Articles By Braden Gall

All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, News
Path: /college-football/roger-goodell-you-hate-him-nfl-loves-him
Body:

You probably hate Roger Goodell.

 

He botched BountyGate. He bungled the Ray Rice scandal. His handling of Adrian Peterson was anything but perfect. Who knows what really happened in the Greg Hardy situation?

 

And it’s taking longer to than it took to work out an Iranian nuclear deal.

 

But you know who loves the NFL’s commissioner?

 

The owners. Or, as they are more affectionately known, “The 32.”

 

The handed out $187.7 million per team in 2013 in league-wide national revenue sharing — which equates to about $6 billion in revenue.

 

That number jumped 21 percent to $7.3 billion in 2014. That’s $226.4 million per team doled out by the NFL to its 32 franchises.

 

Recently the reported a record last season. Sure, a really good football team and elite-level fan support will lead to record-setting profit margins.

 

However, the overall power and strength of the NFL brand is also a huge part of that revenue spike.

 

Exponentially increasing television revenue, national sponsorships, licensing agreements, merchandise sales and an expanding international brand campaign have been wildly successful under Goodell’s watch. This is a business and the Commish has made The 32 incredibly happy by filling their pockets with gold.

 

Goodell has taken slings and arrows for handling the league’s disciplinary issues. Rightly so, he’s been inconsistent at best and negligent at worst. All the while, making over $40 million per year in salary.

 

But he’s paid that money to take the PR punches from social media and the court of public opinion so that The 32 are protected.

 

Much like the NCAA, where the individual schools hold all of the power while the NCAA takes all of the heat, the allows its figurehead to take all of the flack while the real power brokers sit back and count stacks of cash.

 

Fans pay exorbitant amounts of time and money to support their favorite players and teams. We love the NFL and we love to hate Roger Goodell.

 

But that’s exactly what the owners want. As long as the commissioner continues to increase revenue, his job isn’t in any danger. And the only way revenue stops increasing is if we collectively stop watching.

 

And who wants to do that?

Teaser:
Roger Goodell: You Hate Him, NFL Loves Him
Post date: Wednesday, July 22, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/college-football-top-25-non-conference-games-watch-2015
Body:

There is a lot that is still unknown about the  Playoff Committee.

 

One thing that was learned about the new postseason format in year number one is that the voters value strength of schedule. Teams have ramped-up non-conference scheduling almost instantly (See: No. 4 below) and the results are a healthy list of top-level games.

 

It may take a few full seasons for the new trends to take hold across the nation (like, say, in the Big 12) but that doesn't mean 2015 isn't loaded with great non-conference matchups.

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Sept. 12

Two national title contenders finishing the back half of a home-and-home? Yes, please. The Spartans will be fired up at home and have revenge on their minds after the 46-27 loss in Eugene last fall. The winner will get a huge Playoff notch in its belt in what should be one of the best games of the year regardless of conference.

2.Oct. 17

The 87th meeting between USC and ND could carry a lot of Playoff weight if all goes according to plan for both. USC smoked the Irish in L.A. last season and is 5-1 in its last six trips to South Bend. However, that lone loss came in the Trojans' last visit two seasons ago.

3.Oct. 3
These two historic programs have only met twice. Clemson won the last meeting 16-10 in 1979 in South Bend. Two years earlier, Joe Montana led the Irish to a 21-17 victory in Death Valley in the battle of two top-15 teams. Both teams could be ranked in the top 10 when they meet Oct. 3 for the rubber match.
4.Sept. 5*
The modern Big Ten power and traditional SEC power have only met once in history, a 15-0 Badgers win at home in 1928. The fast track in Arlington, Texas, should help an already superior Alabama team. The Crimson Tide is a 10-point favorite over the Big Red. A win by Wisconsin would rock the college football world right out of the gate.
5.Sept. 12
Tennessee and Oklahoma have played three times. The Vols won in 1939 while OU took a 1968 meeting and a 34-10 outcome last season. The game last fall was closer than the 24-point margin and this year’s battle means a lot for both teams. Both have conference title aspirations and an early win over a ranked foe could catapult one into national conversations.
Related:
6.Sept. 5*

The Aggies and Sun Devils have never met before and fans on both sides should be thoroughly entertained throughout the pseudo-neutral site season opener. Two great offenses should light up the Houston skyline en route to a feather-in-the-cap non-con win.

7.Nov. 28

This should be a physical, hard-hitting affair once again. And both are Playoff sleeper teams. Stanford has won three straight in the series at home and four of the last six overall. Notre Dame needed an epic fourth quarter to beat the Cardinal 14-10 last fall in South Bend.

8.Sept. 5

Two of the top three winningest programs in college football history will do battle in the best true home game of Week 1. Notre Dame has won four straight and eight of the 10 total meetings all-time and is a touchdown favorite for the season opener. Both quarterback situations should be interesting to track.

9.Nov. 28

The Gators lead the Sunshine State rivalry 34-23-2 all-time, but the Noles have been the better team since Jimbo Fisher arrived. Florida State has won four of the last five, including his last two trips inside The Swamp.

10.Nov. 28
Paul Johnson's squad broke through with a huge 30-24 win over the Dawgs in Athens last season. It was just Johnson's second win in seven tries against the Dawgs and his first since beating Mark Richt in his first year in Atlanta in 2008. There is an outside chance both teams are poised to play in a championship game a week after the meeting. 
Related:
11.Sept. 19
The Jackets and Irish will be playing for the 35th time — 27 of which have resulted in Notre Dame wins. The last time these two met, however, Georgia Tech crushed the Golden Domers 33-3 in South Bend. There is a good chance both of these teams could reach 10 wins in 2015.
12.Sept. 7
National television on Labor Day Night to begin a national title defense sounds like fun to me. Bud Foster and one of the nastiest defenses in the nation will test whichever Buckeyes quarterback Urban Meyer decides to run out there. One coach desperately needs a national statement win and the other coach has major revenge on the mind after the Hokies' upset win last fall.
13.Sept. 5*
Bobby Petrino has won all 10 season openers but will have a tough time against the heavily favored Tigers. Louisville won the only previous meeting between the two programs, a 16-3 decision over Auburn in Birmingham back in 1974.
14.Nov. 28
The Tigers own a 66-42-4 all-time series lead but are coming off their first win in the rivalry since 2008. Clemson could be eyeing a Playoff bid in the season finale and will be looking for its first win in Williams-Brice Stadium since 2007. Dabo Swinney is 2-5 against Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.
15.Sept. 3
There are few chances in the non-con this fall for the Big Ten to make a statement than on Thursday night to open the season in the Twin Cities. TCU will be a top-ranked team and is an 18-point favorite heading to TCF Bank Stadium. The Frogs stomped the Gophers 30-7 in Fort Worth last fall but Minnesota has won the only other meeting between the two — a 1974 victory in Minneapolis.
Related:
16.Nov. 14*
A bizarre but interesting matchup of underrated coaches takes place at an odd time, halfway through November. The Tigers and Cougars have only played once before, a 21-17 BYU win in the 1983 Holiday Bowl. Taysom Hill vs. Maty Mauk late in the year sounds fun to me (if both can stay healthy).
17.Sept. 4
Chris Petersen returns to Boise in charge of a Pac-12 name brand that is in clear rebuilding mode. The blue turf won't be nearly as welcoming as the Broncos have eyes on another Mountain West title and New Year's Day bowl berth. The Huskies' major questions under center and on the D-line will have to be answered to leave Idaho with a win.
18.Sept. 19
Nebraska's 41-31 win in Lincoln last year broke the all-time series tie (6-5). Both teams should be good enough to make a run in their respective leagues but both head coaches need a marquee win (for different reasons). However, there is no national title on the line like in many previous Miami-Nebraska bouts.
19.Sept. 3
These two have only met three times with all three games taking place in Ann Arbor. Utah has won two of those meetings, including a 26-10 thumping of the Wolverines last season. On a Thursday night with Jim Harbaugh leading the way, this game should be much more intriguing. 
20.Sept. 26
Older fans of both sides will likely remember the first and only meeting between BYU and Michigan. The Cougars won the 1984 Holiday Bowl 24-17 en route to a national championship. The Maize and Blue will be finishing a brutal first month of the Jim Harbaugh era that features two Pac-12 foes and the Taysom Hill-led Cougars.
Related:
21.Sept. 19
The Cougars and Bruins have played 10 times with UCLA claiming seven wins. However, BYU has won the last two meetings, including a 58-0 embarrassment in 2008. Jim Mora's defense will need to be on its toes early against an athlete like Taysom Hill.
22.Sept. 19
This could be a program-defining win for Sonny Dykes and Cal in Austin in Week 3. The Horns are at home and more talented (and can actually play defense) but quarterback Jared Goff is a superstar in the making and could set himself up for a nationally acclaimed season with a win in Texas. The Bears are 0-5 all-time against the Longhorns.
23.Sept. 3*
The Carolina Bowl has only taken place twice since 1991 with the South side winning both times (2007, 2013). The season opener features two defenses that are in desperate need of improvement if either team has any prayer of competing in their respective divisions.
24.Sept. 5
The color schemes alone will look amazing on the floor of towering Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. BYU and Nebraska get their seasons started in style in the first-ever meeting of the two national brands. Fans who are unfamiliar with Cougars dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill will learn all about him (if healthy) and Big Red Nation will get their first look at the Mike Riley-led Huskers.
25.Nov. 7

The Panthers and Irish have played each other pretty even, with Notre Dame winning seven of the 12 meetings dating back to 1999. The last six played in Pittsburgh have been split, including a memorable 28-21 Panthers upset win in the last tangle. 

Related:

* - neutral field

 

Best of the Rest:

 

Maryland at West Virginia, Sept. 26

Louisville at Kentucky, Nov. 28

Ole Miss at Memphis, Oct. 17

Texas Tech at Arkansas, Sept. 19

Miami at Cincinnati, Oct. 1

Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 12

Boston College vs. Notre Dame, Nov. 21*

Pitt at Iowa, Sept. 19

Stanford at Northwestern, Sept. 5

LSU at Syracuse, Sept. 26

Teaser:
Top 25 Non-Conference Games to watch in 2015
Post date: Monday, July 20, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/top-15-sec-non-conference-games-2015
Body:

The Playoff Committee proved the general trend of tougher scheduling last fall. 

 

The  doesn't have nearly as much problem with scheduling, as its league schedules are the toughest in college football (along with the ). But to top it off, the has more high-level non-conference games than any other league in the nation. 

 

Which is why the SEC might be the only league that could get a two-loss team into the College Football Playoff.

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Sept. 5*

The modern Big Ten power and traditional SEC power have only met once in history, a 15-0 Badgers win at home in 1928. The fast track in Arlington, Texas, should help an already superior Alabama team. The Crimson Tide is a 10-point favorite over the Big Red. A win by Wisconsin would rock the college football world right out of the gate.

2.Sept. 12

Tennessee and Oklahoma have played three times. The Vols won in 1939 while OU took a '68 meeting and a 34-10 outcome last season. The game last fall was closer than the 24-point margin and this year’s battle means a lot for both teams. Both have conference title aspirations and an early win over a ranked foe could catapult one into national conversations.

