Articles By Athlon Sports

Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-john-caliparis-top-20-freshmen
Body:

Even since his first season as a college head coach at UMass, John Calipari has thrived with freshmen. That season in 1988-89, Calipari had a rookie Jim McCoy, who averaged 19.8 points per game.

That freshman and that team didn’t resemble the recruiting empire Calipari built at Memphis and Kentucky where a glut of talented freshmen sign with Cal, win a ton of college games in one year and then go on to be NBA Draft picks.

No, McCoy put up big numbers but went 10-18 at UMass as a freshman. He’s certainly one of Calipari’s best freshmen, but he’ll have trouble landing in the top 10 from recent years.

Sorting through Anthony Davis, Derrick Rose, John Wall and more is a tall task, but we tried to tackle it here with Calipari’s top 20 freshmen.

We included three freshmen from this season’s team, but this early in the season, their grade is incomplete. We anticipate one or all three to make a move up this list, but for now, this elite group of rookies is tough one to crack.

JOHN CALIPARI’S TOP 20 FRESHMEN

Anthony Davis

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Season: 2011-12
Davis didn’t simply have one of the best freshman seasons in college basketball history -- he had one of the best seasons of any player. If there was an award to be won or honor to receive, Davis earned it. He was the consensus national player of the year, a unanimous All-American, the national defensive player of the year and the Final Four Most Outstanding Player. After leading Kentucky to its eighth national title and first championship since 1998, Davis was the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. The only other players to win the Naismith Award, the Final Four MOP and then be selected first overall in the draft all the in the same season were Kansas’ Danny Manning and. UCLA’s Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. With a 7-foot-four wingspan, Davis was a defensive force, setting an NCAA freshman record and Kentucky record with 186 blocks.

2. Derrick Rose, Memphis
Season: 2007-08
Hard to believe as it is, Rose wasn’t the most decorated player on his own team as a freshman. That distinction went to All-American and Conference USA player of the year Chris Douglas-Roberts. Rose belongs on this list, though, as the point guard of a team that played for a national title before falling 75-68 in overtime to Kansas. Rose averaged 20.8 points, 6.5 rebounds and 6 assists per game in the NCAA tournament, but his missed free throws late in regulation of the title game sealed Memphis’ fate. Months later, Rose was the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.

3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky
Season: 2011-12
It’s never bad when the team’s most competitive player and glue guy happens to also be the No. 2 player in the NBA Draft (behind only teammate Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick). Kidd-Gilchrist’s intangibles were second-to-none, a trait that was absent on some of Calipari’s most talented teams. Kidd-Gilchrist averaged 11.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, earning Most Outstanding Player honors for the East regional as the Wildcats reached the Final Four and eventually won the national title.

John Wall

4. John Wall, Kentucky
Season:
2009-10
Calipari started at Kentucky the same way he finished his time at Memphis – with an elite one-and-done point guard. Wall followed in the footsteps of Rose and Tyreke Evans at Memphis and preceded Brandon Knight and Marquis Teague at Kentucky. In leading Kentucky to a 35-3 season, Wall was the National Freshman of the Year and the Associated Press and coaches’ pick for SEC Player of the Year (Oddly enough, teammate DeMarcus Cousins was the coaches’ pick for SEC freshman of the year). Wall was blocked for most national player of the year awards by Ohio State’s Evan Turner, but Wall did earn the Adolph Rupp Trophy. Go figure.

5. Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Season:
2010-11
Knight was a McDonald’s All-American, but his arrival wasn’t as heralded as John Wall’s to Kentucky or Derrick Rose’s to Memphis. Still, he brought similar results. Knight wasn’t a collegiate All-American like Wall, but he took Kentucky deeper into the NCAA Tournament for the Wildcats first Final Four appearance since 1998.

6. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Season: 2012-13
Before his devastating knee injury against Florida, Noel was having an award-worthy season even if his team paled in comparison to recent Calipari squads. When he did play, Noel was offensively limited but few were better on the defensive end of the floor. He could have challenged Davis’ blocked shots numbers and was a leading candidate for national defensive player and freshman of the year honors. The flat-topped center finished his season averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game.


7. Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Season: 2008-09
After Calipari moved him to point guard, Evans had the unenviable task of stepping in for Rose, who had just led Memphis to the national championship game. Evans was a stat-sheet stuffer from the start with 17.1 points per game, 5.4 rebounds and 3.9 assists in his single season at Memphis.

8. Dajuan Wagner, Memphis
Season:
2001-02
Before the deluge of one-and-dones followed Calipari to Memphis and Kentucky, he had Wagner with the Tigers. He averaged 42 points per game in high school before landing in Memphis, where he averaged 21.2 points for the Tigers. Calipari revoked Wagner’s sophomore scholarship to persuade him to enter the NBA Draft, where he became the No. 6 pick. However, health and injury issues derailed his promising career.

9. DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Season:
2009-10
What could Cousins’ ceiling be if he were able to tackle his maturity issues? Kentucky fans may ask the same thing. He was dominant in his single season alongside Wall in 2009-10, averaging 15.1 points and 9.8 rebounds. His talent was undeniable, but so was his tendency to sulk on the sideline. Cousins and Wall went 35-3 in during the regular season before falling in the Elite Eight to West Virginia.

10. Marcus Camby, UMass
Season: 1993-94
Camby would go on to bigger things as a junior when UMass reached the Final Four and earning National Player of the Year honors, but his rookie season in Amherst wasn’t too shabby. Despite starting only 12 games, Camby was the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year after averaging 10.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.6 blocks per game.

Terrence Jones

Others of note:
11. Terrence Jones, Kentucky (2010-11)
12. Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky (2009-10)
13. Sean Banks, Memphis (2003-04)
14. Jim McCoy, UMass (1988-89)
15. Marquis Teague, Kentucky (2011-12)
16. Darius Washington Jr., Memphis (2004-05)
17. Will Herndon, UMass (1989-90)
18. Doron Lamb, Kentucky (2010-11)
19. Alex Poythress, Kentucky (2012-13)
20. Archie Goodwin, Kentucky (2012-13)

Teaser:
<p> College basketball: John Calipari's top 20 freshmen</p>
Post date: Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 05:25
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-14
Body:
The top two teams are set.
 
After a thrilling victory over Georgia in the SEC championship game, Alabama finished the regular season as the No. 1 team in the Legends Poll.
 
Notre Dame remained No. 2 in the rankings and has earned the right to play the Crimson Tide in the BCS title game in Miami.
 
“That was on heck of a football game,” former Georgia coach Vince Dooley said of the SEC championship game. “Alabama and Georgia are two outstanding football teams. I think either of those teams could beat Notre Dame, and I just think Alabama is a better football team.”
 
Oregon finished the regular season at No. 3. And despite losing the head-to-head battle earlier in the season, No. 4 Florida moved one spot ahead of Georgia. The Bulldogs fell two spots after the SEC championship defeat.
 
No. 6 Kansas State prevailed over Texas, finishing its magical run and guaranteeing a BCS bowl bid.
 
No. 7 LSU slid one spot, followed by Pac-12 champion Stanford at No. 8. Texas A&M and South Carolina rounded out the top 10.
 
ACC champ Florida State finished the season at No. 12, one spot ahead of Clemson. In a surprising turn, the Seminoles will face MAC champion, No. 18 Northern Illinois in the Discover Orange Bowl.
 
Big East champion Louisville instead will face fourth-ranked Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl after finishing No. 15 in the rankings.
 
No. 19 Wisconsin vaulted back into the Legends Poll top 25 after an emphatic victory over Nebraska. The Cornhuskers fell 11 spots to No. 24.
 
Big 12 members Oklahoma State and TCU fell out of the top 25, finishing the season outside of the rankings.
 

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

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

 
RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 AlabamaAlabama (7) 11-1 414 2
2 Notre DameNotre Dame (10) 12-0 413 1
3 GeorgiaGeorgia 11-1 394 3
4 OregonOregon 11-1 371 4
5 FloridaFlorida 11-1 356 8
6 LSULSU 10-2 325 6
7 Kansas StateKansas State 10-1 323 5
8 Texas A&MTexas A&M 10-2 317 9
9 StanfordStanford 10-2 293 11
10 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 10-2 277 12
11 OklahomaOklahoma 9-2 243 14
12 Florida StateFlorida State 10-2 231 7
13 NebraskaNebraska 10-2 220 15
14 ClemsonClemson 10-2 211 10
15 UCLAUCLA 9-3 183 13
16 Oregon StateOregon State 8-3 154 16
17 LouisvilleLouisville 9-2 100 17
18 Oklahoma StateOklahoma State 7-4 98 21
19 Boise StateBoise State 9-2 88 22
20 MichiganMichigan 8-4 75 20
21 TCUTCU 7-4 67 -
22 Utah StateUtah State 10-2 54 25
23 Northern IllinoisNorthern Illinois 11-1 54 -
24 Kent StateKent State 11-1 43 -
25 VanderbiltVanderbilt 8-4 42 -
 
 
Others Receiving Votes: Northwestern 37, Texas 34, Rutgers 27, USC 16, San Jose State 14, Mississippi State 9, North Carolina 7, Baylor 7, San Diego State 6, Connecticut 6, Cincinnati 5, Arizona State 4, Ole Miss 3, Louisiana Tech 3, Fresno State 1
 
Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll: Texas, Rutgers, Mississippi State, Washington
 
* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward. You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.
Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 04:55
All taxonomy terms: Kansas City Chiefs, NFL
Path: /nfl/kc-police-chiefs-player-commits-suicide
Body:

Javon Belcher

Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed himself Saturday morning at the team's facility, moments after allegedly killing his girlfriend.

Belcher was 25 years old.

According to Kansas City police, Belcher shot his girlfriend multiple times after the two had been engaged in an argument at home. She was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.

Minutes after the first shooting, police said Belcher drove to the Chiefs' training facility at Arrowhead Stadium and spoke with team personnel, including head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli, before taking his own life with a gunshot.

"When officers arrived (at Arrowhead Stadium), they observed a black male who had a gun to his head and he was talking to a couple of coaches out in the parking lot," police spokesman Darrin Snapp told reporters outside Arrowhead Stadium. "As officers pulled up and began to park, that's when they heard the gunshot and it appears the individual took his own life."

A report from the Kansas City Star said Belcher and his girlfriend had a daughter, who was only a few months old.

"The entire Chiefs family is deeply saddened by today's events, and our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affected by this unthinkable tragedy," said Chiefs owner Clark Hunt in a statement. "We sincerely appreciate the expressions of sympathy and support we have received from so many in the Kansas City and NFL communities, and ask for continued prayers for the loved ones of those impacted."

Belcher was in his fourth year with the Chiefs after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Maine. He started 10 of the 11 games he had played this season, registered 38 tackles.

The Chiefs will play Carolina on Sunday at Arrowhead and the game will go on as scheduled.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Chiefs and the families and friends of those who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy," the NFL said in a statement. "We have connected the Chiefs with our national team of professional counselors to support both the team and the families of those affected. We will continue to provide assistance in any way that we can."

Teaser:
<p> Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher killed himself Saturday morning at the team's facility, moments after allegedly killing his girlfriend.</p>
Post date: Saturday, December 1, 2012 - 20:00
Path: /nfl/5-terrible-nfl-teams-most-likely-get-no-1-draft-pick
Body:

A year ago at this time being the worst team in the NFL didn’t seem like such a horrible thing. Waiting for the ultimate loser (and the runner up) were two potential franchise quarterbacks for the ages.

In other words, how could you cry about a terrible season if the net result was a decade or more with Robert Griffin III or Andrew Luck?
 
There is not the same excitement over West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith or even USC quarterback Matt Barkley, the two franchise-types sitting at the top of—or near the top of—most projections for the 2013 draft. But that doesn’t mean they couldn’t help transform a downtrodden franchise, or that there aren’t other prizes awaiting the top losers in the NFL.
 
So there are reasons for hope for these five terrible NFL teams who are jockeying for that No. 1 position. Here’s a look at their chances to land the top spot, and an extremely early look at who they might take.
 
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-10)
They have to be the odds-on favorite, especially since they haven’t topped 20 points in a game since Week 4 and they’ve scored 10 points or fewer in four of their last seven games. Their remaining schedule isn’t that bad (vs. Carolina, at Cleveland, at Oakland, vs. Indianapolis and at Denver in a game that might not mean much to the Broncos). But at this point, the Chiefs look like everyone’s bye week. It’s hard to see how they’ll get more than one win.
 
