Articles By Braden Gall

All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-week-11-recap
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and David Fox breakdown how Week 11 impacted the playoff picture. TCU vs. Baylor? Can Florida State survive with one loss? Does a two-loss SEC champ get the nod over a one-loss champ? How good is Ohio State? We debate it all and much more on a spirited edition of the Cover 2 Podcast.


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

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: Week 11 Recap
Post date: Monday, November 10, 2014 - 12:09
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-2014-week-11-picks
Body:

A 5-4 record last week got me into the black for the season and I am going to screw it all up this week by picking the six massive national showdowns.

 

I will toss in a few top picks, as usual, but this week is too big not to take a shot at greatness by trying to beat the best.

 

Additionally, I've taken a small lead among Athlon Sports editors picking every Top 25 game against the spread. (I am very proud.)

 

Last Week: 5-4

Year-to-Date: 37-36-1

 

Ohio St (+3.5) at Michigan St

Of all of the biggest games this weekend, I like the Spartans more than anyone else. JT Barrett has struggled against the two best defenses he’s faced this year (Va. Tech, PSU) and will do the same against Michigan State. Both teams are strong against the number but this seems like a small number. Prediction: Michigan State -3.5

 

Kansas St (+6) at TCU

This is actually a bad matchup for the Horned Frogs. Kansas State is physical and tough and will run downhill on both sides of the ball while TCU plays more of a finesse game these days. The Wildcats are 6-2 against the number and could win outright. Prediction: Kansas State +6

 

Alabama (-6.5) at LSU

Where on the field does LSU have better personnel than Alabama? Kicker? Punter? Maybe a few O-linemen? Other than being played in Baton Rouge, nothing about this game says LSU can win. Being just under seven points gives me the confidence to take the Tide to roll. Prediction: Alabama -6.5

 

Listen to the Week 11 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Notre Dame (+2.5) at Arizona St

The Irish may be a touch underrated and the Sun Devils appear to be overrated in the rankings. Notre Dame won this meeting last year against a better ASU team with Tommy Rees under center. Everett Golson is the difference maker. Take the Irish to win outright. Prediction: Notre Dame +2.5

 

Oregon (-8) at Utah

This feels like a big number, Utah is among the nation’s best teams against the spread (7-1) and they are at home. And the Utes' defensive line is one of the best in the nation. So why am I taking the Ducks? Call it a gut feeling about the team that might be playing the best football in the nation. Prediction: Oregon -8

 

Baylor (+5.5) at Oklahoma

Oklahoma has never lost at home to Baylor (0-11) and is looking for revenge after getting embarrassed last season. Look for the Sooners to blitz like crazy and put as much pressure on Bryce Petty as possible and Oklahoma should have the upper hand against a depleted Bears’ offensive line. Prediction: Oklahoma -5.5

 
Other, real-er top picks:

 

Duke (-3.5) at Syracuse

The Blue Devils are rolling right now and the Cuse is struggling. Duke is 6-2 against the number and has back-to-back ACC Coastal Division crowns squarely in its sights. Take the lowest ranked one-loss Big 5 team in the nation to win big in the Carrier Dome. Prediction: Duke -3.5

 

Penn St (-6.5) at Indiana

The Hoosiers' offensive has come to a screeching halt since losing QB Nate Sudfeld and PSU is one of the best defenses in the nation. And the Penn State offense might actually be able to move the ball against the lowly Indiana defense. Prediction: Penn State -6.5

 

Iowa (pk) at Minnesota

Iowa's offensive balance gives the Hawkeyes a slight edge despite being the visiting team. The Golden Gophers might be too one-dimensional for an Iowa team that played arguably its best game of the year last weekend. Prediction: Iowa

 

Top 25 Picks ATS:

 

Top 25Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
Virginia (+19) at FSU
Texas A&M (+21.5) at Auburn
Oregon (-8) at Utah
Alabama (-6.5) at LSU
Kansas St (+6) at TCU
Ohio St (+3.5) at Mich. St
N. Dame (+2.5) at Arizona St
Baylor (+5.5) at Oklahoma
UCLA (-4.5) at Washington
Colorado (+17) at Arizona
Georgia (-10.5) at Kentucky
Duke (-3.5) at Syracuse
W. Virginia (-4) at Texas
Georgia Tech (-3.5) at NC State
Last Week:8-77-85-106-9
YTD:78-72-475-75-469-81-476-74-4
Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: College Football 2014 Week 11 Picks
Post date: Friday, November 7, 2014 - 08:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-2014-week-11-predictions
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and Steven Lassan preview the big games of Week 11. Huge showdowns in East Lansing, Fort Worth, Norman, Salt Lake City, Baton Rouge and Tempe highlight a critical weekend in college football. We pick every big game and also offer up some locks of the week against the spread. 


Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @AthlonSteven or email [email protected]. The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, iTunes, Stitcher and our podcast RSS feed.

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: 2014 Week 11 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 11:10
Path: /college-football/big-12-2014-week-11-preview-and-predictions
Body:

All offseason long, the Big 12 pointed to Nov. 8 as its season-defining weekend, featuring a showdown of epic proportions that will likely decide the league championship and a possible College Football Playoff berth.

 

We all just thought that game would be taking place in Norman rather than Fort Worth. Kansas State visiting TCU is a matchup of two top 10 teams and could not only end up deciding the Big 12 this fall, but the winner also has an inside track on a spot in the inaugural playoff. Baylor-Oklahoma still has plenty of juice and will be equally as entertaining — as does West Virginia's trip to Austin — but all eyes will be focused on two shades of purple in Amon Carter Stadium.

Week 11 Previews and Predictions:
ACC | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

Big 12 Week 11 Game Power Rankings

 

1. Kansas St (+6) at TCU
7:30 p.m., FOX

This is why you join the Big 12. TCU has played big games in Fort Worth before but none like what will take place on Saturday. There couldn't be more on the line for both teams and this matchup will feature two great signal-callers and two historic coaches. Jake Waters and Bill Snyder bring a blue-collar approach and toughness into the battle while Gary Patterson and Trevone Boykin are winning with a finesse offense. Boykin posted season lows in most categories against WVU last weekend and now faces the Big 12's top scoring (18.6 ppg) and total defense (321.0 ypg). This is a unit that has stuffed Auburn and Oklahoma so Boykin will need to be at his best against a very physical front seven. On the flip side, the Wildcats will line up and run downhill against a TCU front that has given up some yards on the ground (169.2) in league play. Both teams have excelled against ranked teams this fall and won't shy away from the big stage. Kansas State appears to be the better team, but the buzz on campus should buoy the Horned Frogs. Snyder is 2-0 against Patterson in the Big 12. Pick your shade of purple and sit back and enjoy, folks.

 

Listen to the Week 11 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Baylor (+5) at Oklahoma
Noon, FS1

Certainly, some luster has been removed from this meeting after three combined losses in the first 10 weeks, but the Bears' trip north is still must-see TV. Baylor, who is clearly "Ready for OU," has never won in Norman in the history of the program (0-11) but has gained significant ground in the series by winning two of the last three overall. Traditionally, this rivalry has been an offensive affair with the winner topping 40 points in four straight and 30 in the past 15 meetings. But both defenses could take center stage, as each unit gets after the quarterback and create turnovers. So as expected, Bryce Petty and Trevor Knight will have to protect the football, make quick decisions and possibly make plays outside of the pocket.

 

3. West Virginia (-3.5) at Texas
3:30 p.m., FS1

Defense will be the name of the game in Austin. West Virginia and its 3-3-5 defense has done an excellent job stopping big-time offenses of late after holding both TCU (389 yds) and Baylor (27 pts, 318 ids) to season-low performances. Texas has held five of its last six opponents to less than 400 yards of offense and 5.0 yards per play allowed. And both quarterbacks are coming off lackluster showings. Clint Trickett posted season lows in yards (162), attempts (26), completions (15) and passer rating (107.34) in the loss to TCU, while Tyrone Swoopes was very efficient but didn't make many plays (224 total yards) in the win over Texas Tech. The good news for Texas, aside from being at home, is the running game posted its best outing of the year last weekend with 241 yards on the ground. If the Horns can find room on the ground, it could neutralize the Mountaineers' effective 3-3-5.

 

4. Iowa St (-4) at Kansas
3:30 p.m.

Someone has to win a Big 12 game, right? Both teams are in desperate need of a victory and this is likely the best chance for either to get into the win column in the Big 12. Iowa State has had some painful final scores, losing by four to Kansas State and Texas. Kansas hasn't been nearly as competitive, losing only once all year by only one score (Oklahoma State). With three elite games in the Big 12 holding national implications and Paul Rhoads relatively safe in Ames despite the record, it's hard to make any case whatsoever to keep an eye on this game. Other than the loser likely goes winless in the Big 12.

 

Big 12 Predictions:

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
KSU (+6) at TCUKSU, 34-30TCU, 33-24TCU, 28-21TCU 30-27
Baylor (+5) at Okla.OU, 31-24BU, 34-27OU, 35-31OU, 34-31
WVU (-3.5) at TexasTexas, 30-28Texas, 23-20WVU, 27-20WVU 27-24
Iowa St (-4) at KansasISU, 40-28ISU, 27-13ISU, 14-10ISU, 34-24
Last Week:5-05-05-05-0
YTD:51-648-953-452-5

 

Teaser:
Big 12 2014 Week 11 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 08:00
Path: /college-football/pac-12-2014-week-11-preview-and-predictions
Body:

Three contenders have huge showdowns in Week 11 out West, two of which will be on the road. Oregon, after abusing Stanford, must travel to Utah while UCLA, after totally shutting down Arizona, must travel to Washington.