3.Sept. 5*
The Aggies and Sun Devils have never met before and fans on both sides should be thoroughly entertained throughout the pseudo-neutral site season opener. Two great offenses should light up the Houston skyline en route to a feather-in-the-cap non-con win.
4.Nov. 28
The Gators lead the all-time series lead in the Sunshine State rivalry 34-23-2, but the Noles have been the better team since Jimbo Fisher arrived. Florida State has won four of the last five, including its last two trips inside The Swamp.
5.Nov. 28
Paul Johnson's squad broke through with a huge 30-24 win over the Dawgs in Athens last season. It was just Johnson's second win in seven tries against Georgia and his first since beating Mark Richt in his first year at Georgia Tech (2008). There is an outside chance both teams are poised to play in a championship game a week after this meeting. 
Related:
6.Sept. 5*

Bobby Petrino has won all 10 season openers but will have a tough time against the heavily favored Tigers. Louisville won the only previous meeting between the two programs, a 16-3 win in Birmingham back in 1974.

7.Nov. 28

The Tigers own a 66-42-4 all-time series lead but are coming off their first win in the rivalry since 2008. Clemson could be eyeing a Playoff bid in the season finale and will be looking for its first win in Williams-Brice Stadium since 2007. Dabo Swinney is 2-5 against Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.

8.Nov. 14*

A bizarre but interesting matchup of underrated coaches takes place at an odd time, halfway through November. The Tigers and Cougars have only played once before, a 21-17 BYU win in the 1983 Holiday Bowl. Taysom Hill vs. Maty Mauk late in the year sounds fun to me (if both can stay healthy).

9.Sept. 3*

The Carolina Bowl has only taken place twice since 1991 with the South side winning both times (2007, '13). This season opener features two defenses that are in desperate need of improvement if either team has any prayer of competing in their respective divisions. 

10.Nov. 28
The Governor's Cup and in-state bragging rights hang in the balance for the 28th time and the 22nd straight season. Kentucky leads the all-time series 14-13 but has lost four straight to Louisville, including last season's 44-40 thriller in Papa John's Stadium.
11.Oct. 17
A regional rivalry could be a huge mid-season game for both teams. Memphis is coming off a 10-win season and played much better in Oxford last fall than the 24-3 score indicated. Ole Miss has won six straight in the series and is 48-10-2 all-time against the Tigers. Seven of Memphis' 10 wins in the series have come at home.
12.Sept. 19
Old conference foes reunited last season for the first time since 1991. Arkansas owns a commanding 29-7 all-time lead and added to it last year with an impressive 49-28 showing in Lubbock. The Hogs are better this year and at home. Good luck, Kliff.
13.Sept. 12
Florida beat East Carolina 28-20 in the Birmingham Bowl last season, adding intrigue and familiarity to an interesting early-season test for Jim McElwain. The new Gators coach has an elite defense but major questions on offense and ECU is a good enough program to scare a team as imperfect as Florida. The Gators won the only other meeting in 1983.
14.Sept. 26
Twenty years ago, the Orange would have been a huge favorite in this game. With LSU boasting as good a roster as anyone in the nation and Syracuse reeling under Scott Shafer, it's the Tigers who are the huge favorite. That said, it's a road game a long way from home against a Power 5 team. The all-time series is tied 1-1 and hasn't taken place since 1989 and never in the Carrier Dome.
15.Oct. 17

There are plenty of interesting Group of 5 games within the SEC but Mississippi State's might be the most intriguing. This is a team that needs impressive wins and a mid-October bout with a well-coached program picked to win its league could be testy.

* - neutral field

 

Best of the Rest:

 

Toledo vs. Arkansas, Sept. 12*

UL Lafayette at Kentucky, Sept. 5

Missouri at Arkansas State, Sept. 12

Western Kentucky at Vanderbilt, Sept. 5

Georgia Southern at Georgia, Nov. 21

Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee, Oct. 3

Teaser:
Top 15 SEC Non-Conference Games of 2015
Post date: Friday, July 17, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/top-10-big-12-non-conference-games-2015
Body:

The Playoff Committee proved the general trend of tougher scheduling last fall. 

 

The  may have two major playoff contenders but scheduling could once again be a problem for this league. Whether the wants to admit it or not, Baylor's non-conference schedule was a huge factor in why the league was left out of the postseason tournament.

 

Unfortunately, there aren't many chances for marquee wins in the non-conference in 2015 for the . Sure, there are some juicy matchups but the most important non-conference game for either Baylor or TCU features an 18-point spread.

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Sept. 5

Two of the top three winningest programs in college football history will do battle in the best true home game of Week 1. Notre Dame has won four straight and eight of the 10 total meetings all-time and is a touchdown favorite for the season opener. Both quarterback situations should be interesting to track.

2.Sept. 12

Tennessee and Oklahoma have played three times. The Vols won in 1939 while OU took a 1968 meeting and a 34-10 outcome last season. The game last fall was closer than the 24-point margin and this year’s battle means a lot for both teams. Both have conference title aspirations and an early win over a ranked foe could catapult one into the national conversations.

3.Sept. 3*
There are few chances in the non-con this fall for the Big Ten to make a statement than on Thursday night to open the season in the Twin Cities. TCU will be a top-ranked team and is an 18-point favorite heading to TCF Bank Stadium. The Frogs stomped the Gophers 30-7 in Fort Worth last fall but Minnesota has won the only other meeting between the two — a 1974 win in Minneapolis.
4.Sept. 19
This could be a program-defining win for Sonny Dykes and Cal in Austin in Week 3. Or a terrifying second loss in three games to start the year for Texas. The Horns are at home and more talented (and can actually play defense), but quarterback Jared Goff is a superstar in the making and could set himself up for a nationally acclaimed season with a win in Texas. The Bears are 0-5 all-time against the Longhorns. This is a must-win for Charlie Strong.
5.Sept. 26
This is sort of an underrated rivalry that has seen 51 different editions. West Virginia has won 27 total and eight of the last nine meetings, including an epic 40-37 victory in College Park last fall. These are two very interesting coaches who know each other very well.
6.Sept. 19

The old conference foes reunited last season for the first time since 1991. Arkansas owns a commanding 29-7 all-time lead and added to it last year with an impressive 49-28 showing in Lubbock. The Hogs are better this year and at home. Good luck, Kliff.

7.Sept. 12

The heated in-state rivalry has been a lone bright spot for Cyclones head coach Paul Rhoads. He’s 3-3 against the Hawkeyes in six years as the head coach in Ames but has won three out of the last four against Kirk Ferentz' team. This has been high-scoring (44-41) and really ugly (9-6) but has routinely been extremely close.

8.Sept. 19

The Bulldogs and Wildcats have met three times before and this is where the drop off in non-conference games takes place. Louisiana Tech is picked to win the West Division in C-USA and offers up the toughest test for KSU outside of the league. Kansas State has won the last two meetings by a combined score of 94-17.

9.Sept. 19

The Battle for the Iron Skillet in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex will be played for the 95th time this fall. TCU leads the series 47-40-7 all-time and has won 13 of the last 15 meetings. The Frogs will be a massive favorite but it’s a rivalry, so it makes the list.

10.Sept. 5

This is where the Big 12 non-con scheduling is at these days. A quality, option-oriented Sun Belt team against a pass-happy, middle-of-the-pack Big 12 team is a top-10 game. The Eagles-Mountaineers matchup is intriguing for football nerds.

 

Best of the Rest:

 

Iowa State at Toledo, Sept. 19

Memphis at Kansas, Sept. 12

Kansas at Rutgers, Sept. 26

Akron at Oklahoma, Sept. 5

Baylor at SMU, Sept 4

Rice at Texas, Sept. 12

Kansas State at UTSA, Sept. 12

Rice at Baylor, Sept. 26

Northern Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 5

Teaser:
Top 10 Big 12 Non-Conference Games of 2015
Post date: Thursday, July 16, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/top-10-big-ten-non-conference-games-2015
Body:

The Playoff Committee proved the general trend of tougher scheduling last fall. 

 

The  may not get one team in the Playoff — it could actually end up with two in college football's version of the Final Four. A big reason why that's even possible is Michigan State's non-conference showdown with Oregon.

 

In fact, with five of the best teams in the league facing quality opponents in Week 1, the Big Ten could be a big story just one weekend into the season.

 

There are more than a dozen great non-conference games in the  in 2015.

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Sept. 12

Two national title contenders finishing the back half of a home-and-home? Yes, please. The Spartans will be fired up at home and have revenge on their minds after the 46-27 loss in Eugene last fall. The winner will get a huge Playoff notch in its belt in what should be one of the best games of the year regardless of conference.

2.Sept. 5*
The modern Big Ten power and traditional SEC power have only met once in history, a 15-0 Badgers win at home in 1928. The fast track in Arlington, Texas, should help an already superior Alabama team. The Crimson Tide is a 10-point favorite over the Big Red. A win by Wisconsin would rock the college football world right out of the gate.
3.Sept. 7
With revenge on the mind, fans on both sides can bet that Ohio State will be fired up. But Tech boasts one of the best defenses in the nation and they will be at home at night in one of the loudest buildings in college football. Additionally, everyone will probably have to wait until Labor Day night to find out who is starting at QB for Ohio State.
4.Sept. 19
Nebraska's 41-31 win in Lincoln last year broke the all-time series tie (6-5). Both teams should be good enough to make a run in their respective leagues but both head coaches still need a marquee win (for different reasons). Mike Riley needs a statement win in his first month on the job while Al Golden needs to show progress in a big way this fall. However, there is no national title on the line like in many previous Miami-Nebraska bouts.
5.Sept. 3
These two have only met three times with all three games taking place in Ann Arbor. Utah has won two of those meetings, including a 26-10 thumping of the Wolverines last season. On a Thursday night with Jim Harbaugh leading the way, this game should be much more intriguing and could be one of the best matchups of the first weekend.
Related:
6.Sept. 26
Older fans of both sides will likely remember the first and only meeting between BYU and Michigan. The Cougars won the 1984 Holiday Bowl 24-17 en route to a national championship. The Maize and Blue will be finishing a brutal first month of the Jim Harbaugh era that features two Pac-12 foes and the Taysom Hill-led Cougars.
7.Sept. 3
There are few chances in the non-con this fall for the Big Ten to make a statement, which adds to the intrigue of this season-opening Thursday night tilt in the Twin Cities. TCU will be a top-ranked team and is an 18-point favorite heading to TCF Bank Stadium. The Frogs stomped the Gophers 30-7 in Fort Worth last fall but Minnesota is 1-0 against TCU in its home state — thanks to a win in 1974 in Minneapolis.
8.Sept. 5
The color schemes alone will look amazing on the floor of towering Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. BYU and Nebraska get their seasons started in style in the first-ever meeting of the two national brands. Fans who are unfamiliar with Cougars dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill will learn all about him (if healthy) and Big Red Nation will get their first look at the Mike Riley-led Huskers.
9.Sept. 26
This is sort of an underrated rivalry that has seen 51 different editions. West Virginia has won 27 total and eight of the last nine meetings, including an epic 40-37 victory in College Park last fall. These are two very interesting coaches who know each other very well.
10.Sept. 19
The Panthers and Hawkeyes have played six total times in history and the series is tied 3-3. This includes a 24-20 Iowa win in Pittsburgh last year, spurred by backup quarterback C.J. Beathard's effective passing (7-of-8). He is now the starter and will have to face both rival Iowa State and Pitt in his first three starts of the season.