They are averaging 14.6 points per game and have the NFL’s 29th-ranked passing attack despite a strong rushing game (145.6 yards per game) and the presence of receiver Dwayne Bowe. If that doesn’t signal a strong need for a quarterback, I don’t know what does. So if they get the No. 1 pick, you can lock in Geno Smith or Matt Barkley to replace the much-maligned Matt Cassel in 2013.
 
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-9)
The switch to Chad Henne at quarterback won’t be enough to save the Jags’ season, but it should be enough to drop them farther than they deserve in the NFL draft. Two weeks ago he threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns in a near upset of the mighty Houston Texans, and last week he guided them passed the Tennessee Titans for their first win.
 
Oddly they next play four straight games against AFC East opponents, but the only seemingly unwinnable one is the one at home against the Patriots on Dec. 23. It’s not unreasonable, behind Henne, to see the Jags picking up another two to three wins.
 
That’s too bad, because unless you’re a believer in Blaine Gabbert, it seems clear they need a quarterback like Barkley or Smith. Instead, they might be forced to go defense with a player like Georgia LB/DE Jarvis Jones or something more local, like Florida State DE Bjoern Werner.
 
CLEVELAND BROWNS (3-8)
The Browns have actually shown some spunk this season. They’ve won two of their last four and been in every game this season, including a 41-27 loss to the Giants that wasn’t nearly as lopsided as it looked. Brandon Weeden has been decent at quarterback and running back Trent Richardson looks like a future star.
 
While they are facing an offseason overhaul, including possibly a coaching change, the future looks somewhat bright and it’s hard to imagine them losing enough to get the No. 1 pick. If it wasn’t for the fact that they finish with three teams in contention – the Redskins, Broncos and Steelers – they might even get out of the Top 5.
 
If they’re in it, though, they may get pressure to take Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o. But a dominant pass rusher, like Jones or Werner, would make more sense for a team that has no one with more than three sacks.
 
OAKLAND RAIDERS (3-8)
So much for the Raiders’ latest big breakthrough season. They seem to have at least a short-term quarterback in Carson Palmer, but they can’t run anymore, their offensive line is struggling and they definitely can’t stop anybody on defense. They catch a break with three straight home games coming up, including one each against the Browns and Chiefs, but they still seem headed for a Top 5 pick in yet another draft.
 
Thanks to their schedule they won’t have to make the decision on drafting yet another franchise quarterback. They would be wise, instead, to look to the trenches. They can draft an anchor tackle in Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel or they could draft Utah NT Star Lotulelei to be an anchor in the middle of their defensive line.
 
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (3-8)
It is intriguing for many, many reasons that the Eagles are sitting within striking distance of one of the top picks in the NFL draft. For one thing, they are not without talent. It’s just that their “Dream Team” never meshed and Michael Vick quickly went from a near-MVP to a turnover machine.
 
Now they are an injury plagued mess that can’t score, can’t hold onto the ball, and are starting to feel like a Dead Team Walking with Andy Reid making cuts (see Jason Babin) before he possibly eventually takes the ultimate cut himself. Add in a remaining schedule that includes the Bengals, Bucs and all three NFC East opponents and it’s possible the Eagles could go from 3-8 to 3-13 pretty fast.
 
If so, a new regime might be making their pick for them in the Top 5, but they’d have to strongly consider Barkley if his shoulder is OK and if he’s there when the Eagles select. The NFC East is loaded with marquee quarterbacks – Eli Manning, Robert Griffin III, Tony Romo – and as of right now Nick Foles doesn’t look like a candidate to ever join that group.
 
Scouts are split on how good Barkley can be, but the Eagles might have to roll the dice and hope he really is a franchise quarterback. They have a lot of needs, but in their division if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a chance.
 
—By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> Sometimes good things happen to bad teams</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: Golf
Path: /golf/usga-ra-propose-anchoring-ban
Body:

Far Hills, NJ (Sports Network) - The United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced on Wednesday a proposal to ban anchored strokes.

At the core of the issue are long putters and belly putters, which have been used by three of the past five major champions.

Under Wednesday's proposal, long putters and belly putters would not be banned, just the act of anchoring any club against a player's body during a shot.

Golf's ruling bodies noted that they will take comments from the golf industry over the next three months, with an expected final decision to come in spring 2013. If the proposal is upheld, the ban will go into effect with the next official update of the Rules of Golf in 2016.

"Throughout the 600-year history of golf, the essence of playing the game has been to grip the club with the hands and swing it freely at the ball," said USGA executive director Mike Davis. "The player's challenge is to control the movement of the entire club in striking the ball, and anchoring the club alters the nature of that challenge. Our conclusion is that the Rules of Golf should be amended to preserve the traditional character of the golf swing by eliminating the growing practice of anchoring the club."

Long putters and belly putters have been around for several decades, but their use has noticeably increased in recent years, prompting Wednesday's proposal.

"Anchored strokes have very rapidly become the preferred option for a growing number of players and this has caused us to review these strokes and their impact on the game," said R&A's chief executive Peter Dawson.

Here is the proposed change, which will be listed under Rule 14-1b:

"In making a stroke, the player must not anchor the club, either 'directly' or by use of an 'anchor point.'

"Note 1: The club is anchored 'directly' when the player intentionally holds the club or a gripping hand in contact with any part of his body, except that the player may hold the club or a gripping hand against a hand or forearm.

"Note 2: An 'anchor point' exists when the player intentionally holds a forearm in contact with any part of his body to establish a gripping hand as a stable point around which the other hand may swing the club."

While the change will not alter current equipment regulations, it will prohibit an integral part of the belly putter stroke -- anchoring.

Last year, Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship, becoming the first major champion to use a belly putter. Webb Simpson used the club to capture the U.S. Open title in June and Ernie Els anchored his way to a British Open victory in July.

Bradley has been openly opposed to the rumored proposal, but he relented somewhat on Tuesday at the 14th annual World Challenge.

"You know, I'm not -- obviously not happy with the ruling, but I respect the USGA, and especially Mike Davis," said Bradley. "They make the rules, and I'll adjust appropriately. But I'm going to accept the challenge and hopefully do well when they do ban it."

Also on Tuesday, Simpson stated that he has been practicing with a short putter for "a couple years" in anticipation of a rules change.

Tiger Woods, the host of this week's World Challenge, is a proponent of the anchoring ban.

"I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves and having it as a fixed point, as I was saying all year, is something that's not in the traditions of the game," Woods said on Tuesday. "We swing all other 13 clubs. I think the putter should be the same. It should be a swinging motion throughout the entire bag."

Some of the game's organizations weighed in on Wednesday's ruling; generally taking a respectful wait-and-see approach.

Here are some excerpts:

PGA Tour:

"As with any rule change, we will go through our normal process of evaluating the potential impact this will have to all our constituents. It will be discussed at our next annual player meeting on January 22 in San Diego, and it is anticipated that it will be reviewed by our Policy Board during its March meeting. During this review process, we will provide periodic updates to our stakeholders."

PGA of America President Ted Bishop:

"The PGA has long supported the USGA in its role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment. We have representation on the Rules of Golf Committee and we have tremendous respect for the USGA in regard to their critical role in writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf. As our mission is to grow the game, on behalf of our 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals, we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game."

LPGA Chief Communications Officer Kraig Kann:

"The LPGA has consistently conducted our official events in accordance with the Rules of Golf as defined by the USGA and the R&A. We certainly respect golf's governing bodies and their long standing desire to protect and promote the best interests of the game. The proposed new Rule 14-1b prohibiting 'anchoring the club' in making a stroke is not yet final and the LPGA will wait with interest while the USGA and R&A consider further comments and suggestions from the golf community. In the meantime, we will continue to discuss this proposed change with our players and provide our input and thoughts directly to the USGA and R&A."

Like Simpson, many golfers -- from those in the professional ranks, to weekend enthusiasts, will be forced to reevaluate their putting strokes following Wednesday's landmark announcement.

Teaser:
The United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club announced on Wednesday a proposal to ban anchored strokes.
Post date: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - 23:00
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-player-survey-record
Body:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Teaser:
<p> World No. 1 Rory McIlroy closed his season in style as he birdied the final five holes to come from behind and win on Sunday in Dubai and that helped him increase his lead in this week's world rankings.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 11:59
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-13
Body:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 AlabamaAlabama (7) 11-1 414 2
2 Notre DameNotre Dame (10) 12-0 413 1
3 GeorgiaGeorgia 11-1 394 3
4 OregonOregon 11-1 371 4
5 FloridaFlorida 11-1 356 8
6 LSULSU 10-2 325 6
7 Kansas StateKansas State 10-1 323 5
8 Texas A&MTexas A&M 10-2 317 9
9 StanfordStanford 10-2 293 11
10 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 10-2 277 12
11 OklahomaOklahoma 9-2 243 14
12 Florida StateFlorida State 10-2 231 7
13 NebraskaNebraska 10-2 220 15
14 ClemsonClemson 10-2 211 10
15 UCLAUCLA 9-3 183 13
16 Oregon StateOregon State 8-3 154 16
17 LouisvilleLouisville 9-2 100 17
18 Oklahoma StateOklahoma State 7-4 98 21
19 Boise StateBoise State 9-2 88 22
20 MichiganMichigan 8-4 75 20
21 TCUTCU 7-4 67 -
22 Utah StateUtah State 10-2 54 25
23 Northern IllinoisNorthern Illinois 11-1 54 -
24 Kent StateKent State 11-1 43 -
25 VanderbiltVanderbilt 8-4 42 -
 
Others Receiving Votes: Northwestern 37, Texas 34, Rutgers 27, USC 16, San Jose State 14, Mississippi State 9, North Carolina 7, Baylor 7, San Diego State 6, Connecticut 6, Cincinnati 5, Arizona State 4, Ole Miss 3, Louisiana Tech 3, Fresno State 1
 
Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll: Texas, Rutgers, Mississippi State, Washington
 
* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward. You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.
Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Overtime
Path: /college-football/what-fired-gene-chiziks-next-book-should-be-called
Body:

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

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

Teaser:
<p> We created the next book jacket for Auburn's former coach.</p>
Post date: Monday, November 26, 2012 - 04:50
All taxonomy terms: Monthly
Path: /monthly/which-former-athlete-made-most-successful-transition-pop-culture
Body:

Which former athlete made the most successful transition into pop culture? My husband says former Rams defensive lineman Merlin Olsen (“Little House On The Prairie,” etc.), but I vote for Chuck Connors, who played pro basketball and baseball before turning to acting (“The Rifleman,” etc.). What do you think? 

— Rhona Crixdale, The Bronx, N.Y.
 
Interesting question, Rhona. No doubt that many athletes crave attention after their playing days and make the transition into entertainment or other facets of pop culture. The two you mention are prime examples. But if you define the term “athlete” broadly, then there’s an obvious answer: Arnold Schwarzenegger. The four-time Mr. Universe and International Powerlifting Champion from Austria went on to become the greatest action hero of his — or possibly any — generation before becoming governor of the most powerful state in the union. Schwarzenegger’s signature role as the Terminator produced a quote — “I’ll be back” — that has embedded itself in popular culture. 
Teaser:
<p> Which former athlete made the most successful transition into pop culture?&nbsp;</p>
Post date: Saturday, November 24, 2012 - 14:30
All taxonomy terms: NFL, MLB, Monthly, Overtime, News
Path: /overtime/2012-holiday-gift-guide-sports-fans
Body:

Are you looking for the perfect and unusual gift for the sports fan in your life? Welcome. You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

STOP ROOTING, START OWNING
Thanks to oneshare.com, you can actually give someone a framed share of real stock in a host of different companies. In the sports world, those companies include Churchill Downs, Callaway Golf, Manchester United and more. Talk about rooting…with interest!

Price: About $100
Found at: www.oneshare.com

 

A BIG GIFT: A MINI STADIUM
Bring the house in the house! These mini stadiums (approx. 7” x 6”) from the Danbury Mint are expertly crafted down the very last detail. Available for a host of pro and college stadiums, they’re a wonderful collectible for the fan who wants a game day stadium experience, everyday. Talk about a home field advantage.