 

Elsewhere, out in the desert, Arizona State and Arizona are in must-win situations against two totally different opponents. The Sun Devils battle a top 10 foe while the Wildcats should land their first South Division win.

Week 11 Previews and Predictions:
ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC

 

Pac-12 Week 11 Game Power Rankings

 

1. Oregon (-8.5) at Utah
10 p.m., ESPN

Playing a team like Stanford normally would provide plenty of body blows, making victory the following week that much more difficult. The question is how many body blows did Oregon really take in its relatively easy win over the Cardinal last week and how will that impact the trip to Salt Lake City? Utah, which is leading the nation at 4.9 sacks per game, will get after the Ducks' offensive line with a myriad of pressure packages and formations. Marcus Mariota has grown accustomed to dancing away from oncoming defenders but his running game has come to his rescue of late. The Ducks are averaging over 250 yards rushing per game since getting left tackle Jake Fisher back four games ago. The Utes will have to stop the run as well as pressure Mariota to stand a chance at the upset. Utah will turn once again to co-starters at quarterback with both Travis Wilson and Kendal Thompson competing for snaps. Wilson struggled last week in the overtime loss to Arizona State but has done an “exceptional job” protecting the football while Thompson gives Kyle Whittingham a more dynamic athlete. Expect the hot hand to get the bulk of the workload against the mighty Ducks.

 

Listen to the Week 11 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Notre Dame (+2.5) at Arizona St
3:30 p.m., ABC

Is Arizona State overrated? Is Notre Dame underrated? All of that will be sorted out on Saturday afternoon when two of the more hotly discussed teams in the latest playoff rankings meet in Tempe. The Irish won a back-and-forth high-scoring affair in Arlington last season in which Tommy Rees (sort of) out-dueled Taylor Kelly (362 yds, 3 TD, 2 INT) for the 37-34 win. Now, Everett Golson is under center and will be much tougher to stop than Rees despite the fact he has thrown an interception in five straight games. Jaxon Hood, the Sun Devils’ most veteran defensive player, will not be on the field for ASU so coordinator Keith Patterson will have to get creative in trying to pressure and stop Golson. For all intents and purposes, this is a playoff elimination game for both teams and whoever has the ball last could be the victor. And whichever quarterback protects the ball is likely to be on the field last.

 

3. UCLA (-5) at Washington
7 p.m., FS1

Last week broke some trends for both UCLA and Washington. For most of this season, the Bruins' defense has struggled to get off the field on third downs, create turnovers or pressure the quarterback. In the win over Arizona, UCLA did all three, sacking Arizona three times and stopping the Wildcats on 14-of-20 third down tries. Washington has struggled on offense all season but posted a season-best 7.5 yards per play last week and rolled up the most yards in a game (442) since beating Illinois in Week 3. Two-way star Shaq Thompson is proving to be extremely effective on offense (215 yards from scrimmage last week) and is expected to play on both sides of the ball against the Bruins. For UCLA, it was the offense and Brett Hundley that slogged through the win over Arizona last week and will now be facing one of the more physical front sevens in the league. On the road in a hostile environment, the Bruins' offensive line may have a tough time stopping a unit that is second in the league in sacks (37.0) and tackles for a loss (67.0).

 

4. Colorado (+16) at Arizona
8 p.m., P12 Net

Rich Rodriguez’ offense had the worst game of the coach’s short tenure in the desert against UCLA last weekend. Fans should expect a down game from a redshirt freshman every now and then, but seven points and 30 incompletions is unacceptable. Solomon has a great chance to get back on track this weekend against a defense that allows 6.5 yards per play (121st nationally) and 444.1 yards per game (98th). Sefo Liufau and his 304.2 yards of offense per game will try to keep pace on the road but the Buffs will be hard-pressed to match Arizona's output.

 

5. Washington St (+8) at Oregon St
4 p.m., P12 Net

Most Pac-12 fans felt the pain Cougars nation felt when watching Connor Halliday’s career end last weekend. Luke Falk stepped in and threw for 370 yards in roughly three quarters against USC and will be charged with keeping Mike Leach’s offense churning. Few games are as winnable for Wazzu as Oregon State and the Pac-12’s all-time leading passer Sean Mannion are struggling in a big way. The Beavers have lost three straight and four out of five but will get four of their last five games at home, starting with the Cougars.

 

Pac-12 Predictions:

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
Ore. (-8.5) at UtahOre., 38-28Ore., 34-13Ore., 42-20Ore., 34-24
ND (+2.5) at ASUASU, 34-31ASU, 24-17ASU, 21-14ND, 34-31
UCLA (-5) at Wash.Wash., 27-24Wash., 26-21UCLA, 35-31UCLA, 27-24
Colo. (+16) at ZonaZona, 40-24Zona, 41-24Zona, 28-13Zona, 40-27
WSU (+8) at OSUOSU, 40-31OSU, 47-35OSU, 35-10OSU, 41-30
Last Week:5-15-15-16-0
YTD:51-1856-1355-1452-17

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 2014 Week 11 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 08:00
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-2014-week-11
Body:

The original reality TV show is sports. No contrived setting where seven strangers living in a house or one bachelor searching for love can match the excitement the Iron Bowl delivered last fall.

 

The beauty of college football lies in its complete unpredictability and drama. Here are some outrageous predictions for Week 11.

 

Note: The point of this column is to have some fun and make some outlandish predictions. Please react accordingly.

 

A quarterback in East Lansing will enter the Heisman race

 

Connor Cook and JT Barrett will square off in the biggest and most pivotal Big Ten game of the year this weekend in East Lansing when Ohio State visits Michigan State. Cook and Barrett are the top two QBs in the Big Ten in terms of efficiency and are posting great numbers. Cook (1,868 yds, 17 TDs, 5 INTs, 44 rush, 2 TDs) is one of the most underrated players in the nation and Barrett (1,856 yds, 23 TDs, 7 INTs, 496 rush, 6 TDs) has posted some big numbers of his own. One of these two will be squarely in the Heisman race following this weekend (my bet is Cook).

 

Marcus Mariota will have the worst game of his season… and will still win

 

Marcus Mariota will have the worst game of his season this weekend on the road against Utah and the nation’s best sack-masters (39.0 sacks). Mariota will throw for a season-low in yards (currently 210), post a season-low in total offense (277) and account for a season-low in terms of total touchdowns (two), but the Ducks will still win. Royce Freeman, Thomas Tyner and Byron Marshall will literally carry Oregon to a critical road win over the Utes.

 

24 points will win the Baylor-Oklahoma game

 

The winner of the Oklahoma-Baylor game has scored more than 40 points in four consecutive games and six of the last seven. In fact, the winner of this tilt (mostly Oklahoma) has scored more than 30 points in every meeting since 1998. So with that information, the winner this season will only need to score three touchdowns (and maybe a field goal) to get the win. Both teams are better on defense than outsiders think. Take the under.

 

Listen to the Week 10 recap podcast:



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Trevone Boykin and Jake Waters will account for a combined 10 TDs

 

I missed on the Boykin-Clint Trickett showdown last weekend, as both defenses showed up in Morgantown. I’m going back to the Big 12 QB well this week, as both Jake Waters (18 total TDs) and Boykin (26 total TDs) are set for a purple-clad battle in Fort Worth. Both defenses are solid, but this league has shown the nation how to play offense in the big games. Look for both QBs to get going both on the ground and through the air much like all of TCU’s other big games (SEE: Oklahoma, Baylor).

 

LSU will score more than 20 points against Alabama… and will still lose

 

Nick Saban has won three straight in the series against LSU and has done so in convincing fashion. Over that span, Alabama has outscored LSU 80-34. Even in LSU’s last win in 2011, the Tigers failed to score double-digit points. The Tigers' offense has gotten on track of late, scoring a total of 81 points in three straight wins. LSU may not win this weekend against the Tide at home but it will score at least 20 points against Alabama for the first time since 2010.

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions: 2014 Week 11
Post date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/expert-poll-week-10-heisman-trophy-voting
Body:

Athlon Sports has formed a Heisman Trophy committee. Each week, we will ask 13 members of the national college football media to rank their top candidates for the Heisman Trophy.

 

Each voter will rank their top five candidates, with each first-place vote getting five points and each last-place vote getting one point.

 

The Panel:

 

Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports

Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network 

Adam Zucker, CBS Sports

Steven Godfrey, SBNation

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network

Barrett Sallee, Bleacher Report, B/R Radio

Josh Ward, MrSEC.com

Mitch Light, Athlon Sports

David Fox, Athlon Sports

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports, SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

 PlayerTeamPts1st2nd3rd4th5th
1.Marcus Mariota64121---
2.Dak Prescott521111--
3.Melvin Gordon23--621
4.Trevone Boykin12-1121
5.Amari Cooper11--221
6.Everett Golson9--122
7t.Ameer Abdullah6--111
7t.Nick Marshall6--111
8.Jameis Winston5---13
9.Shaq Thompson4---12
10.Duke Johnson2---1-
11.Tevin Coleman1----1

Dropped out: None

 

Listen to the Week 10 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

The Top 3:

 
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

The Oregon quarterback exorcized some demons against archrival Stanford and landed all but one first-place vote this week because of it. He completed 19-of-30 passes for 258 yards, two touchdowns, one interception in the air while rushing nine times for 85 yards and two more scores in the blowout win over the Cardinal. He’s 10th nationally at 327.9 yards per game and is tops nationally with a 187.21 rating.

 

Season Stats: 2,541 yards, 68.1%, 26 TDs, 2 INTs, 410 rush yards, 7 TDs

 

2. Dak Prescott, Mississippi St

Prescott threw for a career-high 331 yards while running for 61 yards in Week 10. However, he also threw two interceptions and barely defeated Arkansas at home. This gave Mariota a slight edge entering Week 11 over the Bulldogs quarterback. With Tennessee-Martin on the slate this week, Prescott can only hurt his Heisman case before visiting Alabama in two weeks.