* - neutral site

 

Best of the Rest:

 

Iowa at Iowa State, Sept. 12

Stanford at Northwestern, Sept. 5

Northwestern at Duke, Sept. 19

Oregon State at Michigan, Sept. 12

Illinois at North Carolina, Sept. 19

Minnesota at Colorado State, Sept. 12

Washington State at Rutgers, Sept. 12

USF at Maryland, Sept. 19

Purdue at Virginia Tech, Sept. 19

Western Kentucky at Indiana, Sept. 5

Kansas at Rutgers, Sept. 26

Teaser:
Top 10 Big Ten Non-Conference Games of 2015
Post date: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/top-10-pac-12-non-conference-games-2015
Body:

The Playoff Committee proved the general trend of tougher scheduling last fall. 

 

The  may not get a team in the Playoff because this league might be too good and too deep to provide a one-loss champion. To top it off, the Committee can't blame the  for taking it easy in the non-conference either.

 

Here are top 10 non-conference games in the  in 2015.

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Sept. 12
Two national title contenders finishing the back half of a home-and-home? Yes, please. The Spartans will be fired up at home and have revenge on their minds after the 46-27 loss in Eugene last fall. The winner will get a huge Playoff notch in its belt in what should be one of the best games of the year regardless of conference.
2.Oct. 17
The 87th meeting between USC and ND could carry a lot of Playoff weight if all goes according to plan for both. USC smoked the Irish in L.A. last season and is 5-1 in its last six trips to South Bend. However, that lone loss came in the Trojans' last visit two seasons ago.
3.Sept. 5*
The Aggies and Sun Devils have never met before and fans on both sides should be thoroughly entertained throughout the pseudo-neutral site season opener. Two great offenses should light up the Houston skyline en route to a feather-in-the-cap non-con win.
4.Nov. 28
This should be a physical, hard-hitting affair once again. And both are Playoff sleeper teams. Stanford has won three straight in the series at home and four of the last six overall. Notre Dame needed an epic fourth quarter to beat the Cardinal 14-10 last fall in South Bend.
5.Sept. 4
Chris Petersen returns to Boise in charge of a Pac-12 name brand that is in clear rebuilding mode. The blue turf won't be nearly as welcoming as the Broncos have eyes on another Mountain West title and New Year's Day bowl berth. The Huskies' major questions under center and on the D-line will have to be answered to leave Idaho with a win.
Related:
6.Sept. 3
These two have only met three times with all three games taking place in Ann Arbor. Utah has won two of those meetings, including a 26-10 thumping of the Wolverines last season. On a Thursday night with Jim Harbaugh leading the way, this game should be much more intriguing. 
7.Sept. 19
The Cougars and Bruins have played 10 times with UCLA claiming seven wins. However, BYU has won the last two meetings, including a 58-0 embarrassment in 2008. Jim Mora's defense will need to be on its toes early against an athlete like Taysom Hill.
8.Sept. 19
This could be a program-defining win for Sonny Dykes and Cal in Austin in Week 3. The Horns are at home and more talented (and can actually play defense) but quarterback Jared Goff is a superstar in the making and could set himself up for a nationally acclaimed season with a win in Texas. The Bears are 0-5 all-time against the Longhorns.
9.Sept. 5
Throw the SAT scores out the window in the season opener for both. The Cardinal will have to kick off the season at 9 a.m. PT in Evanston against a Wildcats team that is looking to get back into the postseason. Stanford holds a 3-1-2 series lead but hasn't faced NW since 1994.
10.Sept. 12
These in-state rivals have played 111 times with Utah holding a substantial 78-29-4 lead in the series. Only once since 1997 has Utah State pulled the upset but that was with Chuckie Keeton running the offense in 2012. Keeton posted 302 total yards in that win and has returned for his final season in Logan after missing 11 games last fall.

* - neutral site

 

Best of the Rest:

 

UCF at Stanford, Sept. 12

UCLA at Virginia, Sept. 5

Utah State at Washington, Sept. 19

Oregon State at Michigan, Sept. 12

Colorado vs. Colorado State, Sept. 19*

Washington State at Rutgers, Sept. 12

Utah at Fresno State, Sept. 19

Arizona at Nevada, Sept. 12

Eastern Washington at Oregon, Sept. 5

Teaser:
Top 10 Pac-12 Non-Conference Games of 2015
Post date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/top-10-acc-non-conference-games-2015
Body:

The Playoff Committee proved the general trend of tougher scheduling last fall. 

 

The may not get a team in the playoff and may not be one of the better Power 5 conferences. However, no one can blame the for taking it easy in the non-conference. 

 

There are nearly two dozen great non-conference games in the in 2015.

 

 AwayHomeDate
1.Oct. 3
These two historic programs have only met twice. Clemson won the last meeting 16-10 in 1979 in South Bend. Two years earlier, Joe Montana led the Irish to a 21-17 victory in Death Valley in the battle of two top 15 teams. Both teams could be ranked in the top 10 when they meet Oct. 3 for the rubber match.
2.Nov. 28
The Gators lead the all-time series lead in the Sunshine State rivalry 34-23-2, but the Noles have been the better team since Jimbo Fisher arrived. Florida State has won four of the last five, including his last two trips inside The Swamp.
3.Sept. 19
The Jackets and Irish will be playing for the 35th time — 27 of which resulted in Notre Dame wins. The last time they met, however, Georgia Tech crushed the Golden Domers 33-3 in South Bend. There is a good chance both of these teams could reach 10 wins in 2015.
4.Sept. 7
National television on Labor Day Night to begin a national title defense sounds like fun to me. Bud Foster and one of the nastiest defenses in the nation will test whichever Buckeyes quarterback Urban Meyer decides to run out there. One coach desperately needs a national statement win and the other coach has major revenge on the mind after the Hokies upset win last fall.
5.Nov. 28
Paul Johnson's squad broke through with a huge 30-24 win over the Dawgs in Athens last season. It was just Johnson's second win in seven tries against the Dawgs and his first since beating Mark Richt in his first year in Atlanta in 2008. There is an outside chance both teams are poised to play in a championship game a week after the meeting. 
Related:
6.Sept. 5*
Bobby Petrino has won all 10 season openers but will have a tough time against the heavily-favored Tigers. Louisville won the only previous meeting between the two programs with a 16-3 win over Auburn in Birmingham back in 1974.
7.Nov. 28
The Tigers own a 66-42-4 all-time series lead but are coming off their first win in the rivalry since 2008. Clemson could be eyeing a playoff bid in the season finale and will be looking for their first win in Williams-Brice Stadium since 2007. Dabo Swinney is 2-5 against Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks.
8.Sept. 19
Nebraska's 41-31 win in Lincoln last year broke the all-time series tie (6-5). Both teams should be good enough to make a run in their respective leagues but both head coaches need a marquee win (for different reasons). However, there is no national title on the line like in many previous Miami-Nebraska bouts.
9.Sept. 3*
The Carolina Bowl has only taken place twice since 1991 with the South side winning both times (2007, 2013). The season opener features two defenses that are in desperate need of improvement if either team has any prayer of competing in their respective divisions. 
10.Nov. 7
The Panthers and Irish have played a pretty even series almost every year since 1999 with Notre Dame winning seven of the 12 meetings during that span. The last six meetings in Pittsburgh are split 3-3, including a memorable 28-21 Panthers upset win in the last tangle, 

* - neutral site

 

Best of the Rest:

 

Louisville at Kentucky, Nov. 28

Miami at Cincinnati, Oct. 1

LSU at Syracuse, Sept. 26

Boston College vs. Notre Dame, Nov. 21*

Pitt at Iowa, Sept. 19

Notre Dame at Virginia, Sept. 12

Virginia Tech at East Carolina, Sept. 26

Northwestern at Duke, Sept. 19

Virginia at UCLA, Sept. 5

Boise State at Virginia, Sept. 25

Indiana at Wake Forest, Sept. 26

Wake Forest at Notre Dame, Nov. 14

Illinois at North Carolina, Sept. 19

Teaser:
Top 10 ACC Non-Conference Games of 2015
Post date: Monday, July 13, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Pac-12, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-25-most-crowded-stadiums
Body:

Attendance is a function of many things.

 

Renovations, scheduling, prices, realignment and weather can impact attendance numbers. Even how a school reports its given numbers can vary from program to program (unfortunately).

 

Most notably, however, is the quality of the team. The easiest solution to "fixing" dropping attendance numbers is to win more games.

 

In 2014, Texas A&M (+21 percent), Maryland (+14), LSU (+11), Mississippi State (+10), Rutgers (+9), UCLA (+9) and Florida State (+9) led the Power 5 teams in attendance growth for different reasons.

 

The SEC schools saw boosts from renovations while the two Big Ten teams each saw a spike from joining a new league. The Bruins' attendance grew simply because the team was expected to be and was really good.

 

Ranking the Stadiums: | | | |

 

So Athlon Sports looked back at all 65 Power 5 teams and ranked them by average capacity based on the reported numbers. How packed was your favorite team’s stadium?

 

 VenueTeam% FullAtt.Rk
1Autzen Stadium106.354,42231st
2Bill Snyder Family Stadium106.253,08138th
3Memorial Stadium104.991,24910th
4McLane Stadium103.846,71049th
5Memorial Stadium103.785,16213th
6Kyle Field102.5105,1232nd
7Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium101.661,54726th
8Williams-Brice Stadium101.481,38116th
9Rice-Eccles Stadiums101.346,43750th
10Ohio Stadium101.2106,2961st
11Memorial Stadium100.381,75215th
12Sanford Stadium100.092,7469th
13Jordan-Hare Stadium100.087,45111th
14Notre Dame Stadium100.080,79516th
15Doak Campbell Stadium99.982,21114th
16Bryant-Denny Stadium99.7101,5346th
17Davis Wade Stadium99.661,12728th
18Spartan Stadium99.574,68120th
19Tiger Stadium99.4101,7234th
20Amon Carter Stadium99.344,71952nd
21Camp Randall Stadium99.079,52018th
22Neyland Stadium97.499,7547th
23Ben Hill Griffin Stadium96.985,83412th
24Jones AT&T Stadium96.858,93429th
25High Point Solutions Stadium96.550,63243rd
26Papa John's Stadium96.352,97239th
27Kinnick Stadium95.667,51222nd
28Michigan Stadium95.5104,9093rd
29Beaver Stadium95.4101,6235th
30Jack Trice Stadium95.352,19741st
31Stanford Stadium94.947,86246th
32Milan Puskar Stadium94.556,68634th
33Carter-Finley Stadium94.454,39836th
34Darrell K. Royal Stadium93.994,1038th
35Martin Stadium93.530,79472nd
36Lane Stadium93.261,15727th
37Razorback Stadium92.466,52123rd
38Reser Stadium92.342,17653rd
39Husky Stadium91.964,50825th
40Faurot Field91.765,28524th
41TFC Bank Stadium91.147,86545th
42Byrd Stadium90.746,98148th
43Arizona Stadium90.550,71042nd
44Boone Pickens Stadium90.354,38737th
45Bobby Dodd Stadium88.248,51944th
46Sun Devil Stadium86.857,17932nd
47Kenan Memorial Stadium86.754,66735th
48BB&T Field86.427,21083rd
49Commonwealth Stadium85.257,57230th
50Vanderbilt Stadium84.534,25866th
51Rose Bowl82.876,65019th
52Carrier Dome82.140,44757th
53Ryan Field81.938,61359th
54Wallace Wade Stadium80.427,29182nd
55Sun Life Stadium80.352,51840th
56Memorial Stadium78.741,65754th
57L.A. Coliseum78.373,27221st
58Alumni Stadium77.034,27064th
59Memorial Stadium76.347,67547th
60Folsom Field70.537,77861st
61Memorial Stadium68.541,54955th
62Memorial Stadium68.134,07767th
63Scott Stadium63.939,32058th
64Heinz Field63.141,31556th
65Ross-Ade Stadium61.635,26962nd
Teaser:
College Football's Top 25 Most Crowded Stadiums
Post date: Monday, July 13, 2015 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-ten-stadiums-2015
Body:

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 12 Big Ten experts , , ,  and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the Big Ten.