Price: $75-$199
Found at: www.danburymint.com

 

FOOTBALL, BY THE YARD
Some people want a tree on their lawn. Others want a defensive lineman. These giant inflatables football players (5-8 feet tall) come in two styles (lineman and TD scorer) and you can choose from NFL teams, many colleges and even college mascots. It’s a great way to show the world who rules in your house. At least on fall weekends.

Price: $90-$130
Found at: amazon.com


THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF SPEED
Imagine giving someone the chance to enjoy the thrills and excitement of racing at the Richard Petty Driving experience. Available at 22 different tracks, attendees can choose to ride shotgun for a series of laps, or actually get behind the wheel and show off their skills. They’ll be so excited, they’ll be running in circles. Well, ovals.

Price: Ride-Alongs, $99-$159, Driving: $449-$3,499
Found at: www.drivepetty.com

 

TOAST YOUR TEAM
Talk about getting burned. This 2-slice retro-style toaster from Pangea Brands leaves the mark of your favorite team's emblem on one side of white bread, wheat bread, even waffles. Available for most NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL teams, it's a great way to for someone to show their support. At least until lunch.
 
Price: $39.00
 

 

WEAR YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE, LITERALLY
These sterling silver cufflinks are made from material salvaged from old baseball stadium seats, classic college basketball courts and more. From Fenway Park to the University of Kentucky to Ebbets Field, this is a one of a kind gift. Well actually, two.

Price: $160-$200
Found at: www.uncommongood.com 

 

NOT EVERY BASEBALL SHOULD BE CRUSHED
This beautiful Steuben glass crystal baseball celebrates the national pastime in style. It’s a very special gift for the baseball fan in your life and would be perfect suited for a desk, or a mantle. Catch in the yard? Not so much.

Price: $600
Found at: www.lbgreen.com

 

THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A HOCKEY FAN, OR JASON
At Masks from the Past, you’ll find exact fiberglass recreations of famous NHL goalie masks. From a replica of JacquePlante’s first ever mask, to Gerry Cheevers’ scarred beauty from the 70s, the hockey fan in your life will love having a remembrance of days gone by. Shoot. Score.

Price: $200-$500
Found at: www.hockeymasks.com

 

GOING, GOING, GONE
Want to give someone a chance to show their allegiance to the bitter end? These MLB decorated caskets are velvet inside and have a half couch design with a matching pillow and throw, too. You can even have ashes placed in a MLB urn and then in a cremation casket. Either way, you’re outta here!

Price: Approx. $1,400-$2800
Found at: www.memorials.com/sport-caskets.php

 

YOU CAN’T SPELL “NICE” WITHOUT “ICE”
Turn the backyard into a winter wonderland with this do-it-yourself ice rink. The Rink-In-A-Box package from NiceRink provides everything anyone needs for a little slice of ice heaven—liner, support brackets, resurfacer, nets--the whole thing. Put it down. Freeze ‘er up. Triple axle here we come!

Price: $350-$800
Found at: www.nicerink.com

 

“AND NOW, ENTERING THE RING: YOU”
It’s the perfect gift for the kid in all of us: pro wrestling title belts. Choose from a variety of shapes, sizes and titles. You can even have a name engraved on the removable plate. So why not give the gift that keeps on giving…body slams, that is. NOTE: folding chair and brass knuckles not included.

Price: $320-$420
Found at: shop.wwe.com
 

 
EARS ARE MADE FOR LISTENING, NOT SWEATING
Here’s a great gift for someone who loves sweatin’ to the oldies (newies, too). The UltraFit 3000 earbuds are not only designed for greater stability, but the unique Moisture shield technology ensures sound remains at its very best. After all, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is not meant to be heard wet.
Price: $99
 
 
 
BE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT
For the fan wanting a great view no matter where they’re sitting, the Pentax 62555 might be just the ticket. These high-powered binoculars offer a bright image and reduced reflection and work well in extreme weather conditions. Big game in a December freeze? No problem. Big game in a July downpour? Did we mention they’re waterproof?

Price: $299.00
Found at: www.amazon.com
 
 
A DEVIL OF A GOOD TIME
For you cold-weather tailgating fans, there’s nothing better than the warming effect of a great whiskey. Thankfully Jim Beam has brought forth three new taste sensations—Devil’s Cut Bourbon (a premium 90-proof whiskey packed with a flavorful punch, $23.99); Red Stag Spiced (a sweet, warm whiskey with hints of cinnamon, $17.99); and Knob Creek Rye (an aged, 100-proof whiskey that finishes with a lingering spiciness, $40.99). Game on!

Price: $17.99-$23.99-$40.99
Found at: www.jimbeam.com (Must be 21 or over)

 
 
A STOOL-EN BASE
These unique stools are made from game day bases used by many MLB teams, including the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox, Dodgers and Mets. It’s the perfect gift for the baseball lover in your life, who can slide into memorabilia. And sit on it, too.

Price: $950
Found at: www.uncommongoods.com


THE SPORTS VACATION OF YOUR DREAMS
At Sports Traveler, you can plan a trip to the sporting event of your choice...anywhere in the world. From pro football to international tennis to the Olympics and more, you can give someone a gift card to help them arrange their dream sports trip. Ready, set, go!

Price: Gift cards start at $100
Found at: www.sportstraveler.net
 
 
KICK BACK WITH YOUR FAVORITE TEAM
Nothing says “I love you, team” like an NFL recliner. Made from a sturdy hardwood frame, each chair is decorated in theteam’s main color and features their name and logo. Even better, when they score and the beer and salsa go flying, the microfiber makes it easily cleanable with soap and water.

Price: $649
Found at: www.nflshop.com
 
A SLICE OF GOLF HEAVEN, MINUS THE SLICE
Custom-built irons from SCOR are uniquely designed from shaft to head guaranteeing a better short game. In fact, they’re so sure they’ll help, they promise that if you’re not happy, they’ll buy you a wedge you think you like better. Need more accuracy from fairway to green? Think SCOR? Need more accuracy from tee to green? Maybe they should consider tennis.

Price: Approx. $150 each. Set of 5 for $640
Found at: www.scorgolf.com
 
 
“IT’S A GROUND BALL…OZZIE SMITH TO YOU.”
Wouldn’t it be fun to give someone the chance to play baseball with some of the all-time greats? Baseball fantasy camps offer fans a chance to play the game they love alongside some of the most memorable players on their favorite team. The good news: more than 20 MLB teams offer a fantasy camp (see the link below). The bad news: somebody you know just might get struck out by a 70-year-old.

Price: $4,000-$5,000
Found at: www.baseballfantasycampdirectory.com
 
 
BOBBLE THEIR HEAD
These 7” tall bobbleheads can be personalized for that special someone. Just upload a photo, and rockbobble will create a custom-ordered hoops player. They’ll even send you photos along the way to ensure it’s looking exactly the way you want. Will they like this gift? The head says yes!

Price: $79
Found at: www.rockbobble.com
 
 
DOWN THE HATCH
Four bourbon recipes have been expertly selected by the Master Distiller at the peak of maturation to create a perfectly balanced small batch bourbon that offers a mellow symphony of rich, spicy flavors along with sweet, fruity aromas and hints of sweet oak and caramel. At least that's what Four Roses says about its Small Batch. All we know is that it tastes incredible, goes down sma-oooth and had us cheering even when our team was getting clobbered. 
 
Price: $25.99
Found at: www.fourroses.us (Must be 21 or over)
 
Teaser:
<p> Here's what every sports fan needs under their Christmas tree</p>
Post date: Friday, November 23, 2012 - 05:53
Path: /nascar/backseat-drivers-fan-council-36
Body:

The racing is over. All that remains is for NASCAR to get together in Las Vegas next week, dole out some money and party. Before the banquet arrives, members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council take a look back at the sport’s TV coverage this season and the racing, while looking ahead to 2013. Here is what they had to say:


Grade the TV coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season by FOX, TNT, Speed and ESPN/ABC

48.1 percent said Good
31.1 percent said Fair
12.6 percent said Poor
8.2 percent said Great

What Fan Council members said:
• ESPN had one of the best with their side-by-side halfway through the races of the Chase. This should be done for all races so we do not miss any action. And this should be in place for the ENTIRE Daytona 500! The most important race should be seen in its entirety. All networks could improve on their pre-race show except for FOX; FOX keeps it short and sweet and that is what it should be.

• This season was the first time that I actually changed the channel during a race or left the house completely. I always used to look forward to the TNT races, but even they dropped the ball this year. I seriously hope the 2013 season is better. The broadcasters need to stop "phoning it in" and actually listen to the fans and fix their coverage.

• Oh don't get me started! FOX might have good camera coverage, but I cannot stand the booth. TNT was just outright awful. SPEED has the most offerings, but they killed “Trackside” and “RaceDay” by making them way too silly. I love their programming, I just think sometimes it looks one step above cable access.

• It's nice to have the three TV crews covering the races because it’s a variety and they all do very good in their own way. I REALLY enjoy SPEED's pre-race and post-race coverage. I sure hope when they re-brand SPEED to FOX Sports they don't take away my NASCAR shows, including “Race Hub.’’

• Still a lot of room for improvement. Side-by-Side coverage = A+

• There's no better team than Bestwick, Jarrett and Petree. There's the gold standard right there. Mike Joy is another gem but the rest of the circus at FOX and SPEED are little more than a traveling carnival show, especially “Trackside,” which is no longer watchable. Oh yeah, TNT does broadcast a few races, but does anyone even recall them? Too little time on the schedule to be noticed or remembered.

• I said “good,” but in my opinion, it was borderline great. FOX is absolutely the best followed by ESPN/ABC. In Chris Myers' book, he explains that NASCAR really did listen to the fans when it came to TV programming. I've been a fan over 20 years, and I love the improvements the TV stations have done: more cameras, better announcers and most importantly the ability to listen to the drivers/crew chiefs/spotters radio communication. Mike Joy and Allen Bestwick are the best in the business! I also love the SpEED Channel and the pre- and post-race shows.

• “Great” for FOX because no matter how long the race goes over, they talk to the competitors. If it is short, then they go that much further to talk to others — not TNT or ESPN/ABC. They can have 15-30 minutes extra time and they'll go to some other stupid program.


Grade the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season

57.9 percent said Good
21.9 percent said Fair
16.8 percent said Great
3.4 percent said Poor

What Fan Council members said:
• This was a great season is so many ways. Having Brad win the championship was refreshing to see. What a great interview he gave on ESPN. He was real. Seeing Dale Jr. finally make it into Victory Lane in the Batmobile was awesome. Being in Victory Lane to celebrate with the No. 88 team was a thrill of a lifetime for me. Watching MWR teams do so well did a lot for the sport, too. Quite surprising to see Carl Edwards and Kyle Bush miss the Chase and Jeff Gordon just squeaking in. It was refreshing to see some emotions between drivers come to light this season. All in all, I enjoyed this season and am looking forward to the 2013 season.

• I have only been a fan since 200, but since then I have watched every race and have gone to at least one race a year. All I have to say is NASCAR has a serious problem on its hands, as this was the most boring season in memory. Do I have a solution to this problem? No. But something must be fixed.

• There were some good moments, but this year just did not seem to have the same buzz as last year. I enjoyed the Nationwide and Truck series races more this year.

• Flashes of brilliance followed by long stretches of zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ...

• Lots of drama, intensity, at times great racing, and there was always something new going on. I’m going to have withdrawals for the next few weeks.

• All in all, I would say this season has been good. I was almost leaning toward a “great,” because we got a new champion, but there were too many snoozer races to say it was great.

• Anyone who says anything less than great, must not remember Daytona, Watkins Glen, ‘Dega, Phoenix, among other great races, this year. Loved it and I hope next year is even better.

• I'm glad to see Keselowski as the champ. I'm glad to see Dale Jr. back in Victory Lane. But when I look back over the season, I don't have as many lasting images as I have from years past. There never seemed to be that "defining moment" of 2012. Maybe it's just me.


Grade Sunday’s Cup race at Homestead

53.1 percent said Good
26.9 percent said Fair
16.0 percent said Great
4.1 percent said Poor

What Fan Council members said:
• Most of the race was enjoyable, but I was disappointed that Jeff Gordon won. After his reckless behavior at Phoenix, I preferred that they take points away rather than suspending him for the benefit of sponsors and fans. However, the way everyone treated the win like it was some kind of vindication for his actions last week made me wish he'd been suspended. The championship race between Jimmie and Brad was great, and Brad's win made up for any other disappointment.

