Articles By Braden Gall

All taxonomy terms: AAC, ACC, College Football, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-power-5-round-table-art-briles-and-idaho
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox are back in the studio talking college football, previewing all five power five conference and more.

 

- Should Art Briles' job be in jeopardy because of what has happened at Baylor?

 

- Idaho is dropping to the FCS ranks, will this be a developing trend?

 

The guys then broke down all five Power 5 leagues, previewing the upcoming magazine. For the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-12, the guys answer these questions:

 

- Which team is the toughest to pinpoint?

- Which team is the best sleeper candidate?

- Who is the darkhorse Heisman candidate?

- Who made the best coaching hire in the off-season?

- What is your favorite conference matchup of the year?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Power 5 Round Table, Art Briles and Idaho
Post date: Thursday, April 28, 2016 - 13:11
All taxonomy terms: AAC, ACC, College Football, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-conference-champs-national-title-contenders
Body:

Braden Gall and David Fox are back after a Bachelor Party break to analyze how the Athlon Sports rankings are put together.

 

- There is a huge difference between power rankings and projecting the committee's rankings.

 

- Should conference championships matter as much as they do?

 

- Which league has the best chance to get two teams into the Playoff? Which league is in the most danger of missing the Playoff?

 

- How wide open is the 2016 season going to be? More like 2005 or 2007?

 

- Let's define the satellite camp issue in one (or two) sentences.

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Toughest Predictions in 2016
Post date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: AAC, ACC, College Football, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-toughest-predictions-2016
Body:

Braden Gall, David Fox and Mitch Light are gearing up for another Athlon Sports preview magazine and the guys are discussing the most difficult decisions in 2016.

 

- What seperates Clemson from Florida State in the Atlantic Division?

 

- Who are the contenders in the Coastal and should we just flip a coin?

 

- Is a 10 Year War brewing in the Big East or can Michigan State pull another upset?

 

- Who is the top challenger in the Big 12 to Oklahoma?

 

- Both the North and South Divisions out West are completely wide open, so who should be considered the favorite in the Pac-12?

 

- Who will challenge Tennessee in the East and should Alabama once again be a heavy favorite in the West?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Toughest Predictions in 2016
Post date: Friday, April 1, 2016 - 14:40
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-transfer-rules-tv-networks-and-jim-harbaugh
Body:

Braden Gall, David Fox and Mitch Light cover all of the media talks from the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 while discussing Jim Harbaugh's latest antics as well as Kirby Smart's transfer rule.

 

- Mike Gundy had some strong words about the future of the Big 12 and the impact the Longhorn Network has had on it. What does the Big 12 need fix to move forward and survive?

 

- Can the ACC support its own network and is there any urgency to go down that road for John Swofford?

 

- Harbaugh jabs Ohio State... again. Petty or genius? He is also camping in Waco with Art Briles and Baylor.

 

- Kirby Smart has changed Georgia's transfer rule. Do we think this is the right thing to do or is Smart just doing what's best for his program?

 

- With all of the craziness of the first weekend in the NCAA tournament, the guys try to draw comparisons to buzzer beaters, historic combacks and crazy upsets in college football.

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Transfer Rules, TV Networks and Jim Harbaugh
Post date: Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 09:49
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-big-12-expansion-player-safety-coachs-endorsement
Body:

Braden Gall and David Fox break down the latest from around college football during a pretty slow news week.

 

- It's everybody's favorite topic: Expansion! Is David Boren acting out of turn or does he stand for the entire OU family? Why hasn't the Big 12 expanded? And should the league host a championship game?

 

- Should there be scheduling and structural uniformity in college football?

 

- The Pac-12 has a new rule about troubled transfers and the Ivy League has a new rule about tackling. How important are these new regulations for student athlete's and what could the long term ramifications be on college football?

 

- Should college football coaches endorse political candidates? Do we want our sports figures to voice opinions about social issues? What is the advice to fans out there concerned about Urban Meyer's endorsement?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Big 12 Expansion, Player Safety, A Coach's Endorsement
Post date: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 - 15:31
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-preseason-prep-sec-primaries-qb-transfers
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox talk about preparing for the 2016 preseason magazine, quarterback transfers, college coaching duos in hoops and football, historic SEC Primaries and best college football entrances.

 

- As Athlon Sports prepares for the 2016 preseason predictions, what are the most important stats and factors in making preseason picks?

 

- What are the most valuable positions to consider and which trends are the most important to track before making predictions?

 

- Which SEC quarterback transfer will have the biggest impact and the best chance to succeed?

 

- Can Kenny Hill resurrect his career at TCU? Is John O'Korn the guy in Ann Arbor? Will Davis Webb get some time in Boulder?

 

- Which program in college sports has the best combination of football and basketball head coaches? Are three of the top four in the nation from the Big Ten? Who are the most underrated tandems and which programs could be moving up the list?

 

- In honor of Super Tuesday, we've selected an elected representative from each SEC program and we want you to vote on the SEC West and SEC East tickets. Send us your votes for either division on twitter or at .

 

The nominees are:

 

East TicketCandidateWest TicketCandidate
Georgia:Herschel WalkerAlabama:Bear Bryant
Florida:Steve SpurrierArkansas:Frank Broyles
Kentucky:Tim CouchAuburn:Bo Jackson
Missouri:Gary PinkelLSU:Nick Saban
South Carolina:Steve SpurrierOle Miss:Archie Manning
Tennessee:Peyton ManningMississippi State:Dak Prescott
Vanderbilt:Jordan MatthewsTexas A&M:Johnny Manziel

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Preseason Prep, SEC Primaries, QB Transfers
Post date: Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 13:21
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-manning-harbaugh-and-spring-practice
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox talk Peyton Manning, Tennessee, Jim Harbaugh, the SEC, recruiting tactics, scouting reports, Group of 5 coaching jobs and spring QB battles.

 

- How has the media screwed up in covering Peyton Manning and the Tennessee lawsuit?

 

- Is how schools handle sexual assault cases THE most important issue for the NCAA in 2016?

 

- Spring practice during spring break: Love it of hate it? And are time demands a serious issue in college football? Is the SEC simply covering its turf?

 

- What are the five best Group of 5 coaching jobs in college football? The answers will surprise.

 

- With recruiting behind us and the combine ahead, the guys break down some of the worst scouting reports in football. What's a "flesh bomb?"

 

- Which quarterback battles are you most looking forward to this spring? Notre Dame? Michigan? Florida or Florida State? The SEC West?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Manning, Harbaugh and Spring Practice
Post date: Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 11:45
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Alabama Crimson Tide, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Auburn Tigers, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Houston Cougars, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, Navy Midshipmen, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, SMU Mustangs, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, USC Trojans, Utah Utes, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wisconsin Badgers, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-college-footballs-rosters-2016
Body:

The sky is blue, the Earth is round and when you have better players, you win more games.

 

Certainly, winning big in takes great coaching, enormous support staffs, state-of-the-art training facilities and plenty of luck. But whoever has the most talented roster, has a head start in the race for conference and national championships

 

Seven of the eight teams to have made the College Football Playoff thus far, ranked no lower than 14th in roster talent while five of the eight Playoff berths went to teams ranked in the top four nationally.