 

Season Stats: 2,025 yards, 61.1%, 16 TDs, 7 INTs, 725 rush yards, 10 TDs

 

3. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

The Badgers' star tailback rolled up his sixth consecutive game with at least 122 yards rushing by carrying 19 times for 128 yards and two more touchdowns in the easy win over Maryland. He is second nationally at 162.0 yards per game (just 0.5 yards per game behind Tevin Coleman) and is second nationally with 18 rushing touchdowns. Among the top 17 players in terms of rushing attempts, his 7.5 yards per carry is the best.

 

Season Stats: 173 att., 1,296 yards, 7.5 ypc, 18 TDs, 8 rec., 39 yards, 1 TD  

Teaser:
Expert Poll: Week 10 Heisman Trophy Voting
Post date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 08:00
Path: /college-football/10-amazing-college-football-stats-week-10-pac-12
Body:

Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of Pac-12 football action:

 

68: Brett Hundley career TD passes

Up by just three points late in the third quarter, Brett Hundley found Jordan Payton streaking down the sideline for a 70-yard touchdown that put the game on ice for UCLA. It was Hundley’s 68th career touchdown pass, tying Cade McNown’s all-time school record. More impressively (or concerning), other than that throw, Hundley was 18-of-25 for 119 yards against Arizona.

 

Nov. 3, 2012: Last time UCLA allowed less than 300 yards or 4.0 yards per play

Maybe Jim Mora just has Rich Rodriguez’s number? Hundley was solid but it was the Bruins' defense that deserves the headlines after the win over Arizona. It allowed just 255 yards and 3.2 yards per play to the usually productive Wildcats. It marks the first time UCLA has allowed fewer than 300 yards of offense or less than 4.0 yards per play since a 66-10 win over the same Wildcats on Nov. 3, 2012 (257 and 3.7). Both the 255 and 3.2 were low-water marks for RichRod since coming to Tucson.

 

30: Anu Solomon incompletions

Coming into the UCLA game, Anu Solomon was likely leading the National Freshman of the Year race by averaging 347.1 yards per game. A big part of how UCLA took Arizona down was confusing the young Wildcats quarterback. Solomon had been completing more than 63 percent of his passes this year until facing the Bruins. He completed just 18 of his 48 passes — or just 37.5 percent — in the loss to UCLA.

 

205: Oregon yards rushing improvement from last year

In the 26-20 upset in Palo Alto last season, Stanford held Oregon to just 62 yards rushing. In the easy and impressive 45-16 win over the Cardinal in Week 10, the Ducks rushed for 267 yards — or 205 more than they did last year. The 525 yards of total offense and 45 points allowed are the most allowed by Stanford since Arizona rolled up 617 and 48 on Oct. 6, 2012. It sets up Oregon for a Pac-12 North Division crown and a potential College Football Playoff berth.

 

123.23: Taylor Kelly’s passer rating since returning

Arizona State is in control of the Pac-12 South and 2-0 since Kelly returned. However, Kelly is still clearly knocking the dust off after missing three games. He’s completed 32-of-57 passes (56 percent) for 385 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in two wins for a passer rating of 123.23. For the record, the 123.23 rating would be 13th in the Pac-12 this season. 

 

Listen to the Week 10 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

273: Arizona St yards per game allowed in last three

After allowing 62 points, 580 yards and 10.0 yards per play in a home loss to UCLA, Arizona State has put the clamps down. Over the last three games — all wins over Stanford, Washington and Utah — Arizona State has allowed just 273 yards per game and just 3.9 yards per play. A defense that was totally rebuilt to start the year has blossomed into one of the more improved units from Week 1 until today. The Sun Devils held Utah to 241 yards on 74 offensive snaps (3.3 ypp).

 

12.6: Shaq Thompson's yards per touch against Colorado

Chris Petersen needs some offense and Thompson has been the answer. The star linebacker rushed 15 times for 174 yards and a touchdown while catching two passes for 41 yards in the road win over Colorado. For the game, Thompson touched the ball 17 times for 215 yards for a per touch average of 12.6 yards. For the year, he has 412 yards from scrimmage on 49 touches for 8.4 yards per touch.

 

323.1: Connor Halliday's career yards per game

In one of the sadder stories in college football this weekend, Washington State lost quarterback Connor Halliday for the season and his career with a broken leg. He was averaging 479.1 yards per game entering Week 10 and, had he kept that up, he would have surpassed B.J. Symons for the NCAA single-season passing record. For his career, Halliday will finish with 11,308 yards passing and 90 touchdowns in just 35 games for a per game career average of 323.1 yards passing per game.

 

12,454: Sean Mannion's Pac-12-best career passing yards

Move over Matt Barkley, there is a new all-time leading passer in Pac-12 history and his team lost to Cal by two touchdowns on Saturday. Sean Mannion has had a difficult season but his 320 yards against the Golden Bears gives him 12,454 yards passing for his career. That number is the best in Pac-12 history, edging Barkley’s record of 12,327. 

 

23-12: Pac-12 road record in league games

This stat might just sit at the bottom of this column for the rest of the season, as the number is starting to become more and more impressive with each passing week. Road teams in the league went 3-3 in Week 10, as Washington (Colorado), Cal (Oregon State) and USC (Washington State) all won as the visiting team. It’s going to be a fascinating metric to track until the end of the year.

Teaser:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 10 in the Pac-12
Post date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-2014-week-10-recap
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and David Fox recap all of Week 10's action in college football. This week's edition features press conference conflict, poorly timed tweets, upsets in the SEC, isuses at Florida and Michigan as well as lots of Big 12 and SEC West talk. The fellas also give you their post-Week 10 playoff poll as well.


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

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: 2014 Week 10 Recap
Post date: Monday, November 3, 2014 - 13:02
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-2014-week-10-picks
Body:

You can blame me, Ole Miss fans. I cost you the game against LSU (not Bo Wallace) by picking the Rebels to cover in Baton Rouge.

 

Needless to say, I need to make it up to you but I’m hoping you glanced at the Top 25 picks. I went 11-6 against the number and am, happy to say, now tied for the lead among my Athlon peers at 70-65-4 on the year. (I am very proud of this, clearly).

 

Anyway, back to top picks this week in an effort to get back into the black.

 

Last Week: 3-4

Year-to-Date: 32-32-1

 

Oklahoma St (+14) at Kansas St

The Wildcats are on a mission and are surging after sweeping Oklahoma and Texas. Kansas State defensively is lights out and Jake Waters has been brilliant. The Cats are 5-2 against the number this season and the Cowboys are 2-5-1 and limp into Manhattan. Prediction: Kansas State -14

 

Arizona (+6.5) at UCLA

The Bruins' defense doesn’t get pressure on the QB and doesn’t create turnovers and that’s a bad recipe against Anu Solomon and Rich Rodriguez. In fact, the Wildcats might be the better team. Home field gives UCLA a good shot to win but Arizona could easily walk away with the outright upset. The Bruins are 1-7 against the spread this season. Prediction: Arizona +6.5

 

Arkansas (+10.5) at Mississippi St

Like when the Hogs faced Georgia, this is a bad matchup for Arkansas. They don’t have the weapons to take advantage of issues in State’s secondary. And the Hogs won’t be able to stop Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson. The Bulldogs are 5-2 against the spread this year as well. Prediction: Mississippi State -10.5

 

Cal (+4) at Oregon St

The Bears are 5-3 against the spread and can score points with the best the nation has to offer. Oregon State is 2-5 against the spread and hasn’t mustered any offense whatsoever this season. While the Beavers should be able to score (take the over), Cal should win outright. Prediction: Cal +4

 

Wisconsin (-10/pk) at Rutgers

The real spread is likely in the 10-11 range and I like UW to cover that too. The reason some books have removed the game is Gary Nova’s status. But two books on Covers.com have the game as a pick-em, so I am jumping on that easy money. Again, even laying the 10, I’d take the Badgers to roll. Prediction: Wisconsin -10/pk

 

Listen to the Week 10 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Ride the hot(est) hands:

 

TCU (-5.5) at West Virginia

The Horned Frogs are 7-0 against the spread this season and are clicking on all cylinders on offense. Lay the points and ride it until they lose.

 

Utah (+6) at Arizona St

The Utes are 6-1 against the spread this year and should be able to pressure the ASU offense into a few mistakes.

 

Tulsa (+24) at Memphis

The Tigers are 5-1-1 this year against the number and Tulsa has been terrible for much of the season, checking in at 2-5 ATS.

 

Western Michigan (-6) at Miami-OH

The only team in the nation that has been better against the spread than WMU is TCU. The Broncos are 7-1 against Vegas this year.

 

 

Top 25 Picks ATS:

 

Top 25Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
Arkansas (+10.5) at Miss. St
Auburn (+2.5) at Ole Miss
Stanford (+8) at Oregon
TCU (-5.5) at W. Virginia
Okla. St (+14) at Kansas St
Notre Dame (-14) at Navy
Florida (+12.5) vs. Georgia
Arizona (+6.5) at UCLA
Kansas (+35.5) at Baylor
Utah (+6) at Arizona St
Purdue (+23.5) at Nebraska
Illinois (+28.5) at Ohio St
Oklahoma (-16.5) at Iowa St
ECU (-7.5) at Temple
Duke (+3.5) at Pitt
Last Week:11-68-99-810-7
YTD:70-65-468-67-464-71-470-65-4
Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: College Football 2014 Week 10 Picks
Post date: Friday, October 31, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-week-10-predictions
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and Steven Lassan preview the big games of Week 10. The Pac-12 has a full slate of interesting games, Auburn-Ole Miss and the Cocktail Party highlights another great SEC schedule, Gameday is in Morgantown and who really cares about the Big Ten? We pick every big game for Week 10 and also offer up some locks of the week against the spread.


Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @AthlonSteven or email [email protected]. The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, iTunes, Stitcher and our podcast RSS feed.

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: Week 10 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 11:41
Path: /college-football/big-12-2014-week-10-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The release of the first College Football Playoff rankings revealed some interesting statements about the Big 12.

 

No. 7 TCU is ranked well ahead of No. 13 Baylor despite losing to the Bears. Kansas State, the Big 12's lone remaining unbeaten team in conference play, is No. 9 despite almost beating No. 3 Auburn. And the committee is clearly not respecting No. 20 West Virginia.

 

Each week over the final month will provide clarity for the Big 12 and this weekend's games to watch begin in Morgantown.

Week 10 Previews and Predictions
ACC Big Ten | Pac-12 SEC


Big 12 Week 10 Game Power Rankings

 

1. TCU (-5) at West Virginia
3:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2

In a bizarre twist, the Mountaineers won impressively in Stillwater last weekend by running the football. With Trevone Boykin coming into town, Clint Trickett and Kevin White will have to get back on track in the passing game. In fact, if TCU decides to play man coverage, WVU’s Kevin White will be guarded by TCU’s Kevin White in many situations. The real key will be the play of both defensive lines, however. The Mountaineers were able to pressure and disrupt Baylor and it led to an upset while the Frogs brag two of the better defensive tackles in the league in Davion Pierson and Chucky Hunter. Whichever team is more one-dimensional will likely walk out of Milan Puskar Stadium a loser.

 

Listen to the Week 10 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Oklahoma St (+14) at Kansas St
8 p.m., ABC

The Wildcats are atop the Big 12 standings but have a nasty road schedule left over the final month. So it obviously can’t afford any mistakes at home against two touchdown-underdogs. Kansas State’s defense was suffocating last week against Texas, allowing 196 yards, 3.8 yards per play and zero points. That is bad news for a team that managed just 10 points at home against West Virginia. In fact, over its last three games, OSU has mustered just 323 yards per game. That won’t cut it on the road against Jake Waters, Tyler Lockett and one of the most balanced and complete teams in the nation.

 

3. Texas (pk) at Texas Tech
7:30 p.m., FS1

One team was shutout last weekend and the other allowed 82 points. Things are not going the way either Kliff Kingsbury or Charlie Strong had planned in 2014. But this games presents an opportunity for both struggling programs. Tyrone Swoopes (106 yards last week) and Davis Webb (13 INTs this season) have had issues this fall in their first full seasons as starting quarterbacks but both have upside. This is one of the few chances Tech has left for a “quality” league win for a team that has lost nine of its last 10 Big 12 games. A loss at home to one of the worst offenses in the league would be extremely telling about the development of this program under Kingsbury.

 

4. Oklahoma (-16.5) at Iowa St
Noon, FS1

The Sooners debut in the Playoff Rankings as the fourth-best team in the league. But they aren’t out of the race just yet with plenty of winnable games left on the schedule. Oklahoma has dominated the series against ISU since Paul Rhoads took over, winning all four meetings by an average of 31.3 points per game. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare, so the Cyclones will have to play near-perfect football to pull off the upset. The good news is Iowa State is coming off of its best offensive showing of the year, a season-high 524 yards and 45 points against Texas last week.

 

5. Kansas (+35) at Baylor
4 p.m., FS1

Poor Kansas. Baylor likely feels snubbed by the committee despite defeating the top-ranked team in the Big 12. So don't be surprised if the Bears take out some of their frustration on the Jayhawks this weekend. Art Briles' bunch is still in control of its own destiny in the Big 12 and playoff picture, so fans in shiny new McLane Stadium should expect a motivated Bears performance. The last two meetings between these two in Waco were Baylor wins by a combined 96-21 score.

 

Big 12 Predictions:

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
TCU (-5) at WVUTCU, 41-38TCU, 37-33TCU, 42-38TCU, 38-34
OSU (+14) at KSUKSU, 38-13KSU, 31-21KSU, 24-10KSU, 34-17
Texas (pk) at T. TechTexas, 30-24Texas, 23-13Texas, 21-10Texas, 31-20
Okla. (-16.5) at ISUOU, 45-21OU, 37-12OU, 41-21OU, 41-17
Kansas (+35) at BaylorBU, 63-7BU, 51-10BU, 49-10BU, 50-17
Last Week:3-03-03-03-0
YTD:46-643-948-447-5

 

Teaser:
Big 12 2014 Week 10 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/pac-12-2014-week-10-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The Pac-12 is getting no respect from the Playoff Committee.

 

Oregon isn’t ranked in the top four and one-loss teams Arizona, Arizona State and Utah rank significantly down the list of one-loss teams (No. 12, No. 14 and No. 17 respectively).

 

With marquee showdowns for all four this weekend, that could soon change.

 

Week 10 Previews and Predictions:
ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC

 

Pac-12 Week 10 Game Power Rankings

 

1. Stanford (+7) at Oregon
7:30 p.m., FOX

Marcus Mariota has yet to beat Stanford and if he cannot do it this year, the Pac-12 could be left out of the inaugural playoff. Since Jake Fisher returned, the offense has been surging along at nearly 48.7 points and 537.3 yards per game in three wins. David Shaw’s defense has been electric all season and excellent in two wins over Mariota, holding Oregon to season lows in total offense each of the last two meetings. The weakness-on-weakness matchup, however, will be the more intriguing one. Stanford’s offense was solid last weekend but still lacks any playmakers other than Ty Montgomery. Meanwhile, the Ducks' defense hasn’t been much better, giving up at least 490 yards or 30 points in four of the last five games. It’s must-see TV when Mariota takes the field but Kevin Hogan will likely be the deciding factor.

 

Listen to the Week 10 preview podcast:



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2. Utah (+5) at Arizona St
11 p.m., FS1

The JUCO Bowl has developed quickly into one of the more critical Pac-12 South showdowns, as both teams enter with just one loss and plenty of tiebreakers already in their pocket. While the playmakers in this game — Jaelen Strong, Devontae Booker, Kaelin Clay — hail from the junior college ranks, it’s the QBs that will be under the microscope. Travis Wilson might have cemented himself as the starter for Kyle Whittingham with his late-game heroics last weekend, but he will have to be efficient on the road like he was against Michigan to beat ASU. Not having star wideout Dres Anderson for rest of the year only makes it more difficult on whoever is under center for Utah. Todd Graham also has been forced to use multiple quarterbacks and done so effectively, but folks in Tempe are excited to have Taylor Kelly back for a reason. Like Wilson, he led his team to a late game-winning TD last weekend and should be back to form, as long as he has time to operate against one of the best defensive fronts in the nation.

 

3. Arizona (+6.5) at UCLA
10:30 p.m., ESPN

All-American-caliber linebacker Scooby Wright versus Heisman-caliber quarterback Brett Hundley is as good as it gets in college football. Wright has been stuffing the stat sheet all season (78 tackles, 14.0 TFL, 8.0 sacks, 5 FF) and Hundley is one touchdown pass away from tying Cade McNown for the most in school history (68), but the bigger question comes on the other side of the ball. How will UCLA’s defense, one that is allowing more than 30 points per game, stop Rich Rodriguez' offense led by Anu Solomon? Behind a veteran offensive line with 139 combined starts, Solomon should have room to make plays against a defense that doesn’t pressure the quarterback — UCLA ranks last in the Pac-12 and 112th nationally in sacks — and doesn’t create turnovers (85th with 10 takeaways). If Solomon stays upright and Arizona protects the ball, UCLA will have to play extremely well on offense to simply hold serve at home.

 

4. USC (-7) at Washington St
4:30 p.m., P12 Net

This was an ugly and sloppy Wazzu upset in The Coliseum last season and there isn’t much reason to think this year’s edition will be much different. Washington State is dead last in the league in turnover margin and these two are 10th and 12th respectively in Pac-12 play in penalty yards given up. The biggest difference between this year and last will be in the USC backfield. Cody Kessler has taken huge strides and is one of the more underrated players nationally and no one in the nation has rushed for more yards in conference play than Buck Allen (846). If good USC shows up, Connor Halliday and WSU could play perfect football and still lose easily. If wildly inconsistent USC shows up, Halliday has already proven he’s capable of knocking off the mighty Trojans.

 

5. Cal (+3) at Oregon St
10:30 p.m., P12 Net

Against Cal, Oregon State has won two in a row, six of the last seven and three straight in Corvallis. But these two programs feel like they are heading in different directions. The Beavers can change that perception with a win over the Bears at home. Stopping Jared Goff is a good place to start, as the Cal signal-caller is fourth nationally with 2,842 yards, second with 26 TDs and has thrown just four interceptions all season. Oregon State has its own star in Sean Mannion but he’s been much more inconsistent, throwing just three touchdowns in his last five games combined. Oregon State is a team in desperate need of finding an identity after being held to 221 yards and 3.3 yards per play last weekend and falling for the third time in four weeks.

 

6. Washington (-4) at Colorado
1 p.m., P12 Net

The Buffs have been close but have yet to break through in a Pac-12 game. If Washington isn’t careful (which it hasn’t been of late) then Colorado could easily pull the home upset. Mike MacIntyre’s bunch has lost three of its last four by five points or fewer and this weekend might be their best shot at a win. The Huskies were without Cyler Miles last weekend but he is supposed to start for UW this weekend. There is no excuse for the league’s worst scoring offense (18.5 per game in conference play) not to get rolling against the league’s second-worst scoring defense (45.8 ppg).