• I have to say great because Brad won. It is great that someone other than Jimmie or Tony won the championship.

• Not really a great race, other than I was thrilled at the ending. Very boring, at least on TV. As much as I loved seeing Brad K. and Jimmie J., it seemed like the whole race was just the two of them. Awful TV coverage.

• It was exciting to watch the 48 and the 2 battle for the championship. If that had not been going on, it would have been another boring race.

• It was typical of all the past races. Not a whole lot of excitement. Anti-climatic.

• The race had it all: Kyle leading but not winning again, Jeff winning at a track he never won at, Matt's last race in the No. 17, Jimmie about ready to make the biggest comeback in championship history and Brad topping the season off with the top prize and a cool 5 million bucks to boot! Not bad for a guy whose family was about ready to lose it all just a few short years ago because of their investment in their son. Wow!


How much faith do you have that the 2013 car will make the Cup racing better?

39.0 percent said Some
30.2 percent said A little
20.3 percent said None
10.5 percent said A lot

What Fan Council members said:
• They've been working on them a long time so hopefully they'll get them right. They have nailed the looks of the cars. They look great and I can tell them apart now. If they race as well as they look, we will have a very exciting 2013 season.

• It's not the cars that are at fault, it's the track configurations and NASCAR rules that hamper competition. Daytona and Talladega are little more than Barnum & Bailey near-death experiences. Nothing will change there until NASCAR kills its next driver.

• NASCAR is a corporation that is trying to promote a product. Sadly, I will have to see it to believe it.

• I don't quite understand why tighter competition is a good thing. If you make the cars the same, they all run around the track together and can't pass. Don't fans already complain about restrictor-plate racing forcing them into packs? Besides, I believe the problem is the TV coverage, and no change to the car will fix that.

• I give them the benefit of the doubt. As much as a few may have issues with NASCAR, they do a way better job at most issues than other sanctioning bodies.

• I had awesome faith for the CoT to be a lot safer for these drivers and we haven't had a death in NASCAR for a long time. Now we need to focus on tight racing cars and hopefully this new car will work. I have faith.

• Little faith but lots of hope. Soooo tired of hearing “track position is key.” I hope to hear that a fast car is key.


The Backseat Drivers Fan Council was founded and is administered by Dustin Long. Fans can join by sending Dustin an email at [email protected]

Please include the following information:
Name, city, state, Twitter name, e-mail address and favorite driver.
 

Teaser:
<p> Dustin Long and the Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 13:08
All taxonomy terms: Links, NFL, NBA
Path: /college-football/athlons-essential-eleven-links-day-nov-20
Body:

This is your daily link roundup of our favorite sports posts on the web for November 21:

A basketball player went off for 138 points last night. Of course, it took 108 shots for him to get there. The game film is what Kobe Bryant now refers to as "porn."

• Speaking of Kobe, naturally, someone went to him for a reaction to the 138-point game. Naturally, his reaction was pretty priceless.

• The Jon Gruden to Tennessee train has left the station for some hopeful Vol fans. This article and accompanying photo won't do anything to dampen speculation.

• The NCAA is playing hardball with Miami Hurricanes players, who are apparently guilty until proven innocent.

• Welcome to Montreal, a foreign city where pro sports are now a foreign concept.

• Not to pile on our neighbors to the north, but the mayor of Toronto beclowned himself for our enjoyment.

• If you ever wonder how the sausage is made at the Worldwide Leader, our friends at Deadspin are always happy to show you.

• Like coach, like QB. Matt Barkley's stand-in is guaranteeing victory vs. top-ranked Notre Dame.

• I didn't know that the Curse of the All-Star Game was a thing, but apparently it is.

• It's Thanksgiving Eve, and here are a few helpful hints for enjoying the holiday from our friends at The Onion. My favorite: Have children sit at a small table so they feel gigantic.

• Today's video honors a great American tradition: Barry Sanders running wild on Thanksgiving Day.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]


November 20

• Last night, the Niners emasculated the Bears on national TV.  Here it is, summarized in one GIF. 

• Our Girl Gallery of the Day includes USC's finest cheerleaders.  

• Remembering Metta World Peace's former identity as the scariest guy in the NBA (instead of just the weirdest). Hard to believe it's been eight years since the Malice in the Palace.

• Andy Reid draws a line in the sand: You want me gone? You gotta fire me.

Apparently, there are still he-man woman-haters clubs out there. 

• Gotta love the late-'70s disco font on this vintage Magic cover.

• Snoop Lion's latest inspiration. Not sure what he's thinking, but hey, weed's a helluva drug.

• Well, if it's good enough for Commissioner Bud, it's good enough for me.

• SI's already anticipating the post-Gruden era of Monday Night Football.

• FSU to Maryland: Don't let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.

• Today's video features Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski living down to every NASCAR stereotype. Congrats on securing that lifetime beer sponsorship.

--- Email us with any compelling sports-related links at [email protected]

Teaser:
<p> The best sports links from the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, NASCAR and the world of entertainment.</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 09:48
Path: /nascar/nascar-news-notes-week-11
Body:

Until last week, crew chief Jimmy Fennig admits he had “very seldom’’ talked to Carl Edwards in their years together at Roush Fenway Racing.

“I’m the type of crew chief that I focus in on the job at hand and the driver I have and don’t really pay too much attention to other drivers,” said Fennig, who most recently was Matt Kenseth’s crew chief.

Next season, Fennig and his crew will partner with Edwards as Kenseth drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. It’s part of a series of changes taking place at Roush Fenway Racing. Two-time defending Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. replaces Kenseth in the No. 17 Cup car. Trevor Bayne takes Stenhouse’s Nationwide ride. The Cup team of Greg Biffle and crew chief Matt Puccia will remain intact.

Fennig, who became a crew chief in 1986 and won the 2004 championship with Kurt Busch, admits he doesn’t know Edwards too well but doesn’t see that as a hinderance in their pairing.

“My goal has always been to win races,” said Fennig, the winning crew chief in the 1988 Daytona 500 with Bobby Allison and this year’s Daytona 500 with Kenseth. “No matter who drives the car, that’s what I try to do every week and that’s something I know we already have in common.”

Fennig will be Edwards’ third crew chief since the start of the 2012 season. Bob Osborne started with Edwards. Osborne, citing health issues, stepped down as crew chief in July and was replaced by Chad Norris.

Edwards was winless this season and finished 15th in the points a year after losing the championship on a tiebreaker to Tony Stewart. Edwards scored only four top-10 finishes in the 17 races with Norris as crew chief, thus a change wasn’t surprising.

“We all just sat down and looked at it and Chad and I talked at length about it,” Edwards said of the change. “Everyone agrees the opportunity to have the experience of Jimmy Fennig on the box to get ... back to Victory Lane is what we should do. It wasn’t something that I single-handedly requested or just that Jack (Roush) wanted to do it. As a team we thought this was the best thing to do. The biggest thing at Roush is that he has so many good people that we can move people around and do things like this and it is good for the whole company.”

Along with that move, Roush will pair Stenhouse Jr. with crew chief Scott Graves. Both will be rookies in Cup.

“I would normally not be an advocate for bringing a crew chief who hadn’t been established with a rookie driver into the Cup Series, but Scott Graves – in my words – he’s been a prodigy for the small amount of experience he’s had making the final decisions,” Roush said.

“He made great decisions for Carl at Watkins Glen and he’s made great decisions for Ricky when he’s been with him this year. So I think given the fact he’s a mechanical engineer as well as an experienced team engineer, he’s going to bring enthusiasm and creativity to Ricky that we might not otherwise be able to achieve with somebody that had more experience.”
 

Teaser:
<p> Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long highlights the NASCAR news and notes of the week. Carl Edwards and Regan Smith get new crew chiefs, Kyle Busch searches for sponsorship and Elliot Sadler has a new home at Joe Gibbs Racing.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 11:21
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-12-0
Body:

It’s been a long road back, but Notre Dame has risen to the top of the Legends Poll for the first time ever.

And the top-ranked Irish are one win away from their first ever trip to the BCS championship game.

“You know, it’s hard to classify Notre Dame as a really, really good football team at this point,” former Virginia coach George Welsh said, “but they are undefeated. It’s not easy to win all of your games.”

Notre Dame received 13 of the 17 first-place votes in the Legends Poll and remains the only eligible unbeaten team in the FCS.

No. 2 Alabama received three of the remaining first-place votes and moved back into the driver’s seat for the BCS title game as well. The final top vote went to No. 3 Georgia.

If the Alabama and Georgia can both survive their in-state rivalry games, a BCS title game berth will be on the line in the SEC championship game.

No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Kansas State each fell three spots, following shocking upsets.

No. 6 LSU remained the top two-loss team after the Tigers outlasted Ole Miss Saturday night, 41-35.

Florida State, Florida, Texas A&M and Clemson rounded out the top 10.

No. 21 Oklahoma State moved back into the top 25 after a victory over Texas Tech. No. 24 Washington and No. 25 Utah State also made their way into the Legends Poll rankings, the first appearance for each team this season.

USC, Louisiana Tech and Wisconsin dropped out of the rankings this week. 

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

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 Notre DameNotre Dame (13) 11-0 420 3
2 AlabamaAlabama (3) 10-1 411 4
3 GeorgiaGeorgia (1) 10-1 391 5
4 OregonOregon 10-1 368 1
5 Kansas StateKansas State 10-1 333 2
6 LSULSU 9-2 324 6
7 Florida StateFlorida State 10-1 319 7
8 FloridaFlorida 10-1 311 10
9 Texas A&MTexas A&M 9-2 309 9
10 ClemsonClemson 10-1 284 8
11 StanfordStanford 9-2 257 12
12 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 9-2 242 11
13 UCLAUCLA 9-2 207 15
14 OklahomaOklahoma 8-2 204 13
15 NebraskaNebraska 9-2 187 14
16 Oregon StateOregon State 8-2 175 16
17 LouisvilleLouisville 9-1 143 18
18 TexasTexas 8-2 130 19
19 RutgersRutgers 9-1 104 21
20 MichiganMichigan 8-3 102 24
21 Oklahoma StateOklahoma State 7-3 71 -
22 Boise StateBoise State 9-2 62 23
23 Mississippi StateMississippi State 8-3 52 25
24 WashingtonWashington 7-4 32 -
25 Utah StateUtah State 9-2 26 -
 

Others Receiving Votes: Louisiana Tech 19, Northwestern 14, USC 7, TCU 7, San Diego State 5, Wisconsin 2, Georgia Tech 2, Tulsa 2, Northern Illinois 1, San Jose State 1, Kent State 1

Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll: USC, Louisiana Tech, Wisconsin

* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward. You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.

Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, November 19, 2012 - 05:05
Path: /nfl/5-most-dangerous-nfl-teams-under-500
Body:

Ten weeks into the NFL season and there’s a pretty clear line between who’s in and who’s out. There are patterns beginning to emerge, as well as powers. The playoff picture is beginning to take shape.

But it would be a mistake for teams to look forward toward the Lombardi Trophy in the distance without at least glancing a few times in their rearview mirror. If they do, they’ll notice a bunch of sub-.500 teams who may really loom larger than they appear.
 
Here are the five most dangerous “losing” teams in the NFL right now. All of them still have a shot at the playoffs. And all of them should be making the teams in front of them in the standings worry – at least a little bit:
 
New Orleans Saints (4-5)
 
There is no team in the NFL that wants to play the Saints right now, especially after the way they knocked off the undefeated Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. They remain an explosive offense (the NFL’s second-best passing attack) that can out-score anyone and the Superdome remains one of the loudest and toughest places to play.
 
And now they’re rolling. They are 4-1 after they got off to a disastrous 0-4 start under the weight of the BountyGate scandal. This is not a team that was short on talent. It was a team that had too many outside influences. Those are still there, to an extent, but they’ve become part of New Orleans’ new normal and now the Saints have learned to thrive.
 
It may be too late for them to catch the Falcons (8-1) in the NFC South, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) should be frightened, along with all the other wild-card contenders in the NFC.
 
San Diego Chargers (4-5)
 
The enigmatic Phillip Rivers and the strange coaching of Norv Turner tends to make life tough on this team, which has now lost four of its last five games. They also head into a dangerous two-week stretch with a road trip to Denver and home game against the tough Baltimore Ravens after that.
 