 

Alabama was No. 1 in both 2014 and '15, Florida State had the No. 2 roster in '14 and Ohio State was fourth in terms of overall talent that year. Oregon was the "least" talented team in the initial Playoff, checking in at No. 14 two years ago.

 

Last fall, Clemson ranked 11th nationally in raw talent, Oklahoma ranked 13th and the lone outlier, Michigan State, ranked 29th in talent (and we all saw what happened in the Cotton Bowl). Basically, if you're gambling, put your money on four of the top 15 teams below.

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 National Signing Day Recap



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Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for the Power 5 schools, Notre Dame and BYU over the last five classes according to  and each team's record over the last five seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account attrition but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

 

Ranking College Football's Rosters in 2016:

 

 Team'16'15'14'13'12RankW/LConf.
1.111111.062-735-5
2.473254.256-1134-6
3.2341134.658-1034-6
4.3626146.250-1528-12
5.7581288.050-1730-10
6.82101398.444-2230-15
7.98610118.838-2717-23
8.132193410.039-2524-16
9.11101617211.236-2825-20
10.1811591611.843-2221-20
11.15131151812.447-18--
12.10917151513.256-1234-6
13.12121871913.643-2428-17
14.1447242013.831-3112-28
15.537204614.441-2324-16
16.201414161215.250-1534-11
17.212612141016.635-2721-19
18.6171584718.636-2817-23
19.281621191319.457-1138-7
20.261919201720.243-2122-18
21.16241351722.254-1436-9
22.252329232825.633-3015-25
23.311835252226.241-2419-21
24.173626272626.450-1532-13
25.292737182326.838-2823-22
26t.222225353327.454-1432-8
26t.191524334627.437-2622-18
28.412927212127.840-2623-17
29.243036223028.443-2425-15
30.272023393528.840-2627-18
31.352831284333.039-2624-16
32t.443928303234.645-2029-16
32t.234243362934.645-1929-16
34.343822345035.619-416-34
35.393538313635.836-2820-23
36.532539433138.241-2422-19
37.453342462738.633-3017-28
38.304744324138.833-3220-18
39t.373245374539.247-1828-11
39t.605032292539.223-3813-27
41.383454403440.024-3813-32
42.434330444240.437-2820-25
43.324033386541.649-1929-11
44.424940413842.023-3911-29
45.544646264844.031-3213-27
46.493134595445.433-3114-26
47.364567473746.437-2620-25
48.565248425650.820-418-32
49.745653502451.436-2816-22
50t.515447525551.836-2718-22
50t.466163454451.826-3615-30
52t.466059584052.639-2623-17
52t.554155545852.625-3715-30
54.335160706255.236-2919-21
55.594456765257.436-3022-18
56.486357665958.631-3315-25
57.526658606760.619-4210-35
58.714872496460.824-388-32
59.665850736161.626-3613-25
60.585365676661.821-4012-28
61.735549617562.644-2130-15
62.506466657263.443-22--
63.697174683964.214-485-40
64.806569624965.019-439-31
65.897451488168.610-502-43
66.756252877169.423-3912-28

 

What We Learned:

 

He Who Has the Players

Just because your team has elite talent doesn’t make it a great team. But your team cannot be a great team without elite talent. And no one has better players than the SEC. Five of the top eight, nine of the top 20 and 11 of the top 25 rosters entering 2016 hail from the SEC. To put this into perspective, Mississippi State ranks 11th in the SEC and dead last in the SEC West in terms of talent but would rank third in the Big Ten, third in the Big 12, fourth in the ACC and fifth in the Pac-12. Conversely, Texas, the No. 1 Big 12 roster, would rank sixth in the SEC and USC, the No. 1 Pac-12 roster, would rank fourth in the SEC.  

 

Conf.Avg. Class RankTop 25'16 Top 100*
19.11142
34.6512
38.836
40.2315
41.2221

* - Notre Dame signed two top 100 recuits (and is the missing Top 25 roster), Houston signed one and one has yet to sign (Demetrious Robertson).

 

Top Overacheivers

 

Oregon is 57-11 over the last five years, trailing only Alabama and Florida State for wins over that span. However, the Ducks rank 19th overall in terms of talent. Stanford and Michigan State are tied for sixth nationally with 54-14 records over the last five years and both rank outside of the top 20 in terms of talent (21st and 26th respectively). Wisconsin (43rd), Louisville (39th), and Kansas State (61st) all rank in the top 20 nationally with least 44 wins over the last five years but rank on average no better than 39th in roster talent.

 

RkTeamW/LW/L RkAvg. Class
19.57-113rd19.4
21.54-146th22.2
26.54-146th27.4
24.50-1511th26.4
43.49-1912th41.6
39.47-1814th39.2
61.44-2118th62.6
62.43-2222nd63.4

 

Worst Underachievers

 

Florida, Auburn, Texas, Miami and Tennessee are five of the most underachieving programs over the last five years. What do they all have in common? They’ve all made coaching changes within the last three seasons. Ole Miss, Arkansas and Michigan all rank in the top 25 in terms of talent but rank outside of the top 25 in terms of wins. However, after coaching changes in the last four years, all four programs are surging into 2016 with momentum and talent. The same could be said for Florida and Tennessee as well.

 

RkTeamW/LW/L RkAvg. Class
34.19-4164th35.6
14.31-3151st13.8
22.33-3047th25.6
17.35-2744th16.6
18.36-2840th18.6
9.36-2840th11.2
7.38-2733rd8.8
8.39-2531st10.0

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 Coaching Carousel



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Still don’t believe in Brian Kelly?

Since taking the job in December 2009, Kelly has elevated Notre Dame back to national prominence. How? Yes, great coaching, but also elite recruiting. He’s never had a class ranked worse than 18th nationally and has an average ranking of 12.4 (11th) heading into 2016. It’s how his team was able to sustain so many key injuries a year ago and still win 10 games. Only 12 teams have won more games over the last five years than Notre Dame’s 47. As long as Kelly is recruiting at this level, the Fighting Irish will be a national player every year.

 

How does the AAC stack up?

If you compare the Power 5 with the American Athletic Conference, only three teams register above ANY P5 teams in terms of talent this fall. South Florida has the most talented AAC roster with an average national recruiting ranking of 55.8 — which gives the Bulls the 55th-ranked roster — ahead of 11 Power 5 teams. Houston (64.2) and Cincinnati (64.4) rank ahead of three Power 5 teams with would be the 66th- and 67th-most talented rosters in the nation. Additionally, Boise State from the Mounteain West is ahead of just six Power 5 teams in terms of talent and would rank 61st overall (61.6).

Teaser:
Ranking College Football's Rosters for 2016
Post date: Monday, February 15, 2016 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-tens-football-rosters-2016
Body:

The sky is blue, the Earth is round and when you have better players, you win more games.

 

Certainly, winning big in takes great coaching, enormous support staffs, state-of-the-art training facilities and plenty of luck. But whoever has the most talented roster, has a head start in the race for conference and national championships. 