 

Pac-12 Predictions:

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
Stan. (+7) at Ore.Ore., 27-21Ore., 31-17Ore., 31-10Ore., 31-24
Utah (+5) at ASUASU, 28-27ASU, 28-14ASU, 35-28ASU, 30-20
Arizona (+6.5) at UCLAZona, 34-33Zona, 27-20Zona, 41-38UCLA, 38-34
USC (-7) at WSUUSC, 34-20USC, 34-20USC, 31-21USC, 38-30
Cal (+3) at OSUCal, 35-34Cal, 36-27Cal, 44-31Cal, 34-31
Wash. (-4) at Colo.Wash., 29-27Wash., 23-10Wash., 17-14Wash., 34-27
Last Week:5-16-06-05-1
YTD:46-1751-1250-1346-17

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 2014 Week 10 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/stop-complaining-there-no-sec-bias
Body:

The initial College Football Playoff rankings were released amid a sea of anti-SEC sentiment and swirling ESPN conspiracy theories. Gasp, four of the top six teams hail from the SEC. 

 

Why did this happen? Because the SEC and ESPN have a business relationship? For the angry mob, that means ESPN is propping up a bunch of phony SEC teams with talking head rhetoric. At the same time, the Mothership undermines every other quality team in the nation with negative publicity while turning a blind eye to the SEC's problems.

 

There is so much wrong with these theories that it's almost difficult to pick a place to begin.

 

Unlike ESPN, I have zero financial ties or obligations to the Southeastern Conference.

 

Athlon Sports doesn't sell any more magazines if we pick the SEC to win the national title or rank their teams in our Top 25. There is no evidence to suggest we make more of a profit by picking one team or league over another.

 

The beauty of working for SiriusXM College Sports Nation is that there are no ratings. Not one host on our channel is beholden to any one league or another because it drives or doesn’t drive listenership.

 

At both companies, our conversations are driven by the love of the college game. I’ve been taught to have anything but an SEC bias.

 

But only the truly irrational and blindly ignorant would argue against the SEC as the best college football has to offer right now.

 

First, the concept that ESPN benefits somehow from more SEC teams landing in the four-team playoff is comical. Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida State would pull bigger TV ratings than Ole Miss or Mississippi State.

 

In fact, the most-watched college football game of the season was the Seminoles' narrow victory over the Irish two weeks ago (8.5 overnight). As ESPN College GameDay anchor and ABC broadcaster Chris Fowler said, the entirety of the sport and its financial partners, benefit the most when more regions of the country are represented. ESPN would benefit the most from a dominant Big Ten in particular.

 

 

Maybe Ohio State is No. 16 and Notre Dame is No. 10 because they just aren’t as good. Isn't it possible that the SEC Network's ratings would actually go up if the SEC gets left out of the Playoff?

 

Second, ESPN carries nearly every ACC game, most Big Ten games and shares the Big 12 and Pac-12 with FOX. So ESPN is in bed with those leagues as well to varying degrees.

 

A direct competitor, CBS, is the top SEC broadcaster every Saturday. So we're now suggesting that ESPN is intentionally propping up a direct competitor? College GameDay has been to three Florida State games this year, more than any other team in the nation.

 

Listen to the Week 9 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Third, the idea that Florida State's current publicity nightmare has somehow been fabricated because of a media witch hunt is myopic and silly. I've just shown you how valuable Florida State to the Mothership.

 

No, Jameis Winston, Jimbo Fisher, Karlos Williams, the Tallahassee Police Department and the powers that be at Florida State have only themselves to blame for their current PR predicament. The New York Times and FOX Sports have done an excellent job proving this point.

 

Yet Seminoles fans everywhere claim that the SEC hasn't gotten the same treatment. Are you kidding? Last I checked, Johnny Manziel received comparable airtime for less significant allegations or improprieties just one season ago.

 

Fourth, no outside influence — not even a powerful broadcast network — should be able to sway the College Football Playoff committee in any way. If a committee member is making decisions in that Dallas hotel based on what Jesse Palmer or Danny Kanell have poured into the ether, then they have far less integrity than previously believed and should no longer be working on the panel.

 

Lastly, and most important, has anyone outside of the South considered that maybe four of the best six teams in the nation are from the SEC?

 

Kansas State had a shot at Auburn at home and lost. Wisconsin had LSU beat and couldn't finish. Clemson tried to stop Georgia but failed. West Virginia played well against Alabama and still lost by double digits. Arkansas, a team that has lost 16 consecutive SEC games, went on the road and crushed Texas Tech.

 

Quality lower-tiered teams like East Carolina, UCF, Utah State and Boise State had Goliath on a big stage and got beat as well. These are all good teams (well, except Texas Tech) and all of them wilted against the SEC.

 

Oklahoma topped a bad Tennessee team at home and Missouri inexplicably lost to Indiana. That's it.

 

From the most powerful booster to the guy sitting in the top row, from the athletic director to the guy who laces the cleats, the SEC is simply more committed to winning than any other league. Sometimes that means it breaks more rules and crosses more lines, but that's because the SEC wants it more.

 

The SEC has won all but one national title since 2006, it puts more players into the NFL than any other league and has anyone found a poll or ranking from anyone with any credibility that suggests the SEC isn't the best? In fact, the top four teams in the nation according to both Football Outsiders and Sagarin Ratings all play in the SEC.

 

Stop making excuses, creating confounded conspiracies and pointing fingers.

 

The reason four of the top six — and six of the top 19 — teams in the initial playoff rankings are from the SEC is because they deserve to be there.

 

It's not any more complicated than that.

Teaser:
Stop Complaining, There is no SEC Bias
Post date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 09:59
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-2014-week-10
Body:

The original reality TV show is sports. No contrived setting where seven strangers living in a house or one bachelor searching for love can match the excitement the Iron Bowl delivered last fall.

 

The beauty of college football lies in its complete unpredictability and drama. Here are some outrageous predictions for Week 10.

 

Note: The point of this column is to have some fun and make some outlandish predictions. Please react accordingly.

 

Florida State will take the blame for something

 

That’s right, I said it. Jimbo Fisher and Florida State will have to accept responsibility for losing to Louisville on Thursday night. It won’t be the SEC’s fault. It won’t be ESPN’s fault. It won’t even be Kirk Herbstreit’s fault. No, if and when the Seminoles score fewer points than the Cardinals, Fisher will have to take the podium and acknowledge that it was his team that lost the game.

 

Stanford will lose to Oregon

 

Just picking an upset normally doesn’t warrant “outrageous” consideration. However, Stanford has dominated Oregon of late and has cost the Ducks a couple of trips to the Pac-12 title game (or more). This season will be Marcus Mariota’s breakthrough performance and his first win over archrival and two-time defending Pac-12 champ Stanford. Although, Oregon will likely lose to Utah next weekend if it beats the Cardinal this Saturday.

 

Trevone Boykin, Clint Trickett will throw for 1,000 yards

 

Trickett is sixth nationally at 345.4 passing yards per game this season. Boykin is eighth at 329.4. The Frogs defense ranks 116th nationally in passing yards allowed in conference play at 324.0 yards per game. West Virginia is 50th nationally in the same category. Look for both QBs to air it out in an old-fashioned Big (East) 12 shootout.

 

Will Muschamp won’t make it back to Gainesville

 

We all know that Muschamp isn’t likely to return as the Gators coach in 2015 but many Florida fans have pointed to the Cocktail Party matchup against rival Georgia as the last straw. A fourth consecutive loss to Mark Richt would force Jeremy Foley’s hand and would likely be the last loss for Muschamp on the Gators' sideline.

 

Utah will be alone in first place in the Pac-12 South

 

The Utes are a 5.5-point underdog to Arizona State this weekend but defensively match up very well with a team that struggled to score last weekend against Washington. A win for Utah gives ASU a second league loss and pushes the Utes to 4-1. When Arizona loses to UCLA in the Rose Bowl, Utah will find itself alone in first place of the Pac-12 South entering Week 11.

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions: 2014 Week 10
Post date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/expert-poll-week-9-heisman-trophy-voting
Body:

Athlon Sports has formed a Heisman Trophy committee. Each week, we will ask 13 members of the national college football media to rank their top candidates for the Heisman Trophy.

 

Each voter will rank their top five candidates, with each first-place vote getting five points and each last-place vote getting one point.

 

The Panel:

 

Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports

Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network 

Adam Zucker, CBS Sports

Steven Godfrey, SBNation

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network

Barrett Sallee, Bleacher Report, B/R Radio

Josh Ward, MrSEC.com

Mitch Light, Athlon Sports

David Fox, Athlon Sports

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports, SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

 PlayerTeamPts1st2nd3rd4th5th
1.Marcus Mariota62103---
2.Dak Prescott5339-1-
3.Ameer Abdullah29-1542
4t.Melvin Gordon16--323
4t.Amari Cooper16--242
6.Trevone Boykin12--311
7.Everett Golson3----3
8.Jameis Winston2---1-
9t.Tevin Coleman1----1
9t.Shaq Thompson1----1

Dropped out: Kevin White, Bo Wallace

 

Listen to the Week 9 recap podcast:



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The Top 3:

 
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

Late on Friday night, Marcus Mariota watched a double deflection end his interception-less streak. Otherwise, he was perfect once again in a critical road win against Cal. He became Oregon’s all-time leading passer by throwing for 326 yards and five touchdowns, passing Bill Musgrave, while adding 36 yards rushing on six carries. Mariota will face Stanford and Utah over the next two weeks.