 

Based on general atmosphere, fan support, home-field advantage, amenities, tailgating, surrounding campus and even scoreboards, .

 

However, attendance is an increasing concern for all athletic directors and tweaks are made to college football stadiums every year. Using our expert rankings, here is a statistical breakdown and update of stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.


 

1. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State

There is little doubt that the Horseshoe is the Big Ten’s best place to watch a game. The Buckeyes led the nation at 106,296 fans per game in 2014 and finished second in the Big Ten at 101.3 percent capacity. This while being the third-largest building in the conference behind Michigan and Penn State. Urban Meyer is 21-1 in three years at home with that one loss coming to Virginia Tech last fall.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1922104,944 (3rd)106,296 (1st)101.3% (2nd)

108,362 ('14)


2. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska

This venue has been sold out since 1962. Seriously, 1962! The amazing streak allowed Nebraska to lead the Big Ten in capacity at 104.9 percent full every game. The Big Red finished 10th in the nation in attendance last fall with the fourth-biggest venue in the conference.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192387,000 (4th)91,249 (10th)104.9% (1st)91,471 ('13)

 

3. Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin

With the fifth-biggest building in the Big Ten, Wisconsin finished 18th nationally in attendance. Virtually every seat was filled a year ago with the fourth-largest average capacity at 99.0 percent. Only Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State could claim a more packed house than UW. 
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
191780,321 (5th)79,520 (18th)99.0% (4th)83,184 ('05)

 

 

4. Beaver Stadium, Penn State

Normally, 5,000 empty seats would be a big problem but not at Penn State. Despite those empty seats, Penn State still finished fifth in the nation in attendance at 101,623, which actually represented a five percent increase over 2013. So while the 95.4 percent average capacity (8th in the Big Ten) doesn't look great when comparing it to the rest of the conference, the numbers are trending in the right direction for one of the best buildings in the country.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1960106,572 (2nd)101,623 (5th)95.4% (8th)110,753 ('02)

 

5. Michigan Stadium, Michigan

Much like Penn State, the Wolverines had 5,000 empty seats at every game but still managed to draw over 100,000 fans per home date. The Maize and Blue finished third in the nation in attendance at nearly 105,000 per game. However, with Jim Harbaugh now in town, expect the six percent attendance drop from 2013-14 to be totally reversed this fall. Season tickets and suite sales are soaring for the Big Blue right now.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1927109,901 (1st)104,909 (3rd)95.5% (7th)115,109 ('13)



 

6. Kinnick Stadium, Iowa

How many stadiums seat more than 70,000 people and are just the seventh-biggest building in its own conference? But that is what Iowa is dealing with in the Big Ten. The 67,512 average attendance was 22nd in the nation and up one percent from 2013. Kirk Ferentz is 10-11 at home over the last three years and has lost at least three times in Kinnick in three straight seasons.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192970,585 (7th)67,512 (22nd)95.6% (6th)70,585

 

7. Spartans Stadium, Michigan State

Michigan State finished in the top 20 nationally in attendance and was third in the Big Ten at 99.6 percent capacity. The Spartans also saw a three percent growth in sales from 2013l. Mark Dantonio and company are 13-1 at home over the last two seasons.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192575,005 (6th)74,681 (20th)99.6% (3rd)80,401 ('90)

 

8. TCF Bank Stadium, Minnesota

The newest building in the Big Ten also serves beer — making it a must-see stop. Until it expands, however, it will still be one of the smallest in the league (11th). Minnesota ranked 45th nationally in attendance last fall and ninth in the Big Ten in average capacity. Jerry Kill is starting to make it work for his team, however, going 11-3 at home over the last two seasons.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
200952,525 (11th)47,865 (45th)91.1% (9th)50,805

 

 

9. Memorial Stadium, Illinois

The Illini's home stadium keeps getting nicer but continues to shrink in size. At one time holding nearly 80,000 fans, Memorial Stadium averaged just 41,549 last fall (55th) and is now the eighth-biggest venue in the Big Ten. The five percent dip in attendance last season ranked Illinois ahead of only Purdue in terms of average capacity (68.5 percent). Tim Beckman is 10-13 at home in three years at Illinois (but did post his best season at 5-2 last year).
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192360,670 (8th)41,549 (55th)68.5% (13th)78,297 ('84)

 

10. Byrd Stadium, Maryland

Surprisingly, Maryland's Byrd Stadium is only bigger than Northwestern's Ryan Field when it comes to capacity in the Big Ten. However, the move to the Big Ten created a 14 percent jump in attendance from 2013, a number only bested by Texas A&M (21 percent) nationally. The Terps finished 48th in total attendance and renovations could be coming soon.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
195051,108 (13th)46,981 (48th)90.7% (10th)58,973 ('75)

 

 

11. Ryan Field, Northwestern

The smallest building in the Big Ten finished just 59th in the nation in attendance last fall. Unfortunately, the Wildcats also had one of the worst average capacities as well, filling up just 81.9 percent of their venue on average — better than only Purdue, Illinois and Indiana. Northwestern has won just two of its last 11 home games.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192647,130 (14th)38,613 (59th)81.9% (11th)55,752 ('62)

 

12. High Point Solutions Stadium, Rutgers

Rutgers finished 43rd nationally in attendance last fall with the third-smallest building in the Big Ten. However, it was second in the Big Ten with a nine percent jump in attendance and was fifth in the Big Ten at 96.5 percent capacity.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
199452,454 (12th)50,632 (43rd)96.5 (5th)53,737 ('09)

 

 

13. Memorial Stadium, Indiana

It's tough to draw fans to Indiana football games, plain and simple. That said, nearly 42,000 fans on average saw the Hoosiers play in person last season. That number only ranks 54th nationally but is only a few thousand behind major winners like TCU (44,719) and Baylor (46,710). Maybe there is hope as Kevin Wilson continues to improve this team.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
196052,929 (10th)41,657 (54th)78.7% (12th)56,223 ('69)

 

14. Ross Ade Stadium, Purdue

There doesn't seem to be much hope at all in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers have the ninth-biggest stadium in the Big Ten but finished last in attendance and just 62nd nationally. Only Duke, Wake Forest, Washington State, Kansas, Vanderbilt and Boston College drew worse crowds last fall among Power 5 teams and the 61.6 percent average capacity was the lowest in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC combined.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192457,236 (9th)35,269 (62nd)61.6% (14th)71,629 ('80)

 

Teaser:
Ranking the Big Ten Stadiums for 2015
Post date: Friday, July 10, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/college-football-fans-dream-road-trip-2015
Body:

You can go to one college football game each weekend. You can't go to the same place twice and the travel budget is endless.

 

Where are you going? That's 14 straight weekends on 14 different campuses, so ask the spouse for forgiveness, not permission.

 

The possibilities are almost endless. And it would make for a dream come true for most college football fans.

 

So I dove into the 2015 schedule and plotted out my dream vacation travel itinerary. Here is where I would go this fall:

 

Week 1: Ohio State at Virginia Tech

One of the greatest football settings in the entire nation will host a Labor Day celebration. Ohio State begins its national title defense to the sound of "Enter Sandman" in Blacksburg, Va. The Buckeyes will have revenge on their mind in Week 1, but a very stout and prideful Virginia Tech defense awaits them for this national TV showcase in Lane Stadium at night. (For the record, I'd lay the 16 points).

 

Back-up plan: Texas at Notre Dame

 

Week 2: Oregon at Michigan State

Mark Dantonio and Connor Cook can not only exact revenge on Oregon in Spartan Stadium but can give themselves a serious Playoff feather in their cap in just Week 2. A win over the Ducks puts the Spartans in a position to snag a Playoff spot with what amounts to essentially a tie-breaker over a potential team.

 

Back-up plan: Oklahoma at Tennessee

 

Week 3: Ole Miss at Alabama

Speaking of revenge, Ole Miss makes a short drive east to Tuscaloosa to play preseason SEC favorite Alabama. A win for Hugh Freeze would immediately upset the pecking order just three weeks into the season. However, the Tide have won 12 straight over the Rebels at home, dating back to 1988.

 

Back-up plan: Auburn at LSU

 

Week 4: Tennessee at Florida

With a late-season trip to Tempe pending, I’ll settle for my second choice. Florida has won 10 straight over Tennessee and a loss for the Vols would all but take them out of SEC East contention. A win for Florida gives Jim McElwain instant credibility. This once great rivalry could be making a comeback very soon.

 

Back-up plan: USC at Arizona State

 

Week 5: Alabama at Georgia

For the third straight week, I will tailgate in the SEC. The first two were just appetizers for this one. These two haven’t met in Athens since 2008 when Bama rolled 41-30. This is a massive, likely top-10 matchup and SEC title game preview all rolled into one that is must-see TV.

 

Back-up plan: Notre Dame at Clemson

 

Week 6: Oklahoma vs. Texas

With much respect to Florida and Georgia, there is no better neutral-site game in college football than The Red River Riv… Shootout. It’s one of the top rivalries in the nation, is always a close game and the Texas State Fair is a sight to behold for fans of all ages.

 

Back-up plan: Wisconsin at Nebraska

 

Week 7: USC at Notre Dame

Let’s head north to the hallowed ground of Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish and Trojans renew an 87-year-old battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh. USC has won five of the last six in South Bend but Brian Kelly’s bunch won the last meeting at home in 2013. This game could be a Playoff elimination game.

 

Back-up plan: Penn State at Ohio State

 

Podcast: Preseason College Football Playoff Preview



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Week 8: Auburn at Arkansas

Gus Malzahn and Bret Bielema can down play it all they want but these two programs don’t like each other. And Arkansas could be the top challenger to the state of Alabama. Auburn has a brutal schedule but this could be the Tigers' toughest road test of the year. One team will try to run a billion plays while the other will attempt the opposite.

 

Back-up plan: Florida State at Georgia Tech

 

Week 9: Oregon at Arizona State

A Pac-12 title game preview takes place in the desert when the Ducks fly south to take on Arizona State. The Sun Devils will be a sneaky good defensive team and Vernon Adams will be settled in as Oregon's starting quarterback by this point. Look for a late-night Thursday shootout.

 

Back-up plan: Ole Miss at Auburn

 

Week 10: Florida State at Clemson

Nov. 7 will be a huge day in the SEC West, as LSU takes on Alabama, Arkansas visits Ole Miss and Auburn heads to College Station. But I’m passing on all three to head to Death Valley, S.C. The Atlantic Division, and College Football Playoff spot could hang in the balance when the Noles and Tigers battle.