 

National Signing Day 2016 gave us more than 4,000 new players to root for and track over the next four or five seasons. So which teams are in the best shape for 2016?

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 National Signing Day Recap



Subscribe: |

 

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for  schools over the last five classes according to  and each team's record over the last five seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account attrition but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

 

Ranking the Big Ten's College Football Rosters in 2016:

 

 Team'16'15'14'13'12RankW/LConf.
1.473254.256-1134-6
2.537204614.441-2324-16
3.222225353327.454-1432-8
4.191524334627.437-2622-18
5.243036223028.443-2425-15
6.324033386541.649-1929-11
7.424940413842.023-3911-29
8.565248425650.820-418-32
9.745653502451.436-2816-22
10.515447525551.836-2718-22
11.466059584052.639-2623-17
12.486357665958.631-3315-25
13.714872496460.824-388-32
14.806569624965.019-43

9-31

What We Learned:

 

Not So Fast

Many have been quick to point to Michigan or Michigan State as the front-runner in the Big Ten in 2016. However, one team stands head-and-shoulders above the rest of the league in terms of talent and that team is Ohio State. Urban Meyer has the No. 2-ranked roster in the nation behind only Alabama and is the only B1G team ranked in the top 14. Michigan has closed the gap (and will continue to do so) and the Spartans are surging on the trail, but OSU still owns the Midwest talent pipeline.

 

Spartans Closing

Mark Dantonio does things his way and he needs players who buy into that. But if he can get guys that are bigger, stronger, faster AND willing to buy in, his team will be in better shape. Michigan State has turned all of those recent wins, conference titles and big-time bowl berths into back-to-back 22nd-rated classes. Both of which, on paper, would be the best of the Dantonio era in East Lansing. Subsequently, Michigan State moved from fifth in the league in talent last fall to third in 2016.

 

Time to Win

Penn State is tied with the Spartans (27.4) for the third-best roster in the Big Ten. Yet, the Nittany Lions are just 37-26 (22-18) over the last five years. Certainly, scholarship limitations are a huge issue and had slowed James Franklin’s progress. But PSU has as good a roster as nearly everyone in this league and the wins need to come after back-to-back top-20 classes.

 

UnOfficial Struggles

Mike Riley has a tough job on his hands when it comes to recruiting. Once prospects are on campus in Lincoln, it isn’t hard to sell Nebraska football. It’s one of the greatest programs in the game. However, getting players to campus on their own dime is nearly impossible. Which actually makes the 24th-rated class something of a victory for Riley in his first full cycle. Nebraska is fifth in the league and 29th nationally in terms of talent — which may be the current reality of modern recruiting at Nebraska.

 

Unsustainable Success

Iowa’s 2015 year came out of nowhere and almost led to a Big Ten title — like most of Kirk Ferentz’ most memorable seasons. However, the reason Iowa cannot sustain long-term, elite-level success is simple. The Hawkeyes don’t have the overall talent to compete. No coach can be expected to compete for championships with the 11th-most talented roster in any league much less one of the B1G’s caliber. Indiana, Rutgers and Northwestern have better players — which is shocking.

 

Kommitment to Kevin

Indiana hasn’t won a ton of games under Kevin Wilson but it’s clear that the program is committed to their guy. Wilson got the Hoosiers to a bowl game and enters 2016 with the eighth-best roster in the league — up two spots from 10th last year. The East Division is a bloodbath but Indiana has the right guy in Wilson and it’s nice to see the program commit to him.

 

Interim Concerns

Despite pockets of historical success, it’s hard to win at Minnesota and Illinois in the modern recruiting era. And elevating interim coaches to full-time positions isn’t normally the way to go about building a program. Bill Cubit feels like a stop gap at Illinois and Tracy Claeys doesn’t bring a lot of upside to the table in Minneapolis. Both may be excellent coordinators but both will have to prove themselves in a big way on the recruiting trail before new athletic directors get to town.

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 Coaching Carousel



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Teaser:
Ranking the Big Ten's Football Rosters for 2016
Post date: Friday, February 12, 2016 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-16-coaching-carousel
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and Steven Lassan break down every major coaching change in college football. The guys cover every head coaching and major assistant change in the Power 5 conferences and one name dominates the mid-major carousel ranks.

 

- Did the ACC win the off-season as far as coaching changes go?

 

- Is Justin Fuente the best hire of the year? Will Syracuse be fun to watch under Dino Babers? And what will happen with Mark Richt in Miami?

 

- Can Matt Campbell compete in the Big 12?

 

- Is Charlie Strong's job on the line with Sterlin Gilbert?

 

- Is Clay Helton ready for USC expectations?

 

- Will a staff overhaul work for Oregon?

 

- WIll either interim hire in the Big Ten West work out long term?

 

- Can either first time head man in the East break through?

 

- The Big Ten lost some big time assistants but also made some huge hires as well.

 

- The SEC swapped experience for new blood in the East, so which new head coach needs to win the soonest?

 

- LSU, Tennessee and Alabama made critical defensive hires (while Auburn did not).

 

- How awesome is Willie Fritz at Tulane?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: '16 Coaching Carousel
Post date: Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 14:17
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12s-football-rosters-2016
Body:

The sky is blue, the Earth is round and when you have better players, you win more games.

 

Certainly, winning big in takes great coaching, enormous support staffs, state-of-the-art training facilities and plenty of luck. But whoever has the most talented roster, has a head start in the race for conference and national championships. 

 

National Signing Day 2016 gave us more than 4,000 new players to root for and track over the next four or five seasons. So which teams are in the best shape for 2016?

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 National Signing Day Recap



Subscribe: |

 

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for schools over the last five classes according to  and each team's record over the last five seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account attrition but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

 

Ranking the Pac-12's College Football's Rosters in 2016:

 

 Team'16'15'14'13'12RankW/LConf.
1.82101398.444-2230-15
2.12121871913.643-2428-17
3.281621191319.457-1138-7
4.16241351722.254-1436-9
5.292737182326.838-2823-22
6.272023393528.840-2627-18
7.383454403440.024-3813-32
8.434330444240.437-2820-25
9.364567473746.437-2620-25
10.466163454451.826-3615-30
11.554155545852.625-3715-30
12.697174683964.214-485-40

 

What did we learn?

 

Fight On, Clay

Clay Helton was an unusual hire. He appears to be a quality offensive mind and he proved on National Signing Day that he knows how to close an elite class. USC once again landed the best class in the Pac-12 and once again will enter a season with the league's most talented roster. Which is why Helton, who will also have a new boss soon, has precious little time to win. His roster is back over 80 scholarships and is the sixth-best collection of talent in the nation  — well ahead of anyone else in the conference.

 

Related: 

 

The Next Step

Jim Mora has won a bunch of games in Westwood but fans are beginning to wonder about the next step (or if their coach wants to be there). But UCLA moved past Oregon as the second-most talented roster in the league for 2016. After three top-12 classes in four cycles and five straight top-20 hauls, Mora now boasts the No. 13-rated roster in the nation, including the nation’s best pure passer in Josh Rosen. The time is now for the Bruins.