 

Season Stats: 2,283 yards, 68.82%, 24 TDs, 1 INTs, 325 rush yards, 5 TDs

 

2. Dak Prescott, Mississippi St

With a struggling defense, Prescott is being asked to carry his team to victory each week. He got plenty of help from Josh Robinson (198 yards, 2 TD) but still delivered in a big way on the road against Kentucky. The Bulldogs' QB threw for 216 yards, one touchdown and one interception while rushing 18 times for 88 yards and two touchdowns. He is just the fifth player in the last decade to account for at least three touchdowns in each of his team’s first seven games.

 

Season Stats: 1,694 yards, 60.3%, 15 TDs, 5 INTs, 664 rush yards, 10 TDs

 

3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

The star Huskers tailback set a school record with 341 all-purpose yards in the win over Rutgers. He rushed for 225 yards, topping 200 yards on the ground in a game for the fourth time this season. He added 26 yards receiving and 90 on kick returns while scoring three more touchdowns. His 1,249 yards are leading the nation and his 17 TDs are second.

 

Season Stats: 180 att., 1,249 yards, 6.9 ypc, 17 TDs, 13 rec., 169 yards, 2 TD 

Teaser:
Expert Poll: Week 9 Heisman Trophy Voting
Post date: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/10-amazing-college-football-stats-week-9-pac-12
Body:

Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of Pac-12 football action:

 

59: Arizona school record for points in a Pac-12 game

The Wildcats scored 59 points behind five touchdown strikes from Anu Solomon in an easy win over Washington State. That tied a school record for points in a conference game — which first occurred in 2008 against, you guessed it, Washington State. Arizona’s all-time single-game scoring record is 74 points (1921) and the Pac-12’s all-time scoring record for a league game was USC’s 74-0 win over Cal in 1930.

 

192.18: Marcus Mariota's passer rating

Mariota is leading the nation in passing efficiency with a 192.18 rating after torching Cal for 326 yards and five touchdowns. Russell Wilson owns the single-season NCAA record with a 191.78 mark in 2011 when he led Wisconsin to a Big Ten title and Rose Bowl bid. Mariota’s current pace would be a new NCAA record should he maintain his high level of play. His current 170.85 career passer rating mark is No. 2 all-time behind only Sam Bradford (175.62).

 

8,625: Career passing yards for Mariota

He isn’t just one of the most efficient players in NCAA, Pac-12 or Oregon history, he is now the most productive passer in school history. Bill Musgrave has been the school’s all-time leading passer since departing Eugene in 1990. He had 8,343 career passing yards in 39 games. Mariota has 8,625 passing yards in 34 games.

 

5-7: Washington State’s record when Connor Halliday throws for 400 yards

The Cougars quarterback threw for 489 yards and four touchdowns on 79 attempts in the loss to Arizona. It was the sixth time he has topped 400 yards passing this season and the 12th time in his career. The problem is that reaching this benchmark hasn’t translated into wins. The Cougs are 2-4 this season in six such games and 5-7 overall during Halliday’s four-year career. Washington State is 4-8 when he throws at least 60 passes in a game.

 

Listen to the Week 9 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

20-9: Road record of Pac-12 teams in league games

Oregon (Cal), Arizona (Washington State), Arizona State (Washington) and UCLA (Colorado) each won its Pac-12 road game in Week 9. Stanford (Oregon State) and Utah (USC) were the only two home teams to hold serve. That brings the road teams' record to 20-9 in conference play this season.

 

15: Consecutive USC losses when trailing entering the fourth quarter

According to ESPN, the Trojans lost their 15th straight game when entering the fourth quarter behind. USC scored with 10:18 left in the game to take a lead but Travis Wilson led his Utes down the field on an 11-play, 73-yard touchdown march that ended with the quarterback throwing the game-winning pass with only eight seconds left.

 

Nov. 6, 2010: Last time two ranked teams played in Rice-Eccles Stadium

No. 4 TCU beat No. 6 Utah 47-7 in Salt Lake City on November 6, 2010. It was the last time two ranked opponents have met in Rice-Eccles Stadium until No. 20 USC lost to No. 19 Utah this past weekend. 

 

10-0: David Shaw’s record after a loss

In three and a half years as the head coach at Stanford, David Shaw is 39-10 overall. He has yet to lose back-to-back games as the Cardinal head coach. Even in his toughest season to date, Shaw’s squad bounced back from an ugly loss to Arizona State in Week 8 to topple Oregon State with relative ease, 38-14. More importantly, Shaw's offense showed signs of life with 438 yards and 38 points.

 

75: Yards on Arizona State’s final drive

Taylor Kelly returned to the starting lineup and had to deal with nasty winds and poor overall conditions against Washington in Seattle. With 7:14 left in a tie game, Kelly marched his squad 75 yards on nine plays over 4:14 of game time to score the game-winning touchdown. Kelly completed all three of his passes for 36 yards, including the game-winning TD strike to Gary Chambers, and ran the ball once for 12 yards. 

 

23: Touches Shaq Thompson got on offense

A depleted Huskies offense turned to a linebacker for help. Shaq Thompson, who has scored five total touchdowns this season, led the Huskies with 98 yards rushing on 21 carries while catching two passes for 15 yards.  

Teaser:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 9 in the Pac-12
Post date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-2014-week-9-recap
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and David Fox recap all of Week 9's action in college football. This week's edition features a healthy SEC West playoff debate (things get heated), wide open races in the Pac-12 South, Big Ten West and ACC Coastal and some impressive numbers in the Big 12. The fellas also give you their playoff poll as well.


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

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: 2014 Week 9 Recap
Post date: Monday, October 27, 2014 - 12:05
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-2014-week-9-picks
Body:

In a year that Ole Miss, Mississippi State and TCU are ranked in the Top 10, it should come as no surprise that many college football pickers are struggling to gain footing against the number.

 

After another exactly average week (5-5), I am the poster child for “win some, lose some.”

 

But that won’t deter me from diving back into the deep end. Here are this week’s top picks against the spread as well as panel picks for every Top 25 game.

 

Last Week: 5-5

Year-to-Date: 29-28-1

 

Ole Miss (-3.5) at LSU

The Rebels are surging after convincing wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee following the upset over Alabama. This is normally a tightly played game (hence the number) but LSU isn’t nearly as good as its last two wins and won’t be able to score much against this Ole Miss defense. Take the Rebels and their 6-0-1 record against the number this fall. Prediction: Ole Miss -3.5

 

Listen to the Week 9 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Mississippi St (-13.5) at Kentucky

If State had a huge showdown with Alabama next week and was coming off a tightly played win, I would like Kentucky. But State is rested after a week off, is facing a very young Wildcats team that struggles to stop the run and hosts lowly Arkansas next week. Mississippi State is 5-1 against the number this season and should roll in Lexington. Prediction: Mississippi State -13.5

 

Syracuse (+14) at Clemson

The Orange lost four straight by an average of more than two touchdowns before beating Wake Forest last weekend. Clemson’s defense is electric, playing at home and has allowed 10.0 points per game over the last three. Cole Stoudt is more than enough to top the Cuse by two touchdowns. Prediction: Clemson -14

 

Ohio St (-13.5) at Penn St

The crowd will be wild and PSU’s defense isn’t bad at all but there is nothing about this matchup that gives the Lions a chance at winning. Ohio State is surging on offense and defensively should be able to dominate the pathetic Penn State offensive line. Look for the Buckeyes, who are 5-1 against the spread this year, to roll big in Happy Valley. Prediction: Ohio State -13.5

 

Lay the 17 points with these favorites...

 

Alabama (-17) at Tennessee

The Vols' defense has been solid all year — and it still was beaten by 31 points last weekend. Alabama is getting healthy and finding its stride at the right time. The Tide has dominated this rivalry and will dominate the terrible Tennessee offensive line. The Vols may not score a single point after failing to reach the end zone in each of their last two SEC games. Prediction: Alabama -17

 

Michigan (+17) Michigan St

The Spartans will look to put the final nail in Brady Hoke’s coffin. They are at home and will feast on the pathetic Michigan offensive line (are you seeing a theme with these picks this week?). Look for the Spartans to work out some kinks in impressive fashion before getting two weeks to prepare for Ohio State. Prediction: Michigan State -17

 

Oregon (-17.5) at Cal

This game has been a total blowout over the last few years and while Cal is improved, the Bears' defense won’t be any match for the Ducks' surging offense. Unless Cal covers late with a backdoor touchdown in a very high-scoring game, Oregon should win going away (again) and cover for a third week in a row since getting healthy. Prediction: Oregon -17.5

 

Top 25 Picks ATS:

 

Top 25Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
Miss. St (-13.5) at Kentucky
Ole Miss (-3.5) at LSU
Alabama (-17) at Tennessee
S. Carolina (+19) at Auburn
Oregon (-17.5) at Cal
Michigan (+17) at Michigan St
Texas Tech (+22.5) at TCU
Texas (+10) at Kansas St
Ohio St (-13.5) at Penn St
Arizona St (pk) at Washington
Arizona (-3) at Wazzu
Rutgers (+17.5) at Nebraska
USC (-1.5) at Utah
Syracuse (+14) at Clemson
West Virginia (+1) at Oklahoma St
FAU (-28) at Marshall
UCLA (-16.5) at Colorado
Last Week:8-78-79-610-5
YTD:59-59-460-58-455-63-460-58-4
Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: College Football 2014 Week 9 Picks
Post date: Friday, October 24, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-week-9-predictions
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and Steven Lassan preview the big games of Week 9. A huge slate of games out West in the Pac-12 highlight a great weekend as well as big rivalry games in the Big Ten and SEC.  And does anyone care about the ACC this week? The guys also offer up some locks of the week against the spread.


Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @AthlonSteven or email [email protected]. The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, iTunes, Stitcher and our podcast RSS feed.

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: Week 9 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 11:25
Path: /college-football/big-12-2014-week-9-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The Big 12 probably needs this type of weekend. Not to take anything away from West Virginia visiting Oklahoma State — which could be a battle for first place — but this entire league needed to catch its breath after last weekend.