 

Back-up plan: LSU at Alabama

 

Week 11: Oregon at Stanford

The Pac-12 North will likely hang in the balance when Oregon visits Stanford in what has become one of the West Coast’s top rivalries. Offense vs. defense. Flash vs. toughness. Old school vs. new. The winner of this game has gone on to win the Pac-12 title five years in a row.


Back-up plan: Georgia at Auburn

 

Week 12: Michigan State at Ohio State

My decision on where to go in Week 12 . Should Michigan State beat Oregon, then both the Spartans and Buckeyes likely enter this game unbeaten and eyeing a Playoff spot. If Oregon wins, then I’m likely heading to Eugene to watch USC visit Autzen Stadium.

 

Back-up plan: USC at Oregon

 

Week 13: Alabama at Auburn

I wish there was three of me. Ohio State visits Michigan and Baylor visits TCU on the same day. But there is only one place I’d rather be than Fort Worth or Ann Arbor in Week 13 and that’s the Plains of Alabama for the Iron Bowl. Division, conference and national championships could be on the line in the 80th meeting between the two in-state rivals.

 

Back-up plan: Baylor at TCU

 

Week 14: Pac-12 title game

The Big Ten title game is going to be one-sided. The ACC champion could already have two losses. The SEC Championship Game has been lopsided two straight years and will likely once again see a heavy West Division favorite. The Pac-12 title game is the likeliest to have two one-loss teams vying for a trip to the College Football Playoff.

 

Back-up plan: SEC Championship Game

 

We want your feedback and it’s a fun exercise. Try it out on your own and let us know what your schedule would look like @BradenGall or @AthlonSports.

Teaser:
A College Football Fan's Dream Road Trip for 2015
Post date: Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12-stadiums-2015
Body:

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 10 Big 12 experts , , , and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the Big 12.

 

Based on general atmosphere, fan support, home-field advantage, amenities, tailgating, surrounding campus and even scoreboards, .

 

However, attendance is an increasing concern for all athletic directors and tweaks are made to college football stadiums every year. Using our expert rankings, here is a statistical breakdown and update of stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.

 

 
1. Memorial Stadium, Oklahoma

The top spot in the Big 12 to catch a game is regularly over capacity. Despite the worst home record of Bob Stoops' tenure (3-3), the Sooners still posted an impressive 103.7 percent capacity average while finishing 13th nationally and second in the league in attendance. Oklahoma is 373-84-15 all-time at Memorial Stadium and Stoops is still an impressive 90-8.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192582,112 (2nd)85,162 (13th)103.7% (3rd)86,031 ('12)

 

2. Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, Texas

Plans to expand into the 115,000-125,000 range have been put on hold but Texas still boasts the biggest (100,119) stadium in the Big 12 and still leads the league in attendance (94,103). And the gaps between the Longhorns and Oklahoma in both of these categories are pretty wide. That said, Texas' building was only 93.3 percent full — ranking seventh in the league — and was one of only four schools in the Big 12 to see a drop from 2013 (down five percent).

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1924100,119 (1st)94,103 (8th)93.9% (7th)101,851 ('12)

 

 

3. Boone Pickens Stadium, Oklahoma State

The drop off in size after the top two buildings is noticeable. The Cowboys ranked 37th in attendance nationally and ninth in the Big 12 in average capacity (90.3 percent). Additionally, only Kansas' 10 percent drop in attendance was worse than the Pokes' eight percent decline from '13. It's still a brutal place to play for teams, however, as Mike Gundy is 21-4 at home over the last four years.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192060,218 (4th)54,387 (37th)90.3% (9th)60,218 ('13)

 

4. Jones AT&T Stadium, Texas Tech

Texas Tech boasts the third-largest building in the Big 12 and was third in attendance last year, ranking 29th nationally. The Red Raiders actually saw a growth of two percent over 2013 and were fifth in the league in average capacity (96.8 percent). Kliff Kingsbury is 6-6 at home in two years.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
194760,862 (3rd)58,934 (29th)96.8% (5th)61,836 ('13)

 

5. Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Kansas State

It’s small on three sides and has some quirky lines, but Bill Snyder Family Stadium will rock when the Wildcats are rolling. At 106.2 percent capacity every Saturday, this building was the most packed of any stadium in the Big 12 last fall despite a one percent drop in overall attendance. Kansas State was 38th in attendance in 2014, even though it ranks ahead of only TCU and Baylor as the third-smallest venue in the  league. 

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
196850,000 (8th)53,081 (38th)106.2% (1st)53,811 ('00)

 

 

6. Milan Puskar Stadium, West Virginia

It's a heckuva party in Morgantown on Saturdays and 2014 proved that. West Virginia led the Big 12 last season with a seven percent hike in attendance compared to 2013. Milan Puskar finished 34th nationally in attendance despite finishing just seventh in the league at 94.5 percent full. Dana Holgorsen is just 15-11 at home in four years but has a win over a top-11 foe in each of the last two seasons.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
198060,000 (5th)56,686 (34th)94.5% (7th)70,222 ('93)

 

7. McLane Stadium, Baylor

McLane Stadium is Baylor's state-of-the-art building that ushered in a new era of Bears football with a Big 12 title last season. Baylor saw attendance go up by two percent and was one of three schools in the Big 12 to average over capacity (103.8 percent). The smallest building in the league finished just 49th nationally in attendance at 46,710 per game. For the time being, the Bears have never lost in McLane (6-0) and keep an eye on future expansion to host 55,000.
 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
201445,000 (9th)46,710 (49th)103.8% (2nd)

45,733 ('14)

 

 

8. Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State

Iowa State is home to one of the most underrated home atmospheres in the nation. Despite a horrible record and a six percent drop in attendance, Jack Trice Stadium still ranked 41st nationally in attendance — ahead of championship or division-winning programs like TCU, Baylor, Arizona and Georgia Tech. Paul Rhoads is 2-11 in the last two seasons at home.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
197554,800 (6th)52,197 (41st)95.3% (6th)56,800 ('12)

 

9. Amon Carter Stadium, TCU

TCU was fourth in the Big 12 in average capacity at 99.4 percent full last season. The Horned Frogs finished 52nd nationally in the league's smallest building despite a three percent growth in attendance. Like Baylor, TCU needs to sustain high-level success in the Big 12 to continue to grow its quaint home atmosphere.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192945,000 (9th)44,719 (52nd)99.4% (4th)50,307 ('09)

 

 

10. Memorial Stadium, Kansas

A poor home win-loss record (256-231-16) has caused major trouble for Kansas. The 10 percent drop in attendance last fall was the worst in the Big 12. So were the 34,077 fans that showed up per game and the horrid 68.1 percent capacity. The Jayhawks have much to overcome both on the field and with their home venue.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192150,071 (7th)34,077 (67th)68.1% (10th)52,530 ('09)
Teaser:
Ranking the Big 12 Stadiums for 2015
Post date: Thursday, July 9, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-sec-stadiums-2015
Body:

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 12  experts like , , and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the SEC.

 

Based on general atmosphere, fan support, home-field advantage, amenities, tailgating, surrounding campus and even scoreboards, .

 

However, attendance is an increasing concern for all athletic directors and tweaks are made to college football stadiums every year. Using our expert rankings, here is a statistical breakdown and update of SEC stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.
 


1. Tiger Stadium, LSU

Baton Rouge at night is an experience. After renovations, Tiger Stadium became the third biggest in the SEC, and finished fourth nationally at 101,723 per game last fall. While the 99.4 percent capacity rate was only eighth in the SEC, the 11 percent jump in attendance in 2014 was second only to Texas A&M.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1924102,321 (3rd)101,723 (4th)99.4% (8th)102,321 ('14)

 

2. Kyle Field, Texas A&M

The move to the SEC and the massive $450 million renovations are essentially complete and it gives Texas A&M the biggest stadium in the SEC. The 102.5 percent capacity led the SEC in 2014, as did the 21 percent jump in attendance from 2013. At 105,123 per game, the Aggies trailed only Ohio State nationally in attendance. Kevin Sumlin is just 13-7 at home, but his new building should only get more difficult to play in for opposing teams.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1927102,512 (1st)105,123 (2nd)102.5% (1st)110,633 ('14)

 


3. Sanford Stadium, Georgia

The Bulldogs sold every ticket in 2014, finishing with an average attendance (92,746) that matched its capacity. The fifth-biggest stadium in the SEC finished ninth nationally in attendance and only four other schools in the conference matched or surpassed Georgia's 100 percent capacity mark. Mark Richt is 74-15 “Between the Hedges” in his time at Georgia.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192992,746 (5th)92,746 (9th)100% (4th)92,746 ('14)

 

4. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee

The Big Orange brick cathedral is one of the loudest places to watch football in the nation and the crowds finally started coming back in 2014. The second-biggest venue in the SEC finished seventh nationally in attendance at 99,754 per game — a four percent jump from 2013 — as Neyland was 97.4 percent full. Butch Jones is 12-13 in two years at Tennessee, but 8-6 at home, including the biggest win of his tenure over No. 11 South Carolina two years ago.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1921102,455 (2nd)99,754 (7th)97.4% (9th)109,061 ('04)

 

 
5. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama

Alabama is 238-52-3 since opening the building in 1929, and Nick Saban is 43-6 at home during his tenure. The Crimson Tide finished sixth nationally in attendance last fall in the fourth-largest building in the SEC. The 99.7 percent capacity ranked sixth in the SEC as well.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
1929101,821 (4th)101,534 (6th)99.7% (6th)101,821 ('14)

 

6. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida

"The Swamp" was one of just four SEC stadiums to see a small dip in attendance last fall. The two percent drop still netted Florida 85,834 fans per game, good for 12th nationally. The 96.9 percent capacity average was just 10th in the SEC and one reason why Will Muschamp is now coaching Auburn's defense. Muschamp was 18-8 overall at home but just 3-6 in his last nine games at The Swamp.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (RK)% (Rk)Record
193088,548 (6th)85,834 (12th)96.9% (10th)90,907 ('09)

 


7. Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn

Just like Georgia, Auburn finished with exactly 100 percent attendance in 2014 — just one of five in the league to do so. At 87,451 per game, Auburn ranked 11th in the nation in total attendance in the seventh-largest building in the SEC. Gus Malzahn is 14-1 at home in two years as the head Tiger.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
193987,451 (7th)87,451 (11th)100% (4th)87,451 ('14)

 

8. Williams-Brice Stadium, South Carolina

For a team that lost six times last year, South Carolina fans still packed their home venue. The Gamecocks finished third in the SEC in average attendance and was one of five schools in the conference that drew above capacity. The 101.4 percent average ranked behind only Texas A&M and Ole Miss in '14. The Cocks ranked 16th nationally in attendance, even though their stadium is among the bottom half (eighth) in the SEC when it comes to size.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
193480,250 (8th)81,381 (16th)101.4% (3rd)85,199 ('12)

 


9. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, Arkansas

Arkansas’ all-time record at its home stadium is a solid but uninspiring 171-82-2 but the Razorbacks were 5-1 last year with the only loss coming to SEC champ Alabama. In fact, the eight percent growth in attendance from '13 finished behind only Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State in the SEC — all three of which saw major renovations increase capacity last season. The 92.4 percent capacity average was just 11th in the SEC, but the 66,521 average was 23rd nationally.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
193872,000 (9th)66,521 (23rd)92.4% (11th)76,808 ('10)

 

10. Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Ole Miss

The second-oldest venue in the SEC isn't very big — ranking 13th in the league in size — but was packed to the gills last season. The 101.6 percent average capacity was second only to Texas A&M and one of just five in the league above 100. The Rebels were 11th in attendance in the SEC last fall but still ranked 26th nationally, well ahead of programs like Oregon, Miami and Baylor. Capacity will actually drop to 58,580 this fall before moving to 64,038 in 2016.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
191560,580 (13th)61,547 (26th)101.6 (2nd)62,657 ('09)

 


11. Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium, Missouri

Mizzou finished in the top 25 in attendance in college football last fall at 65,285 per game. Unfortunately, the 10th-biggest building in the SEC produced the conference's 10th-largest crowd on average. Such is life in the SEC. The 91.7 percent capacity was ahead of only Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Missouri is 14-7 at home since joining the SEC, but 11-3 the last two seasons.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192771,168 (10th)65,285 (24th)91.7% (12th)75,298 ('80)

 

12. Davis Wade Stadium, Mississippi State

Expansion gave Mississippi State its largest home crowd in history last season when 62,945 poured into Davis Wade Stadium to watch the Auburn game. The Bulldogs finished 12th in the SEC in attendance (28th nationally) but it still was the most successful year in school history. Despite finishing below 100 percent capacity on average (99.6), Mississippi State ranked third in the SEC with a 10 percent jump in average attendance, trailing only Texas A&M and LSU.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
191461,337 (12th)61,127 (28th)99.6% (7th)62,945 ('14)

 


13. Commonwealth Stadium, Kentucky

Despite winning just two games in 2013, this team drew 59,472 fans per game. With a slightly improved team, Kentucky finished 30th in the nation (57,572) last season. At 85.2 percent full each weekend, Kentucky was one of two SEC teams (Vanderbilt) to post a sub-90 percent average capacity. All seven of Mark Stoops' wins at Kentucky have come at home.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
197367,606 (11th)57,572 (30th)85.2% (13th)71,024 ('07)

 

14. Vanderbilt Stadium, Vanderbilt

It's the smallest building in the league and generally the quietest as well. The Dores ranked last in the SEC in attendance, average capacity and were last in the league with a four percent drop from 2013.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192240,550 (14th)34,258 (66th)84.5% (14th)41,448 ('98)
Teaser:
Ranking the SEC Stadiums for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-acc-stadiums-2015
Body:

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 12 ACC experts like , and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the ACC.

 

Based on general atmosphere, fan support, home-field advantage, amenities, tailgating, surrounding campus and even scoreboards, .

 

However, attendance is an increasing concern for all athletic directors and tweaks are made to stadiums every year. Using our expert rankings, here is a statistical breakdown and update of  stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.



1. Memorial Stadium, Clemson

The fifth-oldest venue in the ACC, this college football cathedral — dubbed Death Valley — is rumored to have had the loudest crowd in college football history at 133 decibels. Dabo Swinney's stadium led the ACC in capacity percentage (100.3 percent) and finished in the top 15 nationally in attendance last fall. Swinney loves his home cooking, going 38-5 at Memorial Stadium during his six years as Clemson's head coach.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
194281,500 (2nd)81,752 (15th)100.3% (1st)86,092 ('99)

2. Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State

The Noles are 274-86-4 all-time in the largest stadium in the and, interestingly enough, the gorgeous brick façade makes DCS the largest continuous brick building in the United States. Florida State led the ACC in attendance and finished 14th nationally with an ACC-best increase of nine percent. Jimbo Fisher's squad has won 14 straight at The Doak and are 31-4 in his five years in Tallahassee. The 99.9 percent capacity last fall was second only to Clemson.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
195082,300 (1st)82,211 (14th)99.9% (2nd)84,409 ('13)

 


3. Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech

The beautiful venue is the largest stadium in the Commonwealth of Virginia and Frank Beamer is 58-14 at home during his career in the ACC and 32-9 in Lane Stadium while a member of the Big East. Lane Stadium is one of just three ACC buildings to average more than 60,000 last year despite a 3-4 home record. Tech finished 27th nationally in attendance and fifth in the league in capacity percentage.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
196565,632 (3rd)61,157 (27th)93.2% (5th)66,233

 

4. Papa John’s Stadium, Louisville

The “Pizza Box” continues to grow seemingly every year after opening at just 42,000 seats with eyes on expansion to 80,000 in the near future. In just one season in the ACC, Louisville was third in the league in capacity percentage (96.3) and is just a few thousand fans per game away from being the third-largest average crowd in the ACC (was sixth in '14). This program, like its building, is soaring into Power 5 competition. 

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
199855,000 (9th)52,972 (39th)96.3% (3rd)55,428 ('14)

 

 

5. Carter-Finley Stadium, NC State

The crowds are right on top of the field with the closest seats in the ACC to the field. It led to the fifth-largest crowds in the league last fall despite coming off a winless ACC campaign in 2013. Carter-Finley also finished fourth in the league in percentage (94.5) each Saturday — one of just five programs in the league to average more than 90 percent.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
196657,583 (8th)54,398 (36th)94.5% (4th)57,583

 

6. Bobby Dodd Stadium, Georgia Tech

The ACC’s oldest venue was built for just $15,000 over a century ago and is the oldest in major college football (FBS). Tech finished 44th nationally in attendance, which ranked eighth in the ACC. Paul Johnson is 34-12 in his career at Georgia Tech.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
191355,000 (9th)48,519 (44th)88.2% (6th)60,316 ('73)

Related:
 

7. Kenan Memorial Stadium, North Carolina

One of the most picturesque places to watch a football game, Kenan Stadium is the second-oldest football venue in the ACC. In 2014, North Carolina finished fourth in the  in attendance behind only Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech. In fact, Kenan saw a six percent spike in attendance last fall, which ranked second in the league behind only the Seminoles (9 percent). Larry Fedora is 14-6 at home and 7-11 away from Kenan.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192763,000 (6th)54,667 (35th)86.8% (7th)62,000 ('97)

 

 

8. Scott Stadium, Virginia

It's one of the most historic and culturally rich campuses in the nation and has witnessed many memorable ACC moments. But despite showing major improvements as a team, the Cavs' home building produced poor numbers in 2014. Virginia's attendance finished 58th nationally and 11th in the ACC after a 15 percent drop from '13. It also ranked 13th in the ACC ahead of only Pitt in terms of capacity percentage at just 63.9 percent full each Saturday. Mike London is 18-18 at home.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
193161,500 (7th)39,320 (58th)63.9% (13th)64,947 ('08)

 

9. Carrier Dome, Syracuse

Nicknamed “The Loud House,” the Cuse’s home has a Teflon-coated, fiberglass inflatable roof that is one of the loudest in the nation. However, it's been a while since the Orange's home building was feared. The Carrier Dome ranked 10th in the ACC in attendance despite a nice six percent bump over 2013 and ranked ninth in the league in capacity percentage. Syracuse was 1-5 at home last season.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
198049,262 (11th)40,447 (57th)82.1% (9th)50,564 ('80)

 

10. Sun Life Stadium, Miami

The building is 25 minutes from campus and saw nearly 10,000 seats subtracted from its capacity this offseason — so the 80.3 percent capacity is more of a projection. That said, the 52,518 average attendance ranked Miami 40th in the nation and seventh in the ACC. Al Golden is 19-8 in four years at home but 11-3 over the last two years. This program needs a smaller, on-campus venue badly.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
198765,326 (5th)52,518 (40th)80.3% (11th)80,120 ('13)

 

 

11. Heinz Field, Pitt

From an amenities standpoint, few college stadiums can match the posh NFL home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, sharing a building with an NFL team has drawbacks as well. Pitt ranked dead last in the ACC at just 63.1 percent average capacity and saw a league-worst decline of 17 percent in attendance from 2013. The Panthers ranked 56th nationally in attendance last fall.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
200165,500 (4th)41,315 (56th)63.1% (14th)66,731 ('02)

 

12. Alumni Stadium, Boston College

It's tough to draw large crowds to Chestnut Hill, as the Eagles have largely overachieved for the better part of the last two decades but routinely rank outside of the top 60 in attendance. Boston College is 12th in the ACC capacity, 12th in average capacity (77.0 percent) and 12th in average attendance — which ranks 64th nationally. Steve Addazio, like many before him, has done good work at BC but is just 8-5 at Alumni Stadium.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
195744,500 (12th)34,270 (64th)77.0% (12th)44,500

 

13. BB&T Field, Wake Forest

To Wake's fans' credit, there are typically never a ton of empty seats in BB&T and the recent round of upgrades have improved the gameday experience. However, the Deacs ranked last in the in attendance last fall — 83rd nationally — and were only slightly better in average capacity (8th at 86.4 percent). All three of Wake Forest's wins last season came at home.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
196831,500 (14th)27,210 (83rd)86.4% (8th)37,623 ('04)

 

14. Wallace Wade Stadium, Duke

Attendance has gotten better under the David Cutcliffe regime due in large part to winning more games. However, the stadium still ranks at the bottom of the ACC in most attendance categories. Wallace Wade is 13th in capacity in the ACC, 10th in average capacity (80.4 percent) and was 13th in attendance last season — ranking just 82nd nationally. It makes Cutcliffe's 15-6 home record over the last three years incredibly impressive.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192933,941 (13th)27,291 (82nd)80.4% (10th)57,500 ('49)

 

Teaser:
Ranking the ACC Stadiums for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, July 7, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12-stadiums-2015
Body:

Last summer, Athlon Sports asked 10 Pac-12 experts like , , and more to rank their favorite stadiums in the Pac-12.

 

Based on general atmosphere, fan support, home-field advantage, amenities, tailgating, surrounding campus and even scoreboards, .

 

However, attendance is an increasing concern for all athletic directors and tweaks are made to college football stadiums every year. Using our expert rankings, here is a statistical breakdown and update of stadiums and how they stack up against each other entering the 2015 season.