 

The Battle for the North

The Ducks and Cardinals have dominated the Pac-12 Championship Game since its inception and have won an absurd 111 combined games in the last five years. But as far as talent goes, Washington and Chris Petersen are nipping at their heels. Oregon (19th), Stanford (21st) and Washington (25th) all boast top 25 rosters nationally and are well ahead of the rest of the North Division in terms of talent. Catching up will be no easy task, however, as David Shaw just landed his third top-20 class in five cycles. This is a fun division to track for a reason.

 

What is a Ute?

With all due respect to Judge Haller, it’s a helluva football team. Few coaches have gotten more out of less than Kyle Whittingham. But, much like other recently elevated programs like TCU and Louisville, that “less” is getting better and better. This cycle Utah landed its second-best class (36th) of the last decade (32nd in 2010) and its best since entering the Pac-12. With his ability to develop talent, it won’t be long before Whittingham’s talent begins to match his win total.


Related: 

 

Sonny Side Up

Cal has gotten dramatically better under Sonny Dykes and it’s shown on the recruiting trail. Dykes has landed back-to-back top-40 classes after winning eight games for the first time since 2009. This roster needs to continue to take dramatic steps before it can consistently compete in the North, but things are looking up in Berkeley. That is, as long as Dykes still resides there (looking at you, Michael Williams).

 

The South’s Top Challenger

Todd Graham’s Sun Devils slipped a bit in 2015 but with three consecutive top-30 classes in a row, Arizona State is well within reach of UCLA and USC in the South. The 28.8 average class ranking for this ASU roster is the line of demarcation in the conference between the top half and the bottom. The Sun Devils are one of six Pac-12 schools whose roster lands among the top 30 in the nation while the rest of the league falls outside of the top 40. Graham should have his squad back in contention quickly.

Teaser:
Ranking the Pac-12's Football Rosters for 2016
Post date: Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12-football-rosters-2016
Body:

The sky is blue, the Earth is round and when you have better players, you win more games.

 

Certainly, winning big in takes great coaching, enormous support staffs, state-of-the-art training facilities and plenty of luck. But whoever has the most talented roster, has a head start in the race for conference and national championships. 

 

National Signing Day 2016 gave us more than 4,000 new players to root for and track over the next four or five seasons. So which teams are in the best shape for 2016?

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 National Signing Day Recap



Subscribe: |

 

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for schools over the last five classes according to  and each team's record over the last five seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account attrition but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

 

Ranking the Big 12's College Football's Rosters in 2016:

 

 Team'16'15'14'13'12RankW/LConf.
1.11101617211.236-2825-20
2.201414161215.250-1534-11
3.173626272626.450-1532-13
4t443928303234.645-2029-16
4t.234243362934.645-1929-16
6.393538313635.836-2820-23
7.453342462738.633-3017-28
8.526658606760.619-4210-35
9.735549617562.644-2130-15
10.897451488168.610-502-43

 

Big 12 Big Picture

Certainly, having four fewer teams than most leagues hurts the Big 12 in a numbers game but the best of the best high school recruits continue to go elsewhere. The Big 12 landed one five-star this cycle and six total top 100 players. Seven different SEC schools signed 14 total five-star recruits and 42 of the top 100 prospects in the nation. Texas’ leads the Big 12 with the ninth-best roster in the nation — good for sixth in the Big 12. The overall talent trend has to be a major concern for the Big 12.

 

Rise of Baylor, TCU

On the field, Art Briles and Gary Patterson have little left to prove. They’ve elevated what were essentially mid-major programs to national prominence. Now, the recruiting is beginning to follow suit. And it’s something that could help stem the aforementioned Big 12 recruiting trends. Baylor and TCU signed what could be, on paper, considered the best recruiting classes in school history this cycle. It now gives the Bears the third-best roster in the league and TCU the fourth — up from fourth and sixth a year ago. For the Big 12 to continue to improve, Baylor and TCU need to continue their rise up college football’s hierarchy.

 

What to make of OU? 

Oklahoma isn’t going anywhere in the grand scheme of college football. It’s fresh off a College Football Playoff berth and conference title. It’s an elite program. But Bob Stoops hasn’t signed a top-10 class since 2010. Think about that. The Sooners had a small class this year due to a small senior class but not one top-10 class in six cycles seems extremely odd. Stoops enters 2016 with the 16th-best roster in the nation.

 

Lone Star-Sized Shark Tank

The state of Texas has always been the deep end of the recruiting pool but it’s gotten even wilder lately. With the emergence of TCU and Baylor and Texas A&M’s move to the SEC opening up the borders to the SEC even further, Texas is even more difficult to recruit than ever. Eight different teams landed a top 10 player from the state this fall, including Ole Miss, LSU, Stanford and Florida, and only three went to the Big 12. Texas landed just three of the top 17 and just five of the top 25. Speaking of Texas...

 

Strong-side Shift

Charlie Strong has totally shifted recruiting strategies in Austin from the previous regime. After Mack Brown landed just one recruit on National Signing Day in 16 years (h/t Wescott Eberts), .  This is great news for Texas fans as the Longhorns once again enter a season with the best roster in the Big 12. Is there a Texas-sized hole at quarterback still? Yes. But with the ninth-best roster in the nation at his disposal, Strong has a chance to begin to turn things around.

 

Mountaineer Consistency

West Virginia has landed a recruiting class ranked between 31st and 39th in five consecutive cycles. It gives Dana Holgorsen the sixth-best roster in the league and No. 35 in the nation. Offense will once again reign supreme in Morgantown in 2016 but the question of upside is a fair one. Does recruiting at this level consistently give WVU a shot at bowl games every year in the Big 12? Yes. Does it give it a shot at the Big 12 crown and a Playoff berth? Who knows.

 

Far Out West

In 2015, Kliff Kingsbury showed he could develop a roster and correct mistakes. However, as TCU and Baylor are getting more and more talented every year, Texas Tech seems to be slipping backwards. This roster has dropped to the seventh-best in the league and the 37th nationally. The Red Raiders are still way ahead of the Big 12 bottom feeders in terms of recruiting but two other in-state schools appear to be distancing themselves from the bottom half of the league — which now includes Tech.

 

Matt Campbell, David Beaty and Bill Snyder

Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State are three of the least talented Power 5 schools in the nation. But Bill Snyder is a proven depth chart mastermind who doesn’t care about recruiting rankings and Matt Campbell just inked the best class Iowa State has signed in over a decade. And he’s been on the job for only a few months. Beaty and Kansas, however, are different. He was hired at KU to rebuild the roster, but after a winless season, Beaty signed the worst Power 5 recruiting class in the nation by a wide margin. Only Boston College has a lower-rated Power 5 roster entering 2016. Best of luck, Jayhawks.

Teaser:
Ranking the Big 12 Football Rosters for 2016
Post date: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-secs-football-rosters-2016
Body:

The sky is blue, the Earth is round and when you have better players, you win more games.