So yes, this could fall apart in a hurry. But this team can play a little defense (seventh in the NFL) and it would be a mistake to completely count out this Rivers-led offense. He’s struggling without departed receiver Vincent Jackson, but he has weapons on his team if he could just manage to find them. He’s done it in the past, and if he can do it again this team is capable of a little run.
 
They better beat the Peyton Manning-led Broncos (6-3) on Sunday, though, otherwise the AFC West will likely be out of reach.
 
Dallas Cowboys (4-5)
 
Don’t look now, but Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are showing signs of clicking and becoming what could eventually turn into one of the most dangerous QB-WR combos in the NFL. Running back DeMarco Murray is coming back, too. And the Cowboys, despite all their problems, have the NFL’s eighth-ranked defense.
 
Also, it’s worth noting, that the Cowboys’ recent two-game losing streak that dropped them under .500 including a narrow loss to the defending Super Bowl champion Giants and another narrow loss in Atlanta against the NFL’s last undefeated team. That’s not exactly a major crisis (except in Jerry Jones’ world).
 
Are they good enough to catch the Giants (6-4)? They were good enough to beat them on Opening Night in New York. The Giants also have lost two straight games and are in their annual second-half swoon. The Cowboys could be just a half-game out by the time the Giants return from their bye on Sunday night, Nov. 25.
 
Cincinnati Bengals (4-5)
 
The Bengals announced their return to relevancy with authority on Sunday with a 31-13 humiliation of the Giants. They flashed the talent that had made up their underachieving defense and showed everyone why the combination of quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green is something to be feared.
 
Everyone knew that going into the season, but the Bengals fell apart with four straight losses – including inexcusable ones to the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns. They were in all four of those games, which is something to consider but not enough of a positive for a true contender. The way their defense played against the Giants – now that’s the sign of a contender.
 
It’s unclear if there’s really an opening in the NFC North, though. The Ravens (7-2) lost Ray Lewis, but have somehow managed to survive and thrive anyway. But the loss of Ben Roethlisberger for the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) could be just the opening the Bengals need.
 
Tennessee Titans (4-6)
 
It’s hard to like a team with the NFL’s 25th-ranked offense and the 29th-ranked defense. Jake Locker hasn’t done a whole lot to inspire confidence as a playoff-caliber quarterback and he’s hardly surrounded with excellent weapons. Chris Johnson is experiencing a revival at running back (862 yards on 5.1 yards per carry), but is that enough for a team that can’t stop anyone else from scoring?
 
Probably not, especially in a division led by the Houston Texans (8-1) and, not far behind them, the Andrew Luck-led Indianapolis Colts (6-3).
 
Here’s why there’s hope, though. Down the stretch they face the awful Jacksonville Jaguars twice, the dysfunctional Jets once and they get another shot at Luck’s Colts. If Luck experiences any type of second-half fade – certainly possible for any rookie quarterback -- that might just be enough to get the Titans to 8-8.
 
Would that be good enough in a wild-card race where the Steelers (6-3) and Colts (6-3) are the leaders? Probably not. But if the Titans can ride their rushing attack, they might not just go away.
 
By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> Despite their record, these teams still have a shot at the playoffs</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: MLB
Path: /mlb/trout-harper-named-leagues-top-rookies
Body:

New York, NY (Sports Network) - There was never a doubt who was going to win the AL Rookie of the Year award.

Now Mike Trout has his sights set on a much larger prize.

The Los Angeles Angels' center fielder Trout and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper were named the Jackie Robinson Award winners as the top rookies in the American and National League, respectively, as voted on by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The 21-year-old Trout became the 18th unanimous rookie of the year victor -- eighth in the AL.

And he may not be done taking home trophies.

Trout, along with triple crown winner and Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera, New York Yankees' Robinson Cano and Texas' Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton, is among the nominees for the AL MVP voting.

If Trout wins the MVP, he'd join Fred Lynn (1975) and Ichiro Suzuki (2001) as the only two MLB players to win both the MVP and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season.

Trout, the first Angel to win rookie of the year since Tim Salmon in 1993, is the only player in major league history to hit at least .320 with 30 home runs and 45 stolen bases in a single season.

In all, Trout batted .326 with a .399 on-base percentage, 30 home runs, 129 runs and 49 stolen bases.

He led all rookies in nearly every offensive category and was named the AL Rookie of the Month in May, June, July and August, becoming the first player to claim the award in four consecutive months.

It was also no coincidence that the Angels' ascension up the standings coincided with Trout's recall from Triple-A Salt Lake on April 28.

A pair of foreign-born stars, Cuban and Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers were the other two nominees for the award.

Harper narrowly edged Arizona Diamondbacks left-handed pitcher Wade Miley for the NL honor. Harper earned 112 points, compared to Miley's 105. Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier had 45 points.

Harper, one of the more hyped players in recent memory, burst on to the scene as a 19-year-old in late April.

The first overall pick of the 2010 MLB Draft ended the year hitting .270 with 22 home runs, 59 RBIs and 98 runs scored. He also stole 18 bases and played all three outfield positions. He showed terrific range and tallied eight outfield assists.

Teaser:
<p> There was never a doubt who was going to win the AL Rookie of the Year award.</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 04:04
Path: /college-football/legends-poll-top-25-college-football-week-11
Body:
The Oregon Ducks have overtaken the No. 1 spot -- just barely edging second-ranked Kansas State -- thanks Texas A&M’s upset of the Crimson Tide.
 
Oregon received 10 of the 17 first-place votes.
 
“I have been very impressed with Oregon all year,” former USC coach John Robinson said. “More than I thought I would be. The interesting thing about Oregon’s offense is they block the perimeter. Remember back when the wishbone teams were just starting how dramatically those wide outs blocked the perimeter and you just couldn’t stop them outside? That’s what Oregon does.”
 
No. 4 Alabama slid three spots after losing its stranglehold on the top spot for the entire calendar year of 2012.
 
Unbeaten Notre Dame moved up as well, one spot ahead of Alabama at No. 3. Georgia rounded out the top five, moving past twice-beaten LSU, which slid to No. 6. No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 10 Florida made five SEC teams in the top 10. No. 7 Florida State and No. 8 Clemson represented the ACC near the top of the rankings.
 
No. 18 Louisville took the biggest tumble in the top 25 this week, dropping eight spots after Syracuse handed the Cardinals their first loss of the season.
 
Texas A&M was among the biggest movers in the rankings, jumping four spots following its 29-24 upset in Tuscaloosa.
 
The two newcomers this week came from the Big Ten, No. 22 Wisconsin and No. 24 Michigan.
 
Northwestern and TCU dropped out of the rankings. 

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

THE LEGENDS POLL TOP 25

RK TEAM RECORD POINTS PV RK
1 OregonOregon (10) 10-0 417 2
2 Kansas StateKansas State (7) 10-0 415 3
3 Notre DameNotre Dame 10-0 386 4
4 AlabamaAlabama 9-1 371 1
5 GeorgiaGeorgia 9-1 355 6
6 LSULSU 8-2 338 5
7 Florida StateFlorida State 9-1 313 7
8 ClemsonClemson 9-1 291 9
9 Texas A&MTexas A&M 8-2 286 13
10 FloridaFlorida 9-1 282 8
11 South CarolinaSouth Carolina 8-2 264 11
12 StanfordStanford 8-2 243 14
13 OklahomaOklahoma 7-2 226 15
14 NebraskaNebraska 8-2 192 16
15 UCLAUCLA 8-2 175 17
16 Oregon StateOregon State 7-2 153 12
17 USCUSC 7-3 139 19
18 LouisvilleLouisville 9-1 121 10
19 TexasTexas 8-2 119 22
20 Louisiana TechLouisiana Tech 9-1 86 20
21 RutgersRutgers 8-1 79 24
22 WisconsinWisconsin 7-3 58 -
23 Boise StateBoise State 8-2 48 18
24 MichiganMichigan 7-3 42 -
25 Mississippi StateMississippi State 7-3 41 23
 

Others Receiving Votes: Texas Tech 36, Oklahoma State 12, Northwestern 10, Kent State 7, North Carolina 6, Washington 5, TCU 5, San Diego State 4

Teams Dropped Out from Last Week's Poll: Northwestern, TCU

* The Legends Poll voting process is exactly what the BCS is trying to create and Athlon will bring it to you as the de facto Selection Committee for fans to follow over the next two seasons, allowing you to see how the Selection Committee will operate from 2014 onward. You can see the entire Poll at www.legendschannel.com.

Teaser:
<p> As voted on by 17 coaching legends</p>
Post date: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-start-or-sit-week-10
Body:

Week 10 marks the unofficial start to the second half of the NFL regular season. Eight games remain until the NFL’s postseason, but it’s fewer than that when you take into consideration the start of your fantasy league’s playoffs. Week 10 also means that fantasy owners begin their stretch run without the services of Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Alfred Morris, Larry Fitzgerald, Randall Cobb, the Arizona and Green Bay DSTs, among others.

Have no fear, Athlon Sports is here to help you make all of those important lineup decisions for your Yahoo!, NFL.com or ESPN fantasy football league with our weekly Start and Sit suggestions. Keep in mind these are merely our suggestions as the ultimate decision comes down to you, the owner.

Week 10 Positional Rankings

Week 10 Waiver Wire

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

Sneaky Start of the Week
Mike Williams, WR, Tampa Bay vs. San Diego
Vincent Jackson is Tampa Bay’s No. 1 wide receiver and No. 8 at his position in fantasy scoring, but don’t discount the Buccaneers’ “other” starting wideout, Williams. While Jackson has a huge advantage on Williams when it comes to receiving yards (710 to 504), Williams has just two fewer receptions (29 to 31) and one less touchdown (5 to 6) than his well-paid teammate.

To put it another way, Williams is No. 22 among receivers in fantasy scoring, ahead of the likes of Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, DaSean Jackson and Torrey Smith, to name a few. Williams has scored 13.4 or more fantasy points five times, while managing 5.6 or fewer only twice.

With as well as Josh Freeman has been throwing the ball lately (11 TDs, 1 INT in his last four games), there should be enough passes for both Jackson and Williams to be viable starting options. On top of that, the Buccaneers host San Diego this Sunday. The Chargers are allowing the 11th-most fantasy points to wide receivers, including 11 touchdown receptions.

This matchup also finds Jackson facing off against his former team. While Jackson will probably have a little extra juice headed into this game, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Chargers a little more fired up than usual either, as the defense attempts to limit the amount of damage done by their former teammate. The extra attention paid to Jackson, may present more opportunities for Williams, who is averaging 17.4 yards per reception.

Surprise Sit of the Week
Hakeem Nicks, WR, New York Giants at Cincinnati
Just when you thought Nicks may finally be over the hump with the issues related to his ankle/foot, word comes out that he experienced more swelling in his knee this week. The good news is that he was able to return to practice on Thursday, albeit in a limited fashion, and, for what it's worth, he has said he will play Sunday.

Injuries have consistently been an issue for Nicks, who broke his right foot back in May. He started in Week 1, but missed three games after experiencing soreness with his foot/ankle while also dealing with the knee issue. He’s played in the last four games, and while it appears he will continue that streak Sunday in Cincinnati, his owners have no doubt gotten a little tired of the will-he-or-won’t-he guessing game about his playing status.

If the injury bug and his constant “Questionable” or "Game-Time" designation haven’t been enough of a headache, there’s also the matter of Nicks’ lack of production. In Week 2 against Tampa Bay, he caught 10 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. In the other five games he’s played, he’s had a total of 17 receptions for 191 yards and no scores.

It also doesn't help that Eli Manning has been struggling lately too. He has only two touchdown passes compared to four interceptions in his last four games. I don’t really worry about this week’s matchup against Cincinnati as it applies to Manning’s outlook, but I do think this would be a good week to give Nicks a break and not worry about the will-he-or-won’t-he decision. Just put him on your bench and check back with him in two weeks (Giants are on bye in Week 11).

Quarterbacks
START

Ryan Fitzpatrick (BUF) at New England
Fitzpatrick had his best game of the season back in Week 4. Despite throwing four interceptions, he also piled up 350 yards passing and four touchdowns. Who was that game against? You guessed it, New England, who the Bills are playing in Foxboro this Sunday. As good as the Patriots’ defense has been against the run, the unit is 28th against the pass and is allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks. If this game looks anything like the 52-28 affair it was in Week 4, don’t be surprised if Fitzpatrick puts up similar, if not slightly better, numbers.