 

1. Autzen Stadium, Oregon

Oregon isn't the biggest stadium in the land, ranked 31st nationally in attendance and seventh in the Pac-12 in capacity, but it's the fullest. The Ducks led the league at 106.3 percent average capacity in 2014. Smooth design lines, a beautiful setting, signature, two-tone green field turf, a brand new digital scoreboard and outrageously loud fans make Autzen Stadium one of the nation’s top venues.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
196754,000 (7th)57,422 (31st)106.3% (1st)

60,055 ('11)


2. Husky Stadium, Washington

With a breath-taking view of Lake Washington, new Husky Stadium is one of the finest facilities in the nation. The trademark cantilever roofs trap sound and make the venue one of the Pac-12’s loudest. The Huskies finished behind only UCLA and USC in attendance last fall, ranking 25th nationally.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192070,138 (3rd)64,508 (25th)91.9% (6th)76,125 ('95)

 

 

3. Rose Bowl, UCLA

There may not be more hallowed ground in college football than the Rose Bowl. The building is 30 minutes from campus, but that didn't keep the Bruins from leading the Pac-12 in attendance last year at 76,650 per game (19th nationally) — up a Pac-12-leading nine percent from 2013. Strangely enough, Jim Mora has lost four of his last seven at home and his home record (13-6) is worse than his road mark (16-5) while at UCLA. The Rose Bowl also holds the current Pac-12 single-game attendance record — even if it was USC and Ohio State.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192192,542 (2nd)76,650 (19th)82.8% (9th)106,869 ('73)

 

4. Folsom Field, Colorado

When the Buffs are good, this is one of the greatest places to watch a game in the nation. Unfortunately, the Buffs weren't good last year, finishing 61st in attendance nationally and last in the league at just 70.5 percent full. This building, like the team, is all potential right now and needs lots of work.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192453,613 (8th)37,778 (61st)70.5% (12th)54,972 ('05)

 

 

5. Los Angeles Coliseum, USC

The biggest venue in the is home to the Men of Troy and can almost be too massive at times. USC finished behind only UCLA in attendance last year (21st nationally) but was just 10th in the league at 78.3 percent full. Much-needed, newer end zone seating has brought fans closer to the action.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192393,607 (1st)73,272 (21st)78.3% (10th)105,236 ('47)

Related:


6. Memorial Stadium, Cal

This venue was in dire need of an upgrade and the administration has done a great job refurbishing one of the more unique stadiums in the Pac-12. The $321 million renovation took two years but was hailed as a rousing success. The fifth-biggest building in the league has been home to bad teams but it still managed to draw nearly 50,000 per game. As this team improves, look for Cal to move up in attendance rankings.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192362,467 (5th)47,675 (47th)76.3% (11th)83,000 ('47/'52)

 


7. Rice-Eccles Stadium, Utah

There is work to be done to make this place competitive in the league from a facilities standpoint despite being the newest venue in the league, but that hasn't kept the fans away. Utah was one of only two teams in the league to average over capacity (101.4 percent full) last fall.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
199845,807 (10th)46,437 (50th)101.4% (2nd)46,768 ('03)

 

8. Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State

The crowd is one of the most beautiful in the nation and climbing nearby Tempe Butte is a rite of passage for many. Arizona State claims the fourth-largest venue in the league and routinely led the Pac-12 in attendance during the 1980s. In 2014, ASU was fourth in the league in attendance and 32nd nationally. Renovations are underway. Its league-leading nine percent drop in attendance in 2014 was due in part to a drop in capacity.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
195865,870 (4th)57,179 (32nd)86.8% (8th)74,963 ('96)
 
9. Arizona Stadium, Arizona

The recent $378 million renovation project added a new video board, upgraded team facilities and football offices while expanding seating in the north end zone. In fact, Arizona Stadium might be a bit underrated, ranking seventh or better in the league in capacity, attendance and percentage. It trailed only UCLA (+9 percent) with a growth of six percent from '13.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192856,029 (6th)50,710 (42nd)90.5% (7th)59,920 ('96)

 


10. Stanford Stadium, Stanford

The Farm's amenities are second-to-none and the state-of-the-art building is located on one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. It's not the loudest of places but the quality football team has kept the venue full, placing Stanford third in the league at 94.9 percent of capacity last fall. The second-oldest building in the league is ninth in capacity but sixth in attendance. Its six percent drop in attendance was second-worst in the league last year (Arizona State).

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
192150,424 (9th)47,862 (46th)94.9% (3rd)51,607 ('10)

 

11. Reser Stadium, Oregon State

Quaint Reser Stadium ranked fifth in the  at 92.3 percent full last season despite an average team while also being the second-smallest venue in the league. Recent renovations gave Oregon State faithful one of the biggest video boards in the nation, expanded seating in the end zones, hip upgrades to the East Grandstand and improved amenities. Future plans also call for more growth, targeting a 55,000 seat capacity by 2016.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
195345,674 (11th)42,176 (53rd)92.3% (5th)46,469 ('10)

 

12. Martin Stadium, Washington State

During a big game, Martin Stadium will pop to life and make fans forget the building is the smallest in the league. Or that it’s located in the Pac-12’s most distant outpost. Wazzu did finish fourth in the league last fall at 93.5 percent full on average, despite finishing last in total attendance.

 

OpenedCapacity (Rk)'14 Avg. (Rk)% (Rk)Record (Yr)
197232,952 (12th)30,794 (72nd)93.5% (4th)40,306 ('97)
Teaser:
Ranking the Pac-12 Stadiums for 2015
Post date: Monday, July 6, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/cover-2-college-football-podcast-preseason-playoff-preview
Body:

 

The Athlon Sports Cover 2 College Football podcast is back!

 

Hosts Braden Gall and David Fox take listeners inside the preseason College Football preview magazine.

 

The guys break down the top four teams in the preseason top 25 and how the Athlon team settled on our College Football Playoff Projections. Why did we put two SEC teams into the Playoff? Why did we pick Baylor over TCU? Is there any reason at all NOT to pick Ohio State to win it all?

 

Will the Playoff Committee put two teams from the same league into the playoff or will it stick with conference champions and who are the best options? Michigan State? TCU?

 

The Ohio State starting quarterback debate rages on and the guys break down new Big 12 expansion rumors as well.

 

All of that and much more on this edition of the Cover 2 Podcast.


Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @DavidFox615 or email . The podcast can be found on athlonsports.com, , and .

Teaser:
Cover 2 College Football Podcast: Preseason Playoff Preview
Post date: Monday, June 29, 2015 - 18:12
Path: /college-football/pac-12-will-not-be-best-conference-2015
Body:

The is stacked with quality football teams and elite coaches.

 

The rise of the began with the hiring of Larry Scott as conference commissioner. It continued by bringing in great coaches like Rich Rodriguez, Todd Graham, Chris Petersen, Mike Leach, Sonny Dykes and Jim Mora. Facilities upgrades, television networks and elite quarterback play followed close behind.

 

The rise of the Pac-12 is legitimate and has made this league the top challenger to the SEC. It's separated itself from the ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten in a significant way.

 

But it's still not the best league in college football. 

 

The SEC will be the best conference in college football once again in 2015. This is due in part because the Southeastern Conference appears to be getting even better this fall while the is simply trying to maintain the level of play it accomplished in 2014.

 

Related:

 

Which will be much tougher than most realize — in both divisions.

 

has lost Chip Kelly, Nick Aliotti and Marcus Mariota in three straight years. It's now fully Mark Helfrich's program and the Ducks can't possibly be as good as they were last season. is replacing three first-round NFL Draft picks and another taken midway through the second on one side of the ball without any stability whatsoever at the quarterback position. Oregon State is losing its entire front seven and Washington State is still incredibly one-sided.

 

, which lost more games (5) last year than it had since 2009, should be better and is showing major signs of life under Dykes and star quarterback Jared Goff. But a case could be made that four of the six teams in the North will be slightly worse in 2015 than they were in '14 and Cal still has one of the worst defenses in the entire nation.

 

In the South Division, only can feel confident that it will be better this fall than it was last year. could possibly be in that mix as well, but it's hard to improve on 10 wins. Otherwise, it's difficult to see anyone else in the South showing significant improvement.

 

In fact, it will be hard for not to regress in '15 and Colorado is arguably the worst Power 5 team in the country.

 

Related:

 

UCLA loses Brett Hundley, the winningest and most productive quarterback in school history, and a true freshman could be under center in the season opener. So despite a bunch of talented returning starters, it seems hard to find more than 10 wins for the Bruins this season.

 

Arizona loses most of its offensive line and, even with superbacker Scooby Wright leading the way, the defense still ranked as one of the worst in the nation — giving up 28.2 points per game and ranking 103rd nationally in total defense. This is a team that won 10 games but lost four times and improvement on that record also seems impossible.

 

There is a lot to like about the Utes but there also isn't anything special about this team other than Devontae Booker. Utah won a bunch of games with elite special teams but both Kaelin Clay and Dres Anderson are gone. So is Nate Orchard and five other defensive starters. Special teams and a good ground game can win plenty of games but can it improve on nine wins with one of the toughest schedules in the land?

 

The Pac-12 is a great football league with lots of quality teams, excellent coaches and fantastic quarterbacks. It's clearly better than the ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 in the national hierarchy.

 

But it's hard to find many teams that can take major strides forward in 2015 and that means that the SEC is still the best college football league in America.

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 WILL NOT be the best conference in 2015
Post date: Monday, June 29, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/ohio-state-michigan-state-could-both-make-playoff-2015
Body:

There is a lot of moving and shaking happening in the these days.

 

On the field, this league has taken a lot of flack over the years (particularly from the South) about how slow the game is played in the Midwest.

 

Off the field, Jim Delany has been a brilliant puppeteer of conference expansion and television revenue, making his league the most profitable and stable of any of the Power 5 leagues with quick and decisive action. Penn State and Michigan have made huge, splashy coaching hires that should allow the former college football giants to regain their past stature.

 

However, the play of the Big Ten on the field is beginning to match its performance off of it.

 

Ohio State and Urban Meyer got the maligned back to the top of the college football mountain by first knocking off hated SEC king Alabama and then crushing Heisman Trophy-led, Pac-12 champion Oregon. 

 

The Buckeyes enter the season with arguably the best roster and path back to the College Football Playoff. 

 

Related:

 

But the rest of this . In fact, the Big Ten could be in as good a position as any league to get a second team into the Playoff.

 

Michigan State is that team.

 

Mark Dantonio has some holes to plug at Michigan State, particularly with right-hand man Pat Narduzzi taking the head coaching job at Pitt. But this team comes in at No. 7 in the preseason rankings for a reason and could easily slip into the Playoff despite a potential road loss to Ohio State.

 

Connor Cook is an All-American candidate at quarterback who will be playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the nation. Shilique Calhoun and Lawrence Thomas set the edge for what is always one of the most imposing defensive fronts in the nation. Dantonio's squad is loaded again and will be the top challenger to Ohio State in the East Division.

 

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The schedule, though, is what really allows to sneak into the Playoff conversation — even with a loss and no division title.

 

Beating Oregon at home in Week 2 changes the entire complexion of finishing second in the Big Ten East. The Ducks are picked by most to win the Pac-12 North and play in the Pac-12 championship game. Winning the second-best league in America puts Oregon squarely in the Playoff conversation.

 

Would a one-loss Ducks team get the nod over a one-loss Michigan State team that beat them head-to-head? That's really hard to fathom. Certainly, a two-loss Oregon team wouldn't, right?

 

The rest of the Spartans' schedule features enough quality games to bolster their Playoff resume as well. Road trips to Nebraska and Michigan will be tough challenges and two quality wins away from East Lansing – something the Committee will have to respect. Home wins over Penn State and Maryland will look solid as well.

 

With one of the tougher schedules in the Big Ten and a marquee non-conference showdown against a fellow Playoff contender, Michigan State could easily find itself in the postseason conversation even with a loss to Ohio State.

 

If Michigan State beats the Buckeyes in Columbus on Nov. 21, this entire concept is thrown out the window and the Spartans become not only a lock to make the Playoff but a serious threat to win the national championship.

 

Of course, Michigan State may have to beat Ohio State again during the four-team tournament to clinch their first national title in over 50 years.

Teaser:
Buckeyes, Spartans Give Big Ten Shot at Two Playoff Teams
Post date: Friday, June 26, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/acc-coastal-put-or-shut-time-2015
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It's put up or shut up time in the .

 

In 10 years with two divisions, Miami has never played in the ACC title game. Neither has North Carolina or Virginia. In just two seasons, Pitt has yet to make a splash in their new home as well.

 

Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech have won every Coastal Division championship since the league split into divisions except one (2013) and in the Coastal again in 2015. 