 

Certainly, winning big in takes great coaching, enormous support staffs, state-of-the-art training facilities and plenty of luck. But whoever has the most talented roster, has a head start in the race for conference and national championships. 

 

National Signing Day 2016 gave us more than 4,000 new players to root for and track over the next four or five seasons. So which teams are in the best shape for 2016?

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 National Signing Day Recap



Subscribe: |

 

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for SEC schools over the last five classes according to  and each team's record over the last five seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account attrition but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

 

Ranking the SEC's College Football's Rosters in 2016:

 

 Team1615141312RankW/LConf.
1.111111.062-735-5
2.3626146.250-1528-12
3.7581288.050-1730-10
4.98610118.838-2717-23
5.132193410.039-2524-16
6.1811591611.843-2221-20
7.1447242013.831-3112-28
8.6171584718.636-2817-23
9.261919201720.243-2122-18
10.252329232825.633-3015-25
11.311835252226.241-2419-21
12.343822345035.619-416-34
13.532539433138.241-2422-19
14.544646264844.031-3213-27

 

Boring A$$ Alabama

Nick Saban did it again. Last year, his class was basically wrapped up on National Signing Day. This year, he landed half-a-dozen names on the final day of the cycle. Either way, Alabama once again landed the best class in the nation. For the sixth season in a row. What Saban is doing on the recruiting trail right now is virtually unprecedented.

 

Les-sure Cooker

Les Miles used an unusually deep collection of in-state talent to land yet another elite class. And it’s not an indication that things are all gravy in Baton Rouge. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Miles has landed four consecutive top-six classes and has the fourth-most talented roster in the nation in 2016 — which is the exact reason why big boosters have increased pressure on their head coach. For what it's worth, everything above applies to Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M as well as the Aggies now boast the 10th-best roster in the nation.

 

Win Now in Athens

Georgia hired a new coach this year for the first time in 16 years for a reason. Georgia’s 30-10 SEC record over the last five years is second only to Alabama but the Dawgs haven’t claimed a conference title since 2005. Mark Richt is in Miami now and Kirby Smart just inherited the fifth-most talented roster in the nation. There are four top-10 classes sitting in Athens now and the pressure to win immediately is very real.

 

What to make of Gus and Jim?

Gus Malzahn surged through NSD and landed a fourth straight top-10 class for Auburn. Jim McElwain showed improvement on the recruiting trail in his first full cycle, landing the 13th-ranked class this cycle. But on the field, the two may be trending in opposite directions. Auburn, picked by many to win the West, fell to last place and 17-23 over the last five years while Florida won 10 games and claimed the East Division title. They have the seventh- and eighth-best rosters in the nation in 2016. The nation will learn a lot more about both this fall.

 

Related: 

 

Vols, Rebs surging… into Atlanta?

Both Ole Miss and Tennessee are recruiting at an elite level since hiring Hugh Freeze and Butch Jones respectively. Both teams have top-20 rosters nationally and have been in the top 10 a combined four times in the last four years. With great quarterbacks returning and talent starting to stack up, the Rebels and Volunteers have as good a shot as anyone in the SEC to knock off Bama in 2016.


Related: 

 

Old Reliable

Arkansas might be the most consistent SEC recruiter outside of Alabama. With three different coaches recruiting for Arkansas between the 2012-16 recruiting cycles, the Razorbacks have landed five straight classes ranked between 23rd and 29th. Bielema does things a little differently (which is refreshing, honestly) and has improved his win total in all three seasons, so while the classes aren’t qualified as elite, it wouldn’t be smart to underestimate Bielema and Co.

 

The Great Dan Mullen

Mullen’s Mississippi State squad has won 41 games over the last five seasons, good for sixth in the league behind much more naturally gifted programs like Alabama, LSU and Georgia. The 19-21 SEC record is more of an indication of how tough the SEC West is rather than Mullen’s coaching ability. Six straight bowl games and a 10-6 league record the last two years in Starkville during Saban’s reign is a miraculous feat considering Mississippi State owns the least talented roster in the division (11th in the SEC).

 

CoMo better be patient

Barry Odom feels like a great fit in Columbia, Mo. He’s a sharp defensive mind and is a passionate alum, but the fans need to be patient with the young headman. Mizzou landed its second-worst recruiting class (53rd) since 2002 (57th in 2011) and was well behind the 25th-ranked haul from last year and the current 38.2 national average. Stability and identity were a huge part of Gary Pinkel’s success and Odom will need to time to grow into his new digs.

Teaser:
Ranking the SEC's Football Rosters for 2016
Post date: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-accs-football-rosters-2016
Body:

The sky is blue, the Earth is round and when you have better players, you win more games.

 

Certainly, winning big in takes great coaching, enormous support staffs, state-of-the-art training facilities and plenty of luck. But whoever has the most talented roster, has a head start in the race for conference and national championships. 

 

National Signing Day 2016 gave us more than 4,000 new players to root for and track over the next four or five seasons. So which teams are in the best shape for 2016?

 

College Football Podcast: 2016 National Signing Day Recap



Subscribe: |

 

Below are the national recruiting ranking averages for ACC schools over the last five classes according to  and each team's record over the last five seasons. Obviously, this doesn't take into account attrition but, over time, this should be considered relatively even across the conference.

 

Ranking the ACC's College Football's Rosters in 2016:

 

  '16'15'14'13'12AvgW/LConf.
1.2341134.658-1034-6
2.10917151513.256-1234-6
3.212612141016.635-2721-19
4.412927212127.840-2623-17
5.352831284333.039-2624-16
6.304744324138.833-3220-18
7t.373245374539.247-1828-11
7t.605032292539.223-3813-27
9.493134595445.433-3114-26
10.335160706255.236-2919-21
11.594456765257.436-3022-18
12665850736161.626-3613-25
13.585365676661.821-4012-28
14.756252877169.423-3912-28

 

What did we learn?

 

Florida State, Clemson Dominate

Florida State and Clemson have dominated both the football field and recruiting trail in the ACC. These two programs have won the last five ACC championships and have played in two national title games and a College Football Playoff game over the last three years. The Noles’ average national ranking of 4.6 trails only Alabama (1.0) and Ohio State (4.2) as the most talented roster in the nation. Clemson’s 13.2 average ranking is 12th nationally and includes back-to-back top-10 hauls. Only Miami comes close to the Tigers and Seminoles when it comes to recruiting in the ACC.

 

Mark Richt Returns

Richt is inheriting what is clearly the third-best roster in the ACC - as was the case under former head coach Al Golden. However, this team is just 21-19 over the last five years in ACC play. Miami's average class ranking of 16.6 is better than Ole Miss (18.6), Oregon (19.4), Stanford (22.2), Baylor (26.4) and Michigan State (27.4). Those programs have a combined nine conference titles over the last five years while Miami hasn’t even won its division (ever). We shall see if Richt is the right guy for the job.

 

Related: 

 

Fear the Heel?