Alex Smith (SF) vs. St. Louis
Smith played arguably his best game of the season in Week 8 on “Monday Night Football” in Arizona. He only missed one of his 19 pass attempts for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Now coming off of the bye, Smith and the 49ers host NFC West division rival St. Louis. The Rams’ defense has held up pretty well, but gave up 304 yards passing to Tom Brady and 45 points to the Patriots in London in Week 8. Even though the Rams are also coming off of a bye and no one will ever mistake Smith for Brady, I see no reason why he can’t repeat his Week 8 numbers against the Rams. Especially considering I think the 49ers’ defense at home will do its part to give the offense plenty of chances to put points on the board.

Ryan Tannehill (MIA) vs. Tennessee
Tannehill didn’t let a bruised quad/knee keep him off of the field last week against Indianapolis. Not only that, he put up his second-highest yardage total of the season, as he had 290 passing yards and a touchdown in the 23-20 loss to the Colts. Another week away from sustaining the injury, Tannehill should be back to near 100 percent health this Sunday against Tennessee. And what better opponent to get “healthy” against than the Titans, who have allowed 20 touchdown passes and the third-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Tannehill may be a rookie, but keep in mind that the fewest fantasy points the Titans have surrendered to a starting quarterback thus far is 18.3 to Matthew Stafford in Week 3. Don’t’ forget, when it comes a start/sit designation here, 16 points is considered start-worthy for quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers.

SIT
Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. New York Giants
Dalton is just outside of the top 10 for fantasy scoring at his position, and he’s posted four games of 26 or more points. My concern with him is that he has a tendency to produce based on his opponent. By that I mean he has done a good job of feasting on teams with weak defenses, as his top performances have been against Washington, Cleveland (twice) and Jacksonville. On the other hand, he hasn’t fared as well against defenses that can bring consistent pressure, like Baltimore, Miami and Pittsburgh. The Giants (25 sacks) certainly fall into the latter category, and even though they are the road team, I like the defense this week (see below) to play with a chip on its shoulder, following last week’s disappointing home loss to the Steelers. Dalton can thank the schedule-maker for being cast in the role of prey this Sunday.

Matt Schaub (HOU) at Chicago
The Bears may be just 16th in the league in pass defense, but anyone who has watched the Monsters of the Midway play this season knows that this is merely a number. They are tied for the league lead in interceptions with 17 and have returned seven of them for touchdowns. The defense has scored more touchdowns on interception returns than it has allowed (six) to quarterbacks. The Texans run the ball more than they throw it anyway, which already makes Schaub more of a matchup guy than every-week starter. To that end, can you think of a worse matchup for him than this?

Jay Cutler (CHI) vs. Houston
While Cutler’s defense may be getting all the attention and blowing away the competition when it comes to fantasy scoring, Houston’s D, which he will face on Sunday, is certainly no slouch. The Texans are third overall in total defense (Bears are 6th), second against the rush and fourth versus the pass and in scoring defense. Statistically speaking, the Bears are only better than the Texans in scoring defense and takeaways. Cutler may be coming off of a three-touchdown game against Tennessee, but the only similarities between the Titans and the Texans is that they both play in the AFC South, have ties to Texas and their team names start with the letter T. When it comes to their respective defenses, there are no similarities just as there is no good reason, other than if you have no other option, to start Cutler this week against the Texans.

Running Backs
START

Stevan Ridley (NE) vs. Buffalo
Ridley has gotten 15 or more carries in every game but one this season. While his best game came in Week 5 against Denver when he had a season-high 28 attempts (151 yards), he also has shown he can do some damage with fewer chances. In his last game, Ridley ran for 127 yards against St. Louis on just 15 carries. Trying to figure out Bill Belichick’s running back rotation is a exercise in futility, but considering the Bills are yielding an average of 5.7 yards per carry, this seems like as good a week as any for Ridley to do some damage even if he doesn’t get the lion’s share of attempts. Don’t forget he went for 106 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries in Week 4 against these same Bills.

Chris Johnson (TEN) vs. Miami
Despite my best guess, Johnson was the lone bright spot in the Titans’ 51-20 shellacking at the hands of the Bears last week. Johnson went for 141 yards rushing, including an 80-yard touchdown, which is by far the most damage the Bears have allowed to a running back this season. Yes the game was well decided by the time Johnson broke off his 80-yarder, but it still counts all the same and he has now posted 91 or more yards on the ground in five of his last six contests. As well as the Dolphins have done against the run, they have yielded at least 91 yards rushing to running backs in each of their past three games. As hot as Johnson has been of late, I would have no hesitation plugging in him this week if he was on my roster.

Mikel Leshoure (DET) at Minnesota
A first glance at Leshoure’s stats last week show 70 yards rushing, which isn’t that great. But scan two more columns over and you see 3 under the TD heading. Even though Joique Bell out-gained (73 to 70) Leshoure on the ground and through the air (36 yards receiving to 0), Leshoure made the most of his opportunities, scoring three rushing touchdowns from eight yards and in, all in the second quarter. Bell will get his touches, but Leshoure also will certrainly get his fair share of carries and gets to face a Vikings’ defense that has allowed an average of 121 yards rushing to the last three No. 1 running backs they have faced – LaRod Stephens-Howling, Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch.

SIT
Jamaal Charles (KC) at Pittsburgh (Monday)
Charles ran for 140 yards against Baltimore in Week 5. In the three games since, he’s gained a total of 83 yards on the ground. It doesn’t help that he’s only had a combined 29 carries in those games, compared to the 31 he received against the Ravens, but the Chiefs constantly having to play from behind has contributed to the decline in production as well. There’s no reason to expect that the Chiefs won’t be playing from behind Monday night against the Steelers, who are tied for seventh in rush defense. The Steelers have allowed no more than 74 yards rushing to a team’s backfield over its last three games. Unless Charles can do some damage early, I think it will be another quiet outing for the guy who racked up 233 yards on the ground back in Week 3.

Ryan Mathews (SD) at Tampa Bay
Mathews has yet to top the 100-yard mark since his return in Week 4 from a broken collarbone. He also has scored a total of one touchdown. Tampa Bay is tops in the league in rushing defense, and given the Chargers’ offensive struggles throughout the season, there’s no reason to think they will solve them all, especially having to make the cross-country trip to play the Bucs on Sunday. If Mathews has a big game on Sunday, chances are it will be due to his production in the passing game. While that may end up happening, the Bucs’ track record says otherwise when it comes to his outlook as a rusher this week.

Ahmad Bradshaw (NYG) at Cincinnati
Bradshaw has already shown what he can do when he gets a bunch of carries. Try 200 yards on 30 attempts against Cleveland and 116 the following week on 27 totes on the road against San Francisco. However, he’s also been a constant on the Giants’ injury report, as he can’t seem to get over issues related to his troublesome feet. While he’s only missed one game, he’s been a game-time decision on more than one occasion, which is the last thing an owner wants to worry about when it comes to finalizing their lineup. The team also seems to have grown somewhat weary with his injury issues, as his carries have declined since the 49ers game. Andre Brown is back and completely healthy, and he has been cutting into Bradshaw’s workload more and more each passing week it seems. Bradshaw’s been limited again in practice this week, and while there appears to be no real danger of him not playing against Cincinnati, it may be best to treat him along the lines of his teammate Hakeem Nicks (see above). That is, put him away for two weeks and then check back to see if it’s time to dust him off and give him another chance.

Wide Receivers
START

Kenny Britt (TEN) at Miami
If not for a fumble, Britt would have posted his best fantasy outing of the season after catching five passes for 67 yards against Chicago. Now while a possible maximum of 9.2 fantasy points may not seem like something to get that excited about, at least it’s a step in the right direction for Britt, who has 25 receptions and just one touchdown on the season. Two other things going for Britt his week are the matchup with Miami and the likely return of Jake Locker under center. The Dolphins are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to wide receivers, including the second-most receptions (126), more than 1,600 yards and nine touchdown catches. Also, I think Locker suits Britt’s deep-threat ability more as he has a stronger arm than Hasselbeck. Health doesn’t appear to be an issue for Britt at this point, so hopefully some more production on the field is forthcoming.

Emmanuel Sanders (PIT) vs. Kansas City (Monday)
Antonio Brown is not expected to play after sustaining a high ankle sprain last week, which means Sanders will replace him as the starter alongside Mike Wallace. While Wallace is the dangerous vertical threat, Brown is leading the Steelers in receptions and yards, and there’s no reason why Sanders can’t assume that role against Kansas City. Opportunity is clearly knocking, and I think Sanders will answer the call this week.

Davone Bess (MIA) vs. Tennessee
The only thing missing from Bess’ stat sheet this season is a touchdown. He’s averaging nine targets over his last three games and has five games with four or more receptions. Touchdowns are the easiest way to rack up the points in fantasy, and the Titans have allowed 20 of them to wide receivers already. I think is the week when Bess finally puts together a complete stat line.

SIT
Percy Harvin (MIN) vs. Detroit
Earlier in the week, Harvin, who sprained his ankle last week against Seattle after re-aggravating a nagging hamstring injury earlier in the contest, pronounced himself “a long shot” to play this Sunday. I would go so far as to label him as a “no shot” for this week, especially considering the Vikings are on bye next week. As hard as it may be to sit Harvin, there’s no reason to take your chances and start him this week. He relies too much on his speed and big-play ability, as evidenced by his league-leading 517 yards after the catch, two skills that are greatly impacted by the health of one’s ankle and hamstring.

Andre Johnson (HOU) at Chicago
I’ve already opined how I feel about Matt Schaub’s chances on Sunday against Chicago, which not surprisingly, ties into Johnson’s outlook. Not only has the Bears defense picked off 17 passes and allowed just five touchdown catches to wide receivers, the secondary has done a pretty good job of shutting down top-flight receivers. Reggie Wayne, Steve Smith and Dez Bryant all have posted 100-yard games against the Bears, but the score in the game had a lot to do with their production. Charles Tillman, Tim Jennings and company have also held the likes of Calvin Johnson (3 rec., 34 yds.), Jordy Nelson (6, 84), and Danny Amendola (5, 66) relatively in check. Considering I think this will be more of a defensive battle, I think Andre Johnson will put up numbers more along the lines of Calvin Johnson, Nelson and Amendola rather than Wayne, Smith and Bryant.

Dez Bryant (DAL) at Philadelphia
Bryant came fingertips away from helping the Cowboys beat the Giants and not only did his leaping catch in the end zone not count because his hand landed out of bounds, he took a hard hit on his hip when he landed as well. While the team and Bryant both acknowledged the blow to the hip, it didn’t prevent him from playing last week against the Falcons. Still, after catching just one pass for 15 yards, you have to wonder if his hip was more of an issue than he was letting on. Either way, his lack of production last week and Tony Romo’s struggles throwing the ball are enough reasons for me to recommend looking elsewhere for a starting wide receiver this week. The Eagles have had their issues on defense, but they have given up the third-fewest receptions and just eight touchdowns to opposing wide receivers.

Tight Ends
START

Jason Witten (DAL) at Philadelphia
Remember when Witten was catching just two passes a game? Yeah, those days are long past as Tony Romo has really locked onto his favorite target recently. Witten had 18 catches two weeks ago against the Giants and the last time he had fewer than six receptions was back in Week 3. The Eagles have only allowed two touchdown receptions to tight ends, but in Witten’s case, he has shown he can be productive without getting into the end zone.

Jermaine Gresham (CIN) vs. New York Giants
Gresham has scored 7.2 or more fantasy points in five of his past six games, including three double-digit performances. He has had at least five receptions four times during this same span, and in one of the other two games he had a touchdown catch. Although the Giants have surrendered just one touchdown catch to a tight end, they have allowed the second-most grabs (57) to the position. A.J. Green is Andy Dalton’s top target, and although I don’t think the quarterback will have a huge game this Sunday (see above), I still like Gresham’s chances of putting together a start-worthy (which is 10 points for tight ends) effort.

SIT
Brent Celek (PHI) vs. Dallas
Celek has caught a decent number of passes (33), but he still has just one touchdown so far. He’s only had one double-digit scoring game this season and I wouldn’t count on one this Sunday. Dallas is giving up an average of 6.0 fantasy points per game to tight ends, which ranks them 27th in points allowed to the position.

