeese State at

UL Lafayette

South Carolina at

Mississippi State

ULM at


Arkansas at




N.C. Central at

W. Michigan

B. Cookman at

North Texas

Savannah State at

Southern Miss

Ga. Southern at

South Alabama

Arkansas State at


North Carolina at


Iowa State at


Jacksonville St. at


E. Michigan at


BYU at


Va. Tech vs.





Southern at


New Mexico at


Texas Tech at

Arizona State

Sacramento St. at

Fresno State

Washington St. at

Boise State

Virginia at


California at

San Diego State

Grambling at


UT Martin at



Predicting Which Team Will Win Every Game Week 2 in College Football
Post date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 13:15