The Tar Heels went 8-0 in the ACC last fall and it gives North Carolina the third-best ACC record over the last five years (24-16). But can the Heels take the next step under Larry Fedora? North Carolina has been ranked between 28th and 35th nationally in four straight classes but is that enough to topple the two big boys in the ACC? With the fifth-ranked roster in the league — despite being third in the Coastal Division — North Carolina appears to have as good a shot as anyone in the conference of knocking off either the Tigers or the Noles.

 

Bittersweet change

Virginia Tech and the ACC lost a legend when Frank Beamer retired. However, the Hokies might have made the best coaching hire of anyone in college football. Just like that change feels bittersweet, so to should the Hokies' 2016 recruiting class. Justin Fuente is undoubtedly an outstanding coach, but the regime change led to the worst-rated Tech class (41st) since 2002 (43rd). Let’s see what Fuente can do with an entire cycle to recruit before casting judgment.

 

Pat Narduzzi is coming for you

It hasn’t taken long for Narduzzi to prove that he is the guy for the job in Pittsburgh. A 6-2 finish in the ACC was second to only Clemson and North Carolina last fall, and, in his first full cycle on the recruiting trail, Narduzzi scored the best Panther class (30th) since 2008 (28th). As a result, Pitt moved from the eighth-best roster in the ACC last season to the sixth in 2016.

 

Cutcliffe-ville

Duke has won 36 games in the last five seasons, trailing only traditional powers Florida State, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Louisville and North Carolina in the ACC. It also won the Coastal Division and, this year, won its first bowl game in decades. What did head coach David Cutcliffe do for an encore? He landed the highest-rated recruiting class in modern Duke history (33rd). The Blue Devils now own a more talented roster than Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest.

Teaser:
Ranking the ACC's Football Rosters for 2016
Post date: Monday, February 8, 2016 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-16-national-signing-day-recap
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox break down National Signing Day 2016.

 

- What was their favorite part of NSD 2016 and how did each of the guys end up at their school of choice?

 

- Alabama is boringly amazing. Again.

 

- Texas and Charlie Strong are doing things differently in Austin and it paid off in a big way.

 

- How important is the rise of Baylor and TCU for the Big 12 as a whole?

 

- Jim Harbaugh: Mad genius or totally annoying? And what is his impact on the rest of the Big Ten?

 

- Florida State surged into the No. 2 slot while LSU used home state advantage to land the No. 3 class.

 

- Auburn, Ole Miss, Georgia and Tennessee all closed strongly. Which one was most surprising?

 

- Clay Helton and USC won the Pac-12 recruiting title. What does that prove for Trojans fans?

 

- Did Houston land the best Group of 5 class ever?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: '16 National Signing Day Recap
Post date: Thursday, February 4, 2016 - 15:52
All taxonomy terms: super-bowl, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/all-time-super-bowl-team-2016
Body:

There is no bigger stage in the , or arguably sports in general, than the Super Bowl. As Super Sunday prepares for its 50th anniversary, there have been countless of Hall of Famers who have lived up to their legacy and reputation with the Lombardi Trophy on the line. The most important game of the season also has produced its fair share of under-the-radar as well.

 

Related: 

 

But when it comes to the ultimate test in professional football, which players have shone brightest? Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ All-Time Super Bowl Team, which is quarterbacked by the man known simply as “Joe Cool.”

 

All-Super Bowl Offense

 

QB: Joe Montana, SF

With four Super Bowl wins, Montana has a career Big Game passer rating of 127.8, the best ever. Joe Cool tossed 11 touchdown passes to six different receivers with no interceptions. During his Super Bowl career, he threw 28 passes on third down, completing 19 of them for 14 first downs. Honorable Mention: Tom Brady, NE

 

RB: Franco Harris, PIT

There is no shortage of candidates at running back. Harris rushed for 354 yards in Pittsburgh’s four Super wins in the 1970s and had another 114 yards receiving. In the four games, Harris had 18 touches on third down resulting in 10 first downs and three touchdowns. And Harris is the only runner with more than 100 carries in Super Bowl history. HM: Emmitt Smith, DAL

 

RB: Roger Craig, SF

In three Super Bowls for San Francisco, all wins, Craig amassed 413 yards from scrimmage with four touchdowns, including 101 yards receiving in Super Bowl XXIII. HM: Terrell Davis, DEN

 

WR: Lynn Swann, PIT

Fans who saw him in the Super Bowl probably remember flying, acrobatic catches. But Swann meant more to the Steelers than just a couple of circus catches. He is second all-time with 364 receiving yards, all coming in three Super Bowls. HM: John Stallworth, PIT

 

WR: Jerry Rice, SF

Rice is another no-brainer. Let’s see: most Super Bowl receptions in a career (33), most yards receiving in a career (589) and game (215), most yards from scrimmage in a career (604), the only player to score three TDs in a game twice. Oh, and he earned an MVP. HM: Isaac Bruce, STL

 

TE: Jay Novacek, DAL

One of quarterback Troy Aikman’s favorite clutch targets, Novacek scored the first Dallas touchdown in Super Bowls XXVII and XXX. In three wins he totaled 148 yards and two scores on 17 catches. HM: Shannon Sharpe, DEN/BAL

 

LT: Jon Kolb, PIT

The only constant along the Pittsburgh offensive line during their run of four Super Bowls in the 1970s, Kolb led the way for Franco Harris’ running and protected Terry Bradshaw in the passing game. HM: Mark Tuinei, DAL

 

LG: Nate Newton, DAL

Emmitt Smith became the all-time leading NFL rusher thanks in large — and we do mean large — part to Newton. In Newton’s three Super Bowls, the Cowboys scored 52, 30 and 27 points. HM: Russ Grimm, WAS

 

C: Jim Langer, MIA

Langer anchored the line during Miami’s back-to-back titles in the 1970s. In Super Bowl VIII, Miami rushed 53 times for 196 yards, most of it straight up the middle with bruiser Larry Csonka. HM: Ray Mansfield and Mike Webster, PIT

 

RG: Joe Andruzzi, NE

In three New England wins, the Patriots rushed for 372 yards, and Andruzzi helped protect MVP Tom Brady allowing him to stay comfortable in the pocket. HM: Jerry Kramer, GB

 

RT: Erik Williams, DAL

The heart and soul of the Cowboys’ offensive machine was the offensive line. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin were the beneficiaries of the hard work done by the likes of Williams. HM: Forrest Gregg, GB

 

All-Super Bowl Defense

 

DE: Charles Haley, SF/DAL

Haley was more of an outside linebacker in San Francisco's 3-4 alignment. He is the only player to win five Super Bowls. Honorable Mention: Reggie White, GB

 

DE: Richard Dent, CHI

The Monsters of the Midway had a stacked roster of defensive stars but Dent won the MVP in Super Bowl XX with 1.5 sacks as the Bears gave up a total of 10 points to New England. HM: Richard Seymour, NE

 

DT: Joe Greene, PIT

As the heart of the front of the Steel Curtain, Greene intimidated quarterbacks, running backs and offensive linemen. In four Super wins, opponents averaged less than 100 yards rushing against Pittsburgh as Greene made life miserable for Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton and Vince Ferragamo. HM: Alan Page, MIN

 