Jared Cook (TEN) at Miami
Cook’s scoring has dropped in each of the past five weeks, starting at 12.2 in Week 5 to a total of 0.6 (2 rec., 6 yds., fumble) last week. Now while I am fairly certain he will do better than 0.6 this week, the Dolphins have yet to allow a touchdown catch by a tight end. Even though I am looking for Kenny Britt to benefit from the return of Jake Locker (see above), I don’t have the same opinion when it comes to Cook. He’s simply been too inconsistent and too much of a disappointment (dare I say bust?) to trust right now.

Defense/Special Teams
START

Pittsburgh vs. Kansas City (Monday)
The Steelers are following a similar script from last season, a statistically dominant defense on the field, but not very productive when it comes to fantasy scoring. The Steel Curtain is ranked No. 1 in the league in total and pass defense, but are tied for 25th in fantasy scoring as a DST. That will probably change this week, however, with Kansas City coming to town. Not only do the Chiefs have a league-worst 29 turnovers, they are also allowing the most fantasy points to opposing DSTs. The Steelers’ DST has scored double-digit fantasy points just twice so far. I feel fairly confident this number will be three after this game.

New York Giants at Cincinnati
The Giants gave up 158 yards rushing to Pittsburgh last week in a 24-20 home loss that had their home coach using the dreaded four-letter word to describe their effort. No defense wants to be called “soft,” let alone that of the defending Super Bowl champs. True to their championship pedigree, I expect this defense, which is second only to Chicago in fantasy scoring among DSTs, to play with a little extra fire in its belly this week in Cincinnati. Pity Andy Dalton (see above) and the rest of the Bengals, who are in the Giants’ cross-hairs, and have allowed the third-most fantasy points to DSTs.

SIT
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo
While the Patriots came out on the winning end against the Bills in Week 4, the defense still gave up 28 points and 438 yards of offense. Six turnovers fueled the majority of the Patriots DST’s 15 fantasy points that week, and there’s no guarantee the unit will be able to generate that many this time around. I’m expecting another fairly high-scoring affair, especially due to the Patriots’ issue stopping the pass (see Ryan Fitzpatrick, above), and think this type of game is too risky to count on significant production from their DST.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders
A Ravens defense that’s already missing two key pieces in linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb, could be down a few more as defensive linemen Haloti Ngata and Pernell McPhee and safety Ed Reed all missed practice on Wednesday. That’s not to say any or all won’t suit up on Sunday, but it’s not the type of news this defense needs either. The Ravens’ DST, who for years was one of the top scorers in fantasy, hasn’t reached double digits in three games. Not saying Carson Palmer will throw for another 414 yards against the Ravens on Sunday, but I do believe the Ravens are anything but a safe option at DST this week.  

Kickers
START

Shaun Suisham (PIT) vs. Kansas City (Monday)

Kansas City is giving up 30 points per game. The Steelers are scoring around 24 points per game. I expect both of these averages will go up after the conclusion of Monday night’s game. I’m not sure how cold it will be in Pittsburgh on Monday night, but I don’t think Suisham will have to worry about keeping his leg warm. The number of times he will have to use it on the field will do the job.

Dan Carpenter (MIA) vs. Tennessee
The Titans are allowing more than 34 points per game and the most fantasy points to kickers. Six of the nine kickers the Titans have faced have scored 10 or more fantasy points. That’s the magic number that kickers need to score to be considered start-worthy. I fully expect Carpenter to join the double-digit kicker club this Sunday.

SIT
Stephen Gostkowski (NE) vs. Buffalo
Gostkowski got 10 fantasy points last time against the Bills in Week 4, but it came thanks to seven PATs and a 30-yard field goal. I expect the Patriots to score a fair amount of points, but not quite as many as they did in Round 1. And as long as the Patriots put six on the board, it means Gostkowski’s kicks count for just one point and not three.

Connor Barth (TB) vs. San Diego
The Chargers have given up a total of seven field goal attempts thus far, and while the Buccaneers have scored 28 or more points in four straight games, Barth hasn’t played a big role in this production. He’s scored more than eight fantasy points in only one of these games and also has missed four of his last eight field goal attempts. I expect more of the same, if not less, as the Chargers’ defense is ranked ninth overall and giving up less than 20 points per game.

— By Mark Ross, published on Nov. 9, 2012

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Start or Sit: Week 10</p>
Post date: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: Philadelphia Eagles, NFL
Path: /nfl/5-coaches-who-could-replace-andy-reid-philadelphia
Body:

It’s all beginning to fall apart in Philadelphia where the Eagles showed so much promise a year ago. Maybe it was never smart of them to embrace the “Dream Team” nickname, but after their spending spree before the 2011 season everyone was sure they’d be good.

But they haven’t. Their record is a disappointing 11-13 since then. Michael Vick, once an MVP candidate has become a turnover machine and after a 28-13 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, they have put themselves in a 2 ½-game hole that appears far too deep for them to climb out.

And now, after 13 1/2 mostly successful seasons – albeit 13 ½ seasons without a Super Bowl championship – Andy Reid looks lost. He seems clueless about how to revive the franchise. And there are many who think Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie is finally ready to pull the trigger on a coaching change.

It won’t be easy to replace a man who has become a fixture in that rough-and-tumble city, who has managed a .597 winning percentage (129-86-1) despite residing in the hyper-competitive NFC East. When Reid was hired, he was a largely unknown assistant coach who came highly recommended but didn’t carry the star power fans usually crave.

Could the Eagles go that route again? Or will they go for the big splash? It’s far too early to tell. Who knows if Reid even will be fired after the season? But if he is, here are 5 very interesting names for Eagles fans – and fans of any team around the NFL that might soon have a coaching search – to watch:

 
Sean Payton – First of all, he’s a longshot for anyone. But the door was opened last week when the NFL reportedly voided the contract extension he signed with the New Orleans Saints, putting him on schedule to be a free agent after the season. Despite the BountyGate scandal that he oversaw, the Saints want to retain the only coach that took them to the Super Bowl. But Payton is also a Dallas native and would be just the sort of big splash Jerry Jones would love to make. If he’s available, if nothing else, you could bet the Philadelphia Eagles would get in line if they were looking for a replacement for Reid. Payton, a former assistant with the Giants and Cowboys, does have roots in the NFC East.
 
 
Steve Spagnuolo – He wouldn’t be a splashy hire, but he’d be a solid one with Philly roots. He was a long time assistant there under beloved defensive coordinator Jim Johnson. Then he left and was the defensive coordinator that helped the Giants upset the mighty New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. His stint as St. Louis Rams coach wasn’t good, but most people saw that as an impossible situation – same for his position now as defensive coordinator of the BountyGate-saddled Saints. He’s still well-respected, knows the division, and has a defensive mind that would get the Philly faithful inspired.
 
 
Jon Gruden – In a division that has Tom Coughlin and Mike Shanahan and whatever big name Jerry Jones eventually hires to replace Jason Garrett, the Eagles may choose to match and there might be no bigger available name than Gruden. OK, there’s Bill Cowher and you might as well throw his name in too, but Gruden’s brash, confident, outgoing natures seems more Philly’s style. It helps, too, that his last stop before he became a head coach was as the Eagles offensive coordinator from 1995-97.
 
Mike McCoy – If the Eagles did want to go the unknown assistant route – especially since it served them so well with Reid – they might consider McCoy, the offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. Think about what he’s done in the past two years. He started running an offense with Kyle Orton at quarterback, quickly changed midstream to win with Tim Tebow, and then re-overhauled everything in the offseason when they brought in Peyton Manning. To continue to have success while reinventing your own scheme is pretty impressive. He’s going to be high on the list of a lot of teams looking for the next bright young mind.
 
Chip Kelly – Ask people around the NFL for the top college coaching prospect in the nation and they’ll probably mention Alabama’s Nick Saban. But since nobody expects him to leave the Crimson Tide, Oregon’s Kelly is next on the list. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly tried to hire him before they hired Greg Schiano, and a few other teams will come knocking on his door this offseason. His spread offense with the Ducks is not only exciting it’s proved to be a winner. He may not be able to run that exact same scheme in the NFL, but he might be able to adapt some components to help out a nimble quarterback such as … oh, maybe Michael Vick?
 
—By RALPH VACCHIANO
Teaser:
<p> If the Eagles Fire Their Coach, Here Are Their Best Bets</p>
Post date: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 05:52
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-positional-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any website can give you.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Start or Sit

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Note: Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye this week.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

DEFENSIVE SCORING
0 points allowed = 12 points
1-6 points allowed = 10 points
7-13 points allowed = 8 pts
14-20 points allowed = 6 points
21-27 points allowed = 2 pts
28+ points allowed = 0 points
Safeties = 2 points
Fumbles recovered = 2 points
Interceptions = 2 points
Sacks = 1 point
Defensive/Special Teams TDs = 6 points

KICKER SCORING
PATs = 1 point
39 yards and under = 3 points
40-49 yards = 4 points
50-59 yards = 5 points
60+ yards = 6 points

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Positional Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-quarterback-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye this week.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Quarterbacks

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Tom Brady NE vs. BUF Tom Terrific is 19-2 vs. Bills w/ 49 TD passes.
2 Peyton Manning DEN at CAR Came up just 9 yards shy of 5th 300-3 game in a row.
3 Drew Brees NO vs. ATL Has thrown for 15 TDs vs. 3 INTs in last five games.
4 Matt Ryan ATL at NO Threw for 342 yards, but no TDs (or INTs) vs. Dallas.
5 Ben Roethlisberger PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Only two games with 300+ yards, but 16 TDs.
6 Andrew Luck IND at JAC (Thurs.) Posted NFL rookie record 433 yards last week.
7 Matthew Stafford DET at MIN Only eight TD passes in eight games so far.
8 Eli Manning NYG at CIN Only 2 TDs w/ 4 INTs in last four games.
9 Cam Newton CAR vs. DEN Total TDs after 8 games: 18 in '11 vs. 10 in '12.
10 Josh Freeman TB vs. SD Has 11:1 TD:INT ratio over last four games.
11 Michael Vick PHI vs. DAL Has 11:3 TD:INT ratio in 6 career games vs. Dallas.
12 Tony Romo DAL at PHI Nine of his 13 INTs were thrown in two games.
13 Carson Palmer OAK at BAL Posted fifth career 400-yard game last week.
14 Ryan Fitzpatrick BUF at NE Put up 350-4-4 in Week 4 loss to Patriots.
15 Philip Rivers SD at TB Tampa Bay last in league (321 ypg) in pass defense.
16 Joe Flacco BAL vs. OAK Less than 200 yards passing in 3 of last 4 games.
17 Andy Dalton CIN vs. NYG Giants 26th against pass, allowing 264 ypg.
18 Alex Smith SF vs. STL Tied season high with 3 TD passes in last game.
19 Ryan Tannehill MIA vs. TEN Played through injury, put up 290-1-0 vs. Colts.
20 Matt Schaub HOU at CHI Bears are 4th in sacks, tied for 1st in INTs.
21 Jay Cutler CHI vs. HOU Texans are No. 4 against pass, tied for 6th in sacks.
22 Jake Locker TEN at MIA Will resume his starting job, barring a setback.
23 Russell Wilson SEA vs. NYJ Has yet to throw an INT at home.
24 Sam Bradford STL at SF Comes off of bye to face league's No. 2 pass defense.
25 Blaine Gabbert JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Tied season high with 2 TD passes vs. Lions.
26 Mark Sanchez NYJ at SEA Seahawks have allowed only 3 TD passes at home.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:59
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-running-back-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Running Backs