 

Forty percent of the Big 12 is off this weekend including both Baylor and Oklahoma, who will sit at home and lick their wounds. That still leaves the Mountaineers, Cowboys, Wildcats and Horned Frogs to jockey for the top spots in the standings.

Week 9 Previews and Predictions:
ACC Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC


Big 12 Week 9 Game Power Rankings

 

1. West Virginia (+1) at Oklahoma St
3:30 p.m., ESPN

It’s conceivable that the winner of this coaching grudge match will be alone in first place in the Big 12. If Texas knocks off Kansas State in Manhattan (stop laughing), the 4-1 winner between the rising Mountaineers and stumbling Pokes would be atop the league. Dana Holgorsen’s defense was fantastic last weekend against Baylor, holding the Bears to 318 total yards and 4.0 yards per play. Against TCU, Oklahoma State’s was not. Glenn Spencer’s young and struggling group gave up 676 yards and 8.2 yards per play in the 31-point loss. West Virginia is much better at home (21.5 ppg allowed) than it is away from Morgantown (34.7 ppg), so Mike Gundy’s offense will have to match Clint Trickett and Kevin White’s production if Oklahoma State wants to get the win at home. White has posted seven consecutive 100-yard games.

 

Listen to the Week 9 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Texas (+10) at Kansas St
Noon, ESPN

This has been a fascinating rivalry in the Big 12 over the years and this edition features some role reversal, as the Wildcats enter as the heavy favorites. Texas is 1-5 all-time in Manhattan but the Longhorns toppled KSU in Austin last year, breaking a five-game losing streak to the Cats. If Charlie Strong wants to make it two in a row, the Big 12’s top defense will have to play near-perfect football. Texas leads the Big 12 with 4.75 yards per play and 364.5 yards per game allowed in conference games. Meanwhile, Tyrone Swoopes, who is coming off back-to-back 300-yard games, will have to be effective against a KSU team that doesn’t beat itself. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in turnovers lost (6) and penalties (3.7 per game). If Texas isn’t mistake free and physical on both sides of the ball, Jake Waters will simply will his team to victory. Waters has been brilliant this fall and is largely overlooked in the league despite leading all Big 12 QBs in rushing yards (371) and TDs (7) while ranking No. 2 in completion percentage (65.1) and passing efficiency (151.75).

 

3. Texas Tech (+22.5) at TCU
3:30 p.m., FOX

The Frogs are the highest-ranked team (No. 10) from the Big 12 and are a three-TD favorite to move to 6-1. And they are doing it running an offense that Kliff Kingsbury wishes he had in Lubbock. The wide-open spread attack led by Trevone Boykin — one that is averaging 537.7 yards per game and 6.46 yards per play — makes TCU one of the most balanced teams in the nation. Texas Tech’s 109th-rated defense should be no match for the Horned Frogs' surging offense and will be hard-pressed to match last year’s performance in which the Raiders held TCU to 10 points. Unless Tech tightens up on defense and irons out its undisciplined play — it ranks 127th in penalties (10.1/game) and 122nd in turnover margin (-8) — it should be another banner day for Gary Patterson. Let’s just hope the fans in Fort Worth show up to appreciate what their coach has done.

 

Off: Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas

 

Big 12 Predictions:

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
WVU (+1) at OSUWVU, 34-30WVU, 37-30WVU, 28-24WVU, 34-31
Texas (+10) at KSUKSU, 27-17KSU, 24-7KSU, 21-14KSU 30-20
T. Tech (+22.5) at TCUTCU, 45-21TCU, 37-24TCU, 42-21TCU 45-24
Last Week:3-23-24-13-2
YTD:43-640-945-444-5
Teaser:
Big 12 2014 Week 9 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/pac-12-2014-week-9-preview-and-predictions
Body:

It might not look like a marquee weekend in the Pac-12, as only one game will feature two ranked teams, but Week 9 could be one of the biggest of the season out West.

 

Contenders Oregon, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and UCLA are all on the road against teams more than capable of pulling an upset. Stanford and Washington are looking for home cooking to rebound after bad losses while Utah is hoping to continue its surge into the postseason.

 

Buckle up, Pac-12, this weekend is going to be fun.

Week 9 Previews and Predictions
ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC


Pac-12 Week 9 Game Power Rankings

 

1. USC (-1) at Utah
10 p.m., FS1

Not only is this one of the most important games of the year in the Pac-12 South, it should also be one of the most intriguing matchups. According to Football Outsiders, USC’s offense is the 11th most efficient unit in the nation. One look at Cody Kessler’s numbers should help support that argument — he’s second nationally with an 18:1 TD:INT ratio. According to the same opponent-adjusted metric, Utah’s defense also is the 11th most efficient unit in the nation. One look at the Utes’ disruptive plays confirms this as well — Utah ranks No. 1 nationally in sacks (33.0) and No. 3 in tackles for a loss (61.0). But while strength-on-strength is always fun for observers, the outcome could hinge on the Trojans' ability to stop Devontae Booker. After giving up 452 yards rushing in a loss to Boston College, USC’s defense held Oregon State, Arizona State and Arizona to 166 total yards on the ground. Booker has been downright impossible to stop over the last few weeks and his success on the ground will be critical for Utah, a team still using two quarterbacks. Lastly, Utah’s near-perfect special teams could be a deciding factor in a game featuring two evenly matched opponents.

 

Listen to the Week 9 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Arizona St (pk) at Washington
10:45 p.m., ESPN

The offensive-minded Sun Devils are flying high after an unexpected upset over Stanford last weekend. The defensively oriented Huskies limp back home from Eugene after yet another lopsided defeat to Oregon. Chris Petersen’s bunch will face yet another high-powered offense, regardless of who is under center for Todd Graham. Taylor Kelly expects to return to the starting lineup to face one of the more disruptive front sevens in the nation. Part of the reason Washington has lost two of its last three has been the lack of balance on offense. Cyler Miles isn’t asked to post big numbers through the air but has been extremely efficient (66.2%, 10 TD, 1 INT). To beat ASU, however, Miles will need support from his ground game that has been largely non-existent in Pac-12 play, averaging 108.3 yards per game and 2.9 yards per carry in three league contests.

 

3. Oregon (-17.5) at Cal
Fri., 10 p.m., FS1

The Ducks have won five straight over the Bears, including three consecutive blowouts. But Cal is much improved and the last time Oregon visited Berkeley with a national title on the line, the Bears nearly ended the Ducks' BCS National Championship Game hopes (Oregon eked out a 15-13 win) in 2010. Marcus Mariota has been downright filthy all season and his offensive supporting cast appears to be getting healthy. Sonny Dykes' team is improved but his defense has major issues, giving up more than 600 yards per game in five Pac-12 games. Bears QB Jared Goff has done an excellent job taking care of the football but will need to play the best game of his career to keep his porous defense off the field.

 

4. Arizona (-3) at Washington St
5 p.m., P12 Net

Mike Leach’s hopes for making a bowl game are fading rapidly and his defense is flat out terrible. However, the Cougars can put up yards and points and three close losses indicate they can play with most anyone on their schedule. Arizona comes to town after two weeks of prep following the painful home loss to USC. Anu Solomon is fourth nationally in passing (356.0 ypg) and should have plenty of space to distribute the football to his talented collection of receivers and backs. If Rich Rodriguez’ 3-3-5 defense — which has been excellent against spread offenses — can get a few stops, Zona should return home with a key road win.

 

5. Oregon St (+13.5) at Stanford
3:30 p.m., ESPN2

Both teams are coming off losses in which both head coaches were probably stunned. Oregon State lost in double overtime at home and has allowed over 200 yards rushing in two of its last three games. Stanford’s offense has been woeful all year (11th in Pac-12 in yards per game), but the defense struggled for the first time in the road loss to Arizona State, giving up a season-high 26 points. These are the two slowest teams in the Pac-12 on offense (seconds of possession per play, via ESPN) and both teams have struggled to put points on the board. The Cardinal have won four straight in the series and haven’t lost at home to the Beavers since 2006.

 

6. UCLA (-16.5) at Colorado
2 p.m., P12 Net

The Buffaloes have lost six straight Pac-12 games and 20 of their last 21. UCLA barely avoided a third consecutive loss against Cal last weekend in Berkeley. Both teams can move the ball, can score and have struggled mightily on defense. CU quarterback Sefo Luifau has been solid (290.0 ypg, 21 TD, 9 INT) but likely doesn’t have the supporting cast to knock off the more talented Bruins. As long as Brett Hundley doesn’t turn the ball over, UCLA should win easily.

 

Pac-12 Predictions:

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
USC (-1.5) at UtahUtah, 27-24Utah, 26-22Utah, 21-14USC, 27-24
ASU (pk) at Wash.Wash., 30-28ASU, 31-30ASU, 31-21ASU, 30-27
Oregon (-17.5) at CalOre., 40-21Ore., 41-13Ore., 42-28Ore., 48-27
Zona (-3) at WazzuZona, 40-28Zona, 41-33Zona, 41-28Zona, 40-34
Ore. St (+13.5) at Stan.Stan., 20-14Stan., 24-20Stan., 17-14Stan., 27-17
UCLA (-16.5) at Colo.UCLA, 41-28UCLA, 33-6UCLA, 38-28UCLA, 41-27
Last Week:3-24-13-24-1
YTD:41-1645-1244-1341-16

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 2014 Week 9 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/expert-poll-week-8-heisman-trophy-voting
Body:

Athlon Sports has formed a Heisman Trophy committee. Each week, we will ask 13 members of the national college football media to rank their top candidates for the Heisman Trophy.