DT: Russell Maryland, DAL

The offense received much of the credit, but Dallas recorded eight interceptions and held teams to less than four yards a carry in their three Super Bowl wins in the 1990s. Maryland was a load up front in all three games. HM: Jethro Pugh, DAL

 

LB: Jack Lambert, PIT

Lambert was in the middle of all things defensively for the Steelers for 11 seasons, including four trips to the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh would not have been 4-0 in the most important game of the season without him. HM: Tedy Bruschi, NE

 

LB: Ray Lewis, BAL

Lewis is one of two linebackers to win a Super Bowl MVP (XXXV) and nearly a decade later posted seven tackles in winning his second Lombardi Trophy with the Ravens. It was his final game in the NFL. HM: Keena Turner, SF

 

LB: Chuck Howley, DAL

This Cowboy is one of two at his position to ever win an MVP (V) and is the only player to win an MVP for a losing team in Super Bowl history. He also won a Super Bowl the following year with a big performance (INT, fumble recovery) in Dallas' win over Miami. HM: Mike Vrabel, NE

 

CB: Herb Adderley, GB/DAL

Adderley was a member of Green Bay’s first two title teams, returning an interception 60 yards for a score in Super Bowl II. He played in two more for Dallas, winning one and losing one. HM: Ty Law, NE

 

CB: Mel Blount, PIT

Blount played for four winners, and contributed with an interception in Super Bowls IX and XIII. HM: Deion Sanders, SF/DAL

 

S: Cliff Harris, DAL

One of only 13 players in NFL history, Harris changed the way the free safety positon was played. He won Super Bowl VI and XII. HM: Troy Polamalu, PIT

 

S: Ronnie Lott, SF

Instrumental in the Niners’ four Super Bowl wins, Lott played corner in the first two before moving to safety. None of his nine postseason interceptions came in the Super Bowl, probably because quarterbacks avoided him. HM: Jake Scott, MIA

 

RS: Desmond Howard, GB

Earned MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXI with a kick return for a touchdown, but also had two punt returns of more than 30 yards. HM: Jacoby Jones, BAL

 

K: Adam Vinatieri, K, NE/IND

Never has there been a more clutch kicker in the Super Bowl.

 

P: Larry Seiple, MIA

Always a threat to take off and run (also played some tight end), Seiple kept the Redskins and Vikings bottled up in Super Bowls VII and VIII.

Teaser:
All-Time Super Bowl Team
Post date: Friday, January 29, 2016 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/cam-newton-hatred-blown-way-out-proportion
Body:

Why does Cam Newton feel like a victim?

 

Why does , that he scares people?

 

It's an important and legitimate question because his personality and play on the field definitely move the needle.

 

Racism exists in this country and anyone who tries to deny it is simply ignorant. There are people and organizations that live with hatred in their hearts for different races, genders, sexual orientations and religious beliefs.

 

But a bigot would hate Cam Newton regardless of his position on the field or level of success, right? A bigot would hate Cam Newton if he was a cab driver or grocery store clerk or NFL quarterback.

 

There are certainly some out there using veiled language to mask their personal beliefs, but is that the majority of NFL fans or media members?

 

The response to Newton’s comments on Wednesday have been overwhelmingly positive. Column after column has praised Cam for being Cam.

 

Praised him for his unbelievable on-the-field accomplishments that, by the way, will almost assuredly win him the NFL MVP. Praised him for his work in the community and with the children of Charlotte. Praised him for being “unapologetic and larger than life.”

 

Those columns are all correct. Newton hasn't done anything wrong, cheated in anyway or juked the NFL system to gain an advantage.

 

Don’t sell me on Twitter Bros, either. You know the type, the keyboard cowboys who sit in their mom’s basement and spew digital garbage.

 

Twitter Bros send death threats to 19-year-old kickers who miss game-winning field goals. Twitter Bros wish torn ACLs on high school athletes who don’t commit to their favorite school. Twitter Bros send .

 

Bigots' and Twitter Bros' opinions aren't representative of the greater population and exist largely on the fringe of common sense — and of most communities.

 

A certain amount of “twitter hate” simply comes with the territory of being a public figure. It’s an inherent evil for successful athletes of all races, teams, sports and positions.

 

So other than who didn’t like Newton’s hip gyrations and proceeded to write a misguided letter to The Charlotte Observer, I can’t really find these so-called "detractors," "haters" or "critics" who are scared of Cam Newton.

 

The only people who should be scared of Cam Newton are defensive coordinators.

 

Most of us love watching Cam Newton because he is awesome. Just like we love watching Odell Beckham Jr. and J.J. Watt — and all of the antics and flare that come along with watching them do what they do on a football field.

 

But you know who does get actual “hate” for being unapologetic? Or brash? Or larger than life?

 

Tom Brady. Johnny Manziel. Dez Bryant. Jay Cutler. Greg Hardy. Tony Romo. Jameis Winston. The list goes on and on.

 

Brady might be the most hated man in the NFL. The media, fans, other NFL franchises and even the NFL itself are Brady “haters,” attacking his character and professional integrity at every possible turn. The NFL spent millions of dollars and eight months over a rule that most people view as ridiculous.

 

Bryant was and it resulted in a locker room blowup. Cutler is criticized, second-guessed and laughed at every time he throws an interception. By everyone. Romo without the media questioning his commitment to his team.

 

And Manziel? Hardy? Winston? There isn’t enough time in the day to discuss these guys.

 

Even Newton’s opponent in the NFC title game, Carson Palmer, was for his departure from Cincinnati.

 

These criticisms are valid and deserved. There in lies the rub.

 

Has the NFL tried to investigate or suspend Newton for anything? Have columnists attacked his personal character or doubted his commitment to the game or his team? Has anyone accused him of off-the-field issues or questioned his professional integrity? Is there some sort of on-going public witch hunt targeting him?

 

Do a quick Google search. Mostly, you'll find a lot of positivity.

 

Even the NCAA — the slowest moving, most opaque and inconsistent organization in the history of sports — reinstated Newton in ONE DAY during his 2010 run to a BCS national championship and Heisman Trophy. The NCAA can't do anything in one day.

 

Clearly, Heisman voters, like NFL MVP voters, have no issue with Cam Newton.

 

The reality is that most everyone actually enjoys Cam Newton and actually enjoys the breathtaking display he’s given us every step of his career (except maybe Alabama or Florida fans).

 

Do I think he and Auburn got away with something in 2010? Sure (it might have been the best investment in the history of sports). Do I think you should dance for 10 seconds after a three-yard gain on your own 30-yard line? No (I prefer touchdowns and turnovers). But none of that impacts the joy I get from watching him play the game at an elite level. If the worst thing that's ever said about him is "I don't like his TD dance," then I think he's doing just fine.

 

Newton says he’s criticized because he’s incomparable. Since I can’t find any legitimate examples of this so-called criticism, I’d say it’s quite the opposite.

 

He’s interesting, appreciated and must-see entertainment because he’s incomparable. Not hated.