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Ray Rice BAL vs. OAK Rookie Doug Martin gashed Raiders for 251 last week.
2 Adrian Peterson MIN vs. DET All Day is leading the league in rushing.
3 Marshawn Lynch SEA vs. NYJ Beast mode could be in effect vs. No. 27 rush defense.
4 LeSean McCoy PHI vs. DAL Averaging 96 rushing yards per game over last four.
5 Arian Foster HOU at CHI Faces tough task against No. 6 rush defense.
6 Doug Martin TB vs. SD Rookie has 386 rushing yards, 5 TDs in last two games.
7 Stevan Ridley NE vs. BUF Bills giving up league-worst 5.7 ypc.
8 Willis McGahee DEN at CAR Averaging 20+ attempts over last three games.
9 Frank Gore SF vs. STL Sore ribs shouldn't be an issue coming off of bye.
10 Matt Forte CHI vs. HOU Texans have yet to allow rushing TD.
11 Reggie Bush MIA vs. TEN Titans are allowing 141.6 yards rushing per game.
12 Chris Johnson TEN at MIA CJ (141, TD) lone Titans bright spot last week vs. Bears.
13 Jamaal Charles KC at PIT (Mon.) Has 83 yards rushing in last three games combined.
14 Ryan Mathews SD at TB Bucs are No. 1 in league against rush (77.3 ypg).
15 Michael Turner ATL at NO Posted second 100-yard game vs. Cowboys.
16 Ahmad Bradshaw NYG at CIN Averaging only 56.3 ypg over last three.
17 C.J. Spiller BUF at NE Averaging 7.2 yards per carry.
18 Rashad Jennings JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Colts allowing seventh-most fantasy points to RBs.
19 Mikel Leshoure DET at MIN Leshoure had just 70 yards, but 3 TDs vs. Jaguars.
20 BenJarvus Green-Ellis CIN vs. NYG Season-best 91 yards rushing came back in Week 1.
21 Isaac Redman PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Should get another start after 147-yard effort vs. Giants.
22 Vick Ballard IND at JAC (Thurs.) Donald Brown's health dictates Ballard's workload.
23 Shonn Greene NYJ at SEA Hoping to get Ground and Pound going coming off of bye.
24 Pierre Thomas NO vs. ATL His role increases if Sproles (hand) is out.
25 Steven Jackson STL at SF San Francisco is No. 5 in league vs. rush.
26 Fred Jackson BUF at NE Longest rush thus far has been just 13 yards.
27 Jonathan Stewart CAR vs. DEN Broncos are ninth in the league in rush defense.
28 Felix Jones DAL at PHI Saw Lance Dunbar cut into carries last week.
29 Marcel Reece OAK at BAL Should have impact in the Raiders' passing game.
30 Daniel Thomas MIA vs. TEN Averaging 10 carries over last three games.
31 Andre Brown NYG at CIN Bradshaw's lingering foot mean more work for Brown.
32 Darren Sproles NO vs. ATL DNP last week (hand surgery), may be back vs. Falcons.
33 Joique Bell DET at MIN Making an impact as both rusher and receiver.
34 DeAngelo Williams CAR vs. DEN Fewer touches, but scored TD last week on 30-yard run.
35 Mark Ingram NO vs. ATL Saw more carries with Sproles sidelined.
36 Jonathan Dwyer PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Expected to be back this week.
37 Chris Ivory NO vs. ATL His role is dependent upon Sproles' health.
38 Daryl Richardson STL at SF Has gotten 7+ carries in four straight games.
39 Jacquizz Rodgers ATL at NO Has been more active in passing game recently.
40 Danny Woodhead NE vs. BUF Second on team in carries, 4th in receptions.
41 Taiwan Jones OAK at BAL His workload is dependent on Goodson's ankle.
42 Kendall Hunter SF vs. STL Total of 19 carries in past two games.
43 Mike Goodson OAK at BAL Next up after McFadden, but he also has ankle injury.
44 Peyton Hillis KC at PIT (Mon.)  
45 Michael Bush CHI vs. HOU Doesn't get many chances if it's not a blowout.
46 Donald Brown IND at JAC (Thurs.) Listed as Questionable, but played vs. Dolphins.
47 Ronnie Hillman DEN at CAR  
48 Ronnie Brown SD at TB Role has increased over past four games.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Wide Receivers
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:58
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-wide-receiver-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington are all on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Wide Receivers

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 A.J. Green CIN vs. NYG Tied for league lead with 8 TD receptions.
2 Julio Jones ATL at NO Saints have allowed 14 TD catches by WRs.
3 Roddy White ATL at NO New Orleans giving up most fantasy points to WRs.
4 Victor Cruz NYG at CIN Ranks among top 7in catches, yards and TDs.
5 Calvin Johnson DET at MIN Seven-catch, 129-yard effort welcome sight for CJ owners.
6 Brandon Marshall CHI vs. HOU Leading fantasy scorer at his position.
7 Reggie Wayne IND at JAC (Thurs.) Leads league with 837 yards receiving.
8 Wes Welker NE vs. BUF Put up 11-129 against Bills in Week 4.
9 Vincent Jackson TB vs. SD First game against former team.
10 Demaryius Thomas DEN at CAR Seen six or more targets in every game but one.
11 Marques Colston NO vs. ATL Had just 4 rec., but caught sixth TD last week.
12 Mike Wallace PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Chiefs allowing 16.9 ypc to WRs.
13 Miles Austin DAL at PHI Has seen 9+ targets in each of last three games.
14 Eric Decker DEN at CAR No. 7 fantasy WR has 7 TDs in last 5 games.
15 Steve Smith CAR vs. DEN Scored first TD last week vs. Redskins.
16 Brandon Lloyd NE vs. BUF Scored twice in last game, had TD in Week 4 vs. Bills.
17 Andre Johnson HOU at CHI Has eight or more receptions in each of past three games.
18 Denarius Moore OAK at BAL Saw TD streak end at three games in a row last week.
19 DeSean Jackson PHI vs. DAL Produced just second 100-yard game of season last week.
20 Torrey Smith BAL vs. OAK Only one 100-yard game, but 5 TDs.
21 Stevie Johnson BUF at NE Dealing with hip issue, but should play Sunday.
22 Dwayne Bowe KC at PIT (Mon.) Bowe better fantasy option with Cassel at QB than Quinn.
23 Dez Bryant DAL at PHI Hip could be issue, just one catch for 15 yards vs. Falcons.
24 Hakeem Nicks NYG at CIN More swelling in knee, keep eye on status.
25 Mike Williams TB vs. SD Averaging 17.4 ypc, has 5 TDs.
26 Malcom Floyd SD at TB Bucs are giving up second-most fantasy points to WRs.
27 Brian Hartline MIA vs. TEN Posted first 100-yard game since Week 4.
28 Jeremy Maclin PHI vs DAL Has total of 61 yards receiving in last two games.
29 Michael Crabtree SF vs. STL Caught two TD passes vs. Cardinals in last game.
30 Kenny Britt TEN at MIA Dolphins allowing fourth-most fantasy points to WRs.
31 Lance Moore NO vs. ATL Averaging 15 ypc and has two 100-yard games so far.
32 Emmanuel Sanders PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Big opportunity with Antonio Brown (ankle) likely out.
33 Danny Amendola STL at SF Rams, Bradford should get No. 1 option back this week.
34 Anquan Boldin BAL vs. OAK Only TD came back in Week 1.
35 Sidney Rice SEA vs. NYJ Has TDs in three of past four games.
36 Cecil Shorts JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Colts have allowed 11 TDs to WRs.
37 Nate Washington TEN at MIA Fins have given up second-most receptions to WRs.
38 Jeremy Kerley NYJ at SEA  
39 Titus Young DET at MIN Didn't fare as well in second game as starter last week.
40 Darrius Heyward-Bey OAK at TB Averaging 19.1 ypc since return from head/neck injury.
41 Davone Bess MIA vs. TEN Has seen at least 6 targets in every game.
42 Donnie Avery IND at JAC (Thurs.) Dealing w/ hip issue, watch status for Thursday game.
43 Laurent Robinson JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Put up 9-41 against Lions in first action since Week 4.
44 Golden Tate SEA vs. NYJ Only 24 receptions, but 5 TDs.
45 T.Y. Hilton IND at JAC (Thurs.) Could see more targets if Avery (hip) is limited/out.
46 Michael Jenkins MIN vs. DET Increased role if Harvin (ankle) can't go.
47 Chris Givens STL at SF  
48 Justin Blackmon JAC vs. IND (Thurs.) Rookie caught first NFL TD pass last week vs. Lions.
49 Kendall Wright TEN at MIA Injured elbow last week, but should still play Sunday.
50 Donald Jones BUF at NE Patriots allowing ninth-most fantasy points to WRs.
51 Andrew Hawkins CIN vs. NYG Hasn’t produced much since Week 3.
52 Stephen Hill NYJ at SEA  
53 Randy Moss SF vs. STL Flashed old form on 47-yard TD vs. Cardinals.
54 Brandon Gibson STL at SF Looking at reduced role with Amendola's return.
55 Mario Manningham SF vs. STL Posted 3 or more receptions in every game.
56 Danario Alexander SD at TB Bucs have allowed second-most yards (1,847) to WRs.
57 Brandon Stokley DEN at CAR  
58 Ryan Broyles DET at MIN  
59 Jerome Simpson MIN vs. DET More opportunities if Harvin (ankle) is out.
60 Devery Henderson NO vs. ATL  
61 Kevin Ogletree DAL at PHI Posted best game (3-96-1) since Week 1 breakout.
62 Earl Bennett CHI vs. HOU  
63 Kevin Walter HOU at CHI  
64 Percy Harvin MIN vs. DET Says he's "a longshot" to play vs. Lions.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Tight Ends
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:57
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy football rankings, NFL, Fantasy, News
Path: /nfl/2012-fantasy-football-tight-end-rankings-week-10
Body:

Each week during the NFL season, we will rank enough players at each position to appease everyone from those in 8-team leagues to 16-team leagues, those that can start two QBs, two TEs, three RBs and four WRs. We cut out the rest, because if you're looking at who the 50th-best running back or the 17th-best kicker is for that week, you need more help than any Web site can give you.

Arizona, Cleveland, Green Bay and Washington all are on bye.

2012 NFL Week 10 Fantasy Football Rankings — Tight Ends

Rk Player Team OPPONENT Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski NE vs. BUF Has caught 2 TDs in each of past two games.
2 Jimmy Graham NO vs. ATL Back in form after missing game b/c of ankle injury.
3 Tony Gonzalez ATL at NO Only one TD in last five games.
4 Jason Witten DAL at PHI Leads all TEs in catches (58), only one TD.
5 Heath Miller PIT vs. KC (Mon.) Second only to Gronk w/ 6 TD catches.
6 Owen Daniels HOU at CHI Has a TD in five of past six games.
7 Vernon Davis SF vs. STL Has just 5 receptions in past three games.
8 Aaron Hernandez NE vs. BUF Should be back this week (ankle), but watch.
9 Antonio Gates SD at TB Only 3 catches, but did have TD last week.
10 Jermaine Gresham CIN vs. NYG Has at least 3 rec. in every game.
11 Martellus Bennett NYG at CIN Has not caught a TD since Week 3.
12 Brandon Myers OAK at BAL No. 7 TE in terms of fantasy scoring.
13 Dustin Keller NYJ at SEA Seven catches in each of past two games.
14 Brandon Pettigrew DET at MIN Has 39 receptions, only 1 TD.
15 Dwayne Allen IND at JAC (Thurs.) Fleener out for second straight game.
16 Brent Celek PHI vs. DAL Five or more targets in all but one game.
17 Scott Chandler BUF at NE Caught 2 TD passes vs. Patriots in Week 4.
18 Greg Olsen CAR vs. DEN Broncos allowing third-most points to TEs.
19 Jared Cook TEN at MIA Inconsistency makes him hard to trust.
20 Kyle Rudolph MIN vs. DET No receptions in 2 of last 3 games.
21 Anthony Fasano MIA vs. TEN Titans have allowed 7 TDs to TEs.
22 Joel Dreessen DEN at CAR Averaging a TD every 5 receptions.
23 Dennis Pitta BAL vs. OAK Has seen sharp decline in targets.
24 Jacob Tamme DEN at CAR Has 29 receptions, but only 1 TD.
25 Dallas Clark TB vs. SD Chargers have allowed 1 TD catch to TE.
26 Zach Miller SEA vs. NYJ Getting a few more looks, but still not many.

Rankings are based upon Athlon Sports' standard scoring system:

OFFENSIVE SCORING
All touchdowns are 6 points
1 point for 25 yards passing
1 point for 10 yards rushing/receiving
Receptions are .5 points
Interceptions/fumbles are minus-2 points

Additional Week 10 Positional Rankings

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Wide Receivers
Kickers
Defense/Special Teams

Week 10 Waiver Wire

Week 10 Start or Sit

Teaser:
<p> 2012 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings: Week 10</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:56

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