 

Each voter will rank their top five candidates, with each first-place vote getting five points and each last-place vote getting one point.

 

The Panel:

 

Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports

Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network 

Adam Zucker, CBS Sports

Steven Godfrey, SBNation

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network

Barrett Sallee, Bleacher Report, B/R Radio

Josh Ward, MrSEC.com

Mitch Light, Athlon Sports

David Fox, Athlon Sports

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports, SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

 PlayerTeamPts1st2nd3rd4th5th
1.Dak Prescott5976---
2.Marcus Mariota5867---
3.Melvin Gordon33--93-
4.Ameer Abdullah12--214
5t.Everett Golson8--113
5t.Jameis Winston8---32
7.Kevin White6---21
8.Amari Cooper4--1-1
9.Tevin Coleman3---11
10t.Bo Wallace2---1-
10t.Shaq Thompson2---1-

Dropped out: Todd Gurley, Bryce Petty

 

Listen to the Week 8 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

The Top 3:

 
1. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi St

Prescott and the Bulldogs were off last weekend and will travel to Lexington to face an improved Kentucky squad. Last year, Prescott completed 23-of-34 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns without an interception as well as 33 yards rushing in a 28-22 win over the Cats in Starkville. Prescott got seven of the 13 first-place votes and six second-place votes.

 

Season Stats: 1,478 yards, 61.5%, 14 TDs, 4 INTs, 576 rush yards, 8 TDs

 

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

The Ducks quarterback was fantastic once again in the face of the strong Washington defensive front. He was 24-of-33 passing (72.7 percent) for 336 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover in the blowout win over the Huskies. He hasn’t thrown an interception in 232 attempts — the second longest streak in Pac-12 history (353, also belonging to Mariota). Oregon and Mariota, who got the other six first-place votes, host Cal this weekend.

 

Season Stats: 1,957 yards, 70.2%, 19 TDs, 0 INTs, 289 rush yards, 5 TDs

 

3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Like Prescott, Gordon and the Badgers were off in Week 8. He is leading the nation in rushing at 174.3 yards per game and is third behind Ameer Abdullah (14) and Jarvion Franklin (16) in rushing touchdowns (13). Wisconsin hosts Maryland this weekend.

 

Season Stats: 132 att., 1,046 yards, 7.9 ypc, 13 TDs, 6 rec., 27 yards, TD 

Teaser:
Expert Poll: Week 8 Heisman Trophy Voting
Post date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-2014-week-9
Body:

The original reality TV show is sports. No contrived setting where seven strangers living in a house or one bachelor searching for love can match the excitement the Iron Bowl delivered last fall.

 

The beauty of college football lies in its complete unpredictability and drama. Here are some outrageous predictions for Week 9.

 

Note: The point of this column is to have some fun and make some outlandish predictions. Please react accordingly.

 

Jared Goff and Marcus Mariota will throw 80 passes without an INT

 

Marcus Mariota is leading the nation with a 19:0 touchdown-interception ratio in 188 attempts. Jared Goff isn’t too far behind with 24 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 273 attempts. When the two meet on Friday evening, neither defense will have much success stopping the opposing signal-caller. Look for two near-perfect days from both quarterbacks.

 

A game in the ACC will be relevant

 

It’s a bad, bad, bad weekend in the ACC. Florida State is off, Notre Dame isn’t on the slate and Clemson plays Syracuse at home. So my outrageous prediction for the ACC is that at least one of these games will matter (at some point) this year. Virginia Tech hosts Miami and Pitt hosts Georgia Tech. One of these could eventually provide a critical tiebreaker in the extremely average Coastal Division. And who knows, maybe even North Carolina-Virginia might matter (to someone... other than me).

 

Listen to the Week 8 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Nick Marshall will throw for more than 339 yards

 

In 19 career starts at Auburn, Nick Marshall has topped 300 yards passing just once. That came against Mississippi State back in September of 2013 (339). In 16 games since, Marshall has yet to top 250 yards passing. But that will all change this weekend against South Carolina’s inexperienced secondary. The Gamecocks have allowed 511 yards to Kenny Hill and 321 to Shane Carden so look for Marshall to set a career high in passing yards this weekend.

 

Tennessee and Michigan won’t reach the end zone

 

The Vols have scored 12 points in their last two SEC games all on field goals, both losses to Florida and Ole Miss. Now, Alabama comes to town after shutting out Texas A&M 59-0 last weekend. Meanwhile, Michigan hasn’t scored a TD against Michigan State since 2011 and is 104th nationally with just 18 total touchdowns scored all season. Both teams will be kept out of the end zone again this weekend.

 

The Buckeyes will register 10 sacks

 

Ohio State is fourth in the Big Ten and 35th nationally with 2.7 sacks per game on defense. Urban Meyer’s defensive line will feast on one of the worst O-lines in the game when it visits Penn State this weekend. The Nittany Lions are 119th nationally at 3.3 sacks allowed per game and 120th in rushing yards per game (93.2) and yards per carry (2.8).

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions: 2014 Week 9
Post date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 - 08:45
Path: /college-football/10-amazing-college-football-stats-week-8-pac-12
Body:

Athlon Sports brings the most intriguing, important, historic and bizarre stats from around the weekend of Pac-12 football action:

 

187.7: Devontae Booker yards per game in the last three games

After three weeks of the season, the junior college transfer had rushed for 179 yards on 31 carries. In the three games since, Booker has rushed for 563 yards (187.7 ypg) and five touchdowns on 89 carries. This includes his 229-yard, 3-TD effort in the double overtime win over Oregon State on the road in Week 8. A performance that was topped with Booker being named Athlon Sports' national player of the week.

 

33.0: Sacks by the Utah defense

It’s not just the offense that has been getting it done for the Utes, however. Utah is one win away from reaching a bowl for the first time since joining the Pac-12 because of a nasty defensive front seven. Kyle Whittingham’s bunch registered five sacks against Oregon State and are leading the nation with 33.0 QB takedowns this fall. The Utes are averaging 5.5 sacks per game, which nearly two more than the next best team in the nation (Virginia Tech, 4.0).

 

25.4: Oregon’s average margin of victory over Washington since 2004

Oregon has won 11 consecutive games against Washington. What’s more impressive is how the Ducks have dominated the Huskies. Following the 45-20 win on Saturday, Oregon has now defeated Washington by an average of 25.4 points per game over the last 11 meetings. The Huskies have lost by 20 or more points in 10 of the those games and have never kept the final outcome within two scores. The average score between these two over the last 11 years is Oregon 43.7, Washington 18.3. That’s 481 to 202.

 

238: Consecutive Marcus Mariota passes without an INT

Marcus Mariota set a Pac-12 record by going 353 attempts without an interception between the end of 2012 and most of '13 (Arizona picked him off twice last year). But since tossing two INTs against Oregon State last year, Mariota has now gone 232 attempts without an INT, including all 188 this season. Those are the two longest streaks without an interception in conference history.

 

72: Consecutive weeks Stanford was ranked in the AP Poll

With a tough road loss to Arizona State over the weekend, Stanford dropped from the AP Poll for the first time since Week 2 of the 2010 season. The Cardinal had been ranked by the AP for a school-record 72 consecutive weeks but fell out of the Top 25 following Saturday night's loss. Speaking of the Sun Devils…

 

1,243: Mike Bercovici passing yards in three starts

After completing 23-of-33 passes for 245 yards and a touchdown in a critical upset win over Stanford’s snarling defense, Arizona State’s backup quarterback now has 1,243 yards passing in three starts. That’s more passing yards than 24 FBS teams have for the entire 2014 season. Taylor Kelly is the starter but Bercovici has been brilliant with huge wins over USC and Stanford and may make Todd Graham’s decision a tough one once Kelly is healthy.

 

Listen to the Week 8 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

7: Cody Kessler’s USC single-game TD record

Matt Barkley owns nearly every major passing record in USC history. But one he no longer holds is the Trojans' single-game record for touchdown passes. Kessler, who backed up Barkley in 2011 and '12, set the new standard with seven touchdown tosses in the win over Colorado. The Trojans' current quarterback is getting overlooked nationally despite ranking 10th in the nation in passer efficiency (162.08) and trailing only Mariota (19:0) with an 18:1 TD:INT ratio.

 

43.9: Jared Goff’s passing efficiency increase from last year

Cal’s Jared Goff completed his first season in Berkeley last year with a passing efficiency mark of 123.4. He finished Week 8 of this season ranked fifth in the nation with a 167.3 rating following a near upset of UCLA. With a passer rating that's currently 43.9 points higher than last season, Goff is the nation's most improved QB with respect to this statistic. Western Michigan’s Zach Terrell is No. 2 (41.2 points higher) and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott is No. 3 (39.0). 

 

2: Pat Haden sideline altercations

After his bizarre sideline argument with officials against Stanford (who could forget), USC athletic director Pat Haden got into his second in-game dust-up of the year this past Saturday. This time the other party was former Trojans running back LenDale White, who had some choice tweets about defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox (they’re NSFW) during USC's 28-26 victory over then-No. 10 Arizona two weeks ago. Which bring us to Saturday, when Haden and White engaged in conversation, presumably about the former star running back's earlier commentary, as the Trojans were putting the finishing touches on a Homecoming victory over Colorado. The discussion quickly turned from friendly to heated, and White eventually wound up getting a personal escort out of The Coliseum.

 

0: Number of players on USC’s roster from Colorado

USC has players from 19 different states, including Idaho, Massachusetts, South Dakota, Minnesota and Delaware, on its roster but none from the state of Colorado. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes have 55 current players on their roster from the state of California. The Trojans beat the Buffs 56-28 in Los Angeles Saturday night.

Teaser:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 8 in the Pac-12
Post date: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 15:08

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