Teaser:
Is Cam Newton Hatred Blown Out of Proportion?
Post date: Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 14:27
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-early-2016-preseason-top-25-analysis
Body:

Braden Gall and Steven Lassan break down the very early 2016 preseason college football Top 25.

 

Read Along:

 

- Who are the NFL Draft deadline winners and losers? And is Clemson both?

 

- Are the Tigers a clearcut frontrunner in the ACC? The answer is no.

 

- Can Ohio State overcome major losses and return to the top of the Big Ten or is Michigan primed for a big run?

 

- Is there anyone in the Big Ten West that can compete with the East?

 

- Oklahoma has to replace a lot on defense but does Baker Mayfield make them the favorite in the Big 12?

 

- Is Oklahoma State the big sleeper in the Big 12?

 

- Does the Pac-12 have a national title contender or just a lot of really good teams in 2016?

 

- Tennessee is the clearcut frontrunner in the East but who could be the top challenger?

 

- BORING: Alabama is the top dog in the SEC West again.

 

- What do we make of LSU vs. Ole Miss and can any other team push for a division crown?

 

- Who are the best Group of 5 teams going to be in 2016?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Early 2016 Preseason Top 25 Analysis
Post date: Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 11:16
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-alabama-clemson-recap
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox recap Alabama's thrilling win over Clemson for the 2015 National Championship.

 

- Who was Alabama's MVP?

 

- Did special teams win Bama the game?

 

- Where does Nick Saban rank historically against Bear Bryant and others?

 

- Where does this Bama team rank against Saban's other title winners?

 

- Where will Lane Kiffin be coaching next fall?

 

- What will Clemson's squad look like in 2016?

 

-The guys also offer up some replacements (some serious and others not so much) for Jeff Long as the Committee Chairman.

 

- And a quick look at the first weekend of action in 2016 already has the gang fired up.

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Alabama-Clemson Recap
Post date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 15:19
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-podcast-alabama-vs-clemson-national-championship-preview
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox analyze every angle of the 2015 College Football Playoff:

 

- Will the fans finally get a great game?

 

- Is the country rooting for Clemson and why?

 

- How would a loss change the perception of Dabo Swinney and Clemson?

 

- Will Alabama be able to scheme for DeShaun Watson?

 

- What individual matchups are the most intriguing?

 

- Can Wayne Gallman and the traditional running game be effective?

 

- Which team has the significant special teams advantage?

 

- Will Jake Coker continue his superb play against a stingy Clemson defense?

 

- What are our official predictions and MVP picks for the title game?

 

 

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

Teaser:
College Football Podcast: Alabama vs. Clemson National Championship Preview
Post date: Thursday, January 7, 2016 - 11:52
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/cover-2-college-football-podcast-playoff-bowl-recap
Body:

Braden Gall and David Fox recap the two Playoff blow-outs, bowl results and the latest coaching rumors:

 

- Where we surprised with the way Clemson played and can they repeat it on Monday night?

 

- What does the huge drop in ratings mean for the future of the Playoff?

 

- Will the College Football Playoff ever be able to "beat" New Year's Eve?

 

- What are the latest NFL rumors about David Shaw?

 

- Who would you rather hire (if any) in the NFL: Jim Mora or Kevin Sumlin? (And why?)

 

- Who would fire their current head coach to land Chip Kelly?

 

- What to conference bowl records mean in the grand scheme of things?

 

- Which teams will see their bowl outcome influence their offseason the most?

 

- What are D-Fox's hopes and dreams for 2016?

 

 

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

Teaser:
Cover 2 College Football Podcast: Playoff, Bowl Recap
Post date: Monday, January 4, 2016 - 16:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/orange-bowl-preview-podcast-featuring-tajh-boyd-and-roy-williams
Body:

Braden Gall sat down with two former greats from Oklahoma and Clemson to preview the massive Capital One Orange Bowl.

 

Former great Oklahoma safety Roy Williams discusses Bob Stoops legacy, stopping the Tigers spread offense and what makes Baker Mayfield special. He also talks about the first time he met Coach Stoops and would his style of play even be legal in today's game?

 

Former great Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd talks about what makes Dabo Swinney such a great motivator, why he came to Clemson, why DeShaun Watson is so special and what he would do to stop Baker Mayfield.

 

Both players join the Cover 2 podcast on behalf of the Capital One Cup. Fans can check the standings and track their favorite teams at .

 

 

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

Teaser:
Orange Bowl Preview Podcast featuring Tajh Boyd and Roy Williams
Post date: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 09:15
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/cover-2-college-football-podcast-2015-playoff-preview
Body:

Braden Gall, Mitch Light and David Fox analyze every angle of the 2015 College Football Playoff:

 

- Which team benefits the most, the least from the long layoff?

 

- Which coach's legacy would benefit the most from a national championship?

 

- Will any team have a home-field advantage like Oregon did last year in the Rose Bowl?

 

- Can Michigan State stop Derrick Henry?

 

- Is Connor Cook the best quarterback Alabama has faced?

 

- Can a pro-style offense beat a Nick Saban defense?

 

- Should Clemson or Oklahoma be more motivated by last year's bowl blowout?

 

- Which quarterback will play better in the Orange Bowl?

 

- Is Oklahoma the best offense Clemson has faced all season?

 

- Can the Sooners defense control the line of scrimmage against DeShaun Watson?

 

And, of course, we make final score predictions for both games (and if we are wrong, WHY are we wrong?)

 

 

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

Teaser:
Cover 2 College Football Podcast: 2015 Playoff Preview
Post date: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 10:19
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/cover-2-college-football-podcast-bowl-preview-part-1
Body:

Hosts Braden Gall and David Fox break down the latest news and notes from college football as well as Part 1 of our bowl preview.

 

Here is what we covered in this week's podcast:

 

- How many bowls is the right number of bowls?
 

- What is your perfect way to consume bowls?


- How do we feel about Playoff games on New Year's Eve? (And who's to be blamed?)


- What are the biggest concerns about the Mizzou law that failed?


- Why does the SEC love it's coaches so much that they keep recycling them?


- Where should BYU turn now that it's first choice stayed at Navy?


- What the hell is going on at Texas A&M and is Kevin Sumlin in trouble?

 

And in Part 1 of our bowl preview, we tell you what to watch for on every day of the first half of bowl season (Dec. 19 through Dec. 28).

 

 

 

 

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

Teaser:
Cover 2 College Football Podcast: News, Notes and Bowl Preview Part 1
Post date: Thursday, December 17, 2015 - 13:34
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/cover-2-college-football-podcast-2015-superlatives
Body:

David Fox, Braden Gall and Mitch Light get together for a year-in-review superlatives edition of the Cover 2. 

 

The guys pick their favorite game, player, play, team and freshman as well as ugliest game, worst uniform and poorest coaching job. How about who made the best hire? Best bowl matchup? Best bowl sponsor? Best bowl gift.

 

The guys even delve into TV, movies, music, broadcast teams, sports documentaries and more. We rank 25 of the best and worst from 2015.

 

 

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

Teaser:
Cover 2 College Football Podcast: 2015 Superlatives
Post date: Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 17:19

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