 

Duke, to its credit, unexpectedly broke through before the Hurricanes, Tar Heels or Cavaliers. Needless to say, David Cutcliffe is in great shape in Durham, N.C.

 

So is Paul Johnson. The coach has had his ups and downs with the fans and administration in Atlanta, but the Yellow Jackets have gone to seven bowls games in seven seasons under Johnson — which includes three trips to the ACC title game.

 

After 25 losses in four seasons, his 11-win campaign last year put Johnson right back atop the division's coaching hierarchy.

 

But the rest of the division should be under serious pressure to perform in 2015.

 

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Al Golden has a rising superstar at quarterback in Brad Kaaya and the No. 4-rated recruiting class in the nation according to 247Sports. He did a fantastic job at Temple but has reached a tipping point in South Florida this fall.

 

After a nine-win season two years ago, Miami posted a losing record in the ACC (3-5) and overall (6-7) in 2014. He's 16-16 in four seasons at the helm for the Hurricanes, and, while signs of growth and improvement can be found — the defense has gone from 97th to 80th to 15th in yards per play allowed over the last three years — this team is still in the Coastal.

 

Golden is probably a much better coach than his Miami resume indicates due to extenuating circumstances surrounding his program but he needs a splashy '15 campaign in the worst way.

 

Larry Fedora is in the same exact situation in Chapel Hill. Yes, there is a cloud hanging over North Carolina that makes winning difficult, but his atrocious defense hasn't helped either. He is to save one half of his team this fall.

 

Fedora's offenses have been excellent and he has yet to post a losing ACC record in three seasons, but he's running a program that hasn't lost fewer than three ACC games in a season since 1997. He, too, needs a big splash in '15.

 

Both teams have a lot of upside but both teams also have their share of question marks too.

 

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Virginia's Mike London is one of the most interesting people in the business and his story is fascinating and inspiring. And while his team showed improvement last fall, his tenure in Charlottesville could come to an end quickly this fall if that improvement isn't continued in a big way.

 

Even veteran Hall of Fame coach Frank Beamer is entering . He's not on the hot seat in Blacksburg but after eight consecutive seasons with double-digit wins, Beamer is 12-12 in the ACC and 22-17 overall in his last three campaigns. 

 

His offenses are impossible to watch and fifth-place division finishes aren't acceptable to Hokie faithful. 

 

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Johnson and Cutcliffe are in great shape and Pat Narduzzi is entering the fray at Pitt as a rookie head coach. But the rest of this division is clearly entering a critical season on the field.

 

Part of what makes the Coastal Division so entertaining is its unpredictability. Six teams enter 2015 with legitimate eyes toward an ACC title game berth.

 

However, only one team can make it to Charlotte at season's end and that could lead to new faces on the sidelines in 2016.

Teaser:
ACC Coastal: Put up or Shut up in 2015
Post date: Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/florida-state-clemson-dominate-acc-but-wont-make-playoffs
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The Athlon Sports editorial staff agonized, argued and then settled on a number.

 

It happens every year with certain predictions for the and . In 2015, Baylor or TCU in the Big 12 was a huge debate. USC or Oregon in the Pac-12 was a heated discussion. Which team is the best in the ACC and will it be good enough to make the second annual College Football Playoff?

 

After hours of debate, it appears that the more things change, the more they stay the same in the .

 

There is plenty of grey area about whether or not the champ will be good enough to get in the Playoff but there was no debate about who the class of the ACC is going to be in 2015.

 

It's Clemson and Florida State.

 

Either the Tigers or Seminoles have won the Atlantic Division in six consecutive seasons and the ACC championship four straight years. NC State appears to be improving rapidly under third-year coach Dave Doeren. Boston College always looks like a tough out under Steve Addazio. And Louisville is going to be a consistent player in the division race for decades to come.

 

But for the time being, it's still just and .

 

The ACC is clearly getting better and slowly earning back its national respect, particularly at the quarterback position. But can the league be all the way "back" if the best team in the league finishes No. 9 in the nation?

 

Florida State enters the preseason ranked ninth in the nation while Clemson ranks 14th. The only other team in the ACC to land inside of the top 35 is .

 

It doesn't take a calculus professor to realize that's well outside of the top four.

 

There's a lot to like about the Yellow Jackets. And Miami, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Louisville, NC State, Duke and North Carolina. These are solid teams and they've bolstered the depth in the ACC. And both Florida State and Clemson have a lot great pieces under two coaches surging through the prime of their careers.

 

But it looks like the ACC will be the league left out in the cold in '15.

 

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Florida State and Clemson are clearly the best collections of talent in the ACC, boasting entering the season.
 

But Clemson returns just two starters on offense, loses offensive wizard Chad Morris and has a superstar quarterback who needs to prove he can stay healthy.

 

Florida State has just three starters back on offense after losing four offensive lineman, the program's all-time leading receiver, a John Mackey award-winning tight end and fourth-quarter savior Jameis Winston. 

 

Add to it tougher schedules because of the developing underbelly of the ACC (and Notre Dame) and it's hard to see either of these teams winning the league with fewer than two losses. Ironically, the Fighting Irish could be a main culprit in eliminating the league from the Playoff with games against both Clemson and Georgia Tech.

 

Not to mention, a one-loss Irish squad would certainly be ranked at season's end ahead of a two-loss ACC champ.

 

Related:

 

Barring some unforeseen circumstances at places like Georgia Tech or Virginia Tech, the final standings in the ACC will look exactly like they've looked for the past six seasons with the Noles and Tigers on a tier by themselves. And just like the last 15 years — with the obviously exception in 2013 — the ACC's title winner is likely to be the lowest ranked of the Power 5 champions.

 

Then it would be John Swofford's turn to spend an offseason complaining about the Playoff Committee.

Teaser:
ACC Improving but is still all about Florida State and Clemson
Post date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12s-toughest-college-football-schedules-2015
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When putting together and  each year, a huge part of the process is scheduling. Non-conference games, crossovers, home-road splits and timing all play a role in determining order of finish.

 

And don’t forget that the College Football Playoff Committee made it very clear in its first season that it values scheduling.

 

So who has the toughest schedule in the ? Who has the easiest path?

 

1. Cal

There is no easy schedule in the North, but is probably the most unlucky team in the division. Road trips for the season include games at Texas, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Utah and Washington with USC and Arizona State at home. Washington also has a tough run starting Week 6: at USC, Oregon, at Stanford, Arizona, Utah, at Arizona State.

 

2. USC

Arizona State and have the two toughest slates in the South division but the Men of Troy get the nod here. The Trojans have to face Notre Dame on the road in non-conference action as well as the projected top four teams in the North: Oregon (road), Stanford (home), Washington (home) and Cal (road). The division split sends USC to Arizona State for a critical 60 minutes. The only comfort is getting key division games with UCLA, Utah and Arizona at home.

 

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3. Washington

The are in rebuilding mode and they didn't get much help from the schedule makers. A road trip to Boise State will be filled with emotion for Chris Petersen (and UW could be an underdog) and Utah State is much better than most Pac-12 fans will acknowledge. Road trips in the league, however, are what make this schedule brutal. Washington will face USC, Stanford, Arizona State and Oregon State away from Seattle. Oregon, Cal, Arizona and Utah dot the home slate.

 

4. Arizona State

and USC appear to be the class of the South and if either team wins the division or the league, their strength of schedule will likely put them into the Playoff. The Sun Devils get Texas A&M in Houston, which is far from a true neutral-site game. The road slate is intriguing, as trips to UCLA and Utah in the division are huge, as well as trickier-than-they-appear trips north to Cal and Washington State, but there are no preseason-ranked teams on the slate away from Tempe. USC, Oregon, Washington and Arizona highlight an extremely tough home slate.

 

5. Stanford

is getting a lot of love as a sleeper team to win the Pac-12 but the Cardinal will have to earn their division title for this to happen. The non-conference slate includes Notre Dame of course but also tricky games with UCF and at Northwestern. All of the big games in the Pac-12 come at home (minus one) but each one should be a battle between Oregon, UCLA, Cal, Arizona and Washington. The road slate in the league isn't terribly difficult as only USC makes Stanford a true road underdog.

 

6. Utah

The start the year with three really interesting non-conference games. Utah will be favored against Michigan, Utah State and Fresno State but all three are tough outs. Four road trips within the league (USC, Oregon, Arizona and Washington) are devastating with a not-so-easy home schedule against Cal, Arizona State and UCLA. Utah misses the worst two teams from the North.

 

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7. Colorado

Per usual, Colorado doesn't get to face , automatically making it one of the toughest schedules in the South Division. The non-conference slate offers chances for wins with four winnable games (not three) because of Hawaii. Facing Oregon and Stanford from the North hurts and having five road trips in the Pac-12 adds difficulty as well. The Buffaloes face Oregon, USC, Stanford and Arizona at home, meaning any Pac-12 wins might have to come on the road.

 

8. Washington State

The showdown with Rutgers last year was memorable at the very least and now flies all the way to East Coast for its toughest non-con game in the rematch. The Cougars get five home games and miss USC and Utah from the South and has two winnable road games in Oregon State and Colorado. Huge swing games that likely decide if WSU is going bowling or not will come at home in Cal, Arizona and The Apple Cup.

 

9. Oregon

faces arguably the toughest non-conference test of any team in the nation when it heads to East Lansing to face Michigan State. However, the Ducks should roll through the rest of their home schedule with the exception of USC. Huge road trips to Stanford and Arizona State loom as well. But this schedule looks like a four-game slate with three huge road trips and the Trojans at home. Cal and Utah would be tricky if they weren't in Autzen Stadium and trips to Seattle and Boulder shouldn't cause too much concern.

 

10. Oregon State

There are no easy schedules in the North but gets the nod by default because the Beavers miss both Arizona State and USC in crossover and get Stanford, Washington and UCLA at home. A non-con trip to Michigan still keeps this slate from being far from "easy" however.

 

Related:

 

11. UCLA

Clearly, there are no easy schedules in this league but might have one of the more manageable slates — which comes at a great time to break in a new quarterback. Virginia and BYU are tricky but winnable in the non-conference, while missing Oregon and Washington from the North Division seems like a big positive. Sweeping home games with Arizona State, Cal, Colorado and Washington State is very doable and road trips to Arizona, Oregon State and Utah also could be winnable. Trips to USC and Stanford are the toughest games of the year.

 

12. Arizona

First of all, there is no easy schedule in the South. Five teams could win the division so crossover play and non-conference games are the deciding factors. UCLA and have the two easiest slates because both avoid Oregon from the North, but Zona gets the nod for the least difficult due to a non-conference slate that should provide three easy wins.

Teaser:
Ranking the ACC's Toughest College Football Schedules in 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/2015-preseason-top-25-college-football-teams-rock-and-roll-bands
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Both music and sports are unquestionably a huge part of American culture. So Athlon Sports has decided to combine two of our favorite things — rock and roll with .

 

What if our favorite football programs were rock and roll bands? Below you will find a musical match for every team in Athlon Sports' Preseason Top 25. This same exercise was applied to every Power 5 team as well, so if your favorite band or school isn't in the top 25, just keep digging.

 

Power 5 as Rock Bands: | | | |

 

1. Ohio State: The Black Keys

The pride of Akron, Ohio, the Black Keys are the biggest and best rock band going today. They are No. 1 in the nation, the reigning arena tour of the current landscape. They are loaded with elite talent and led by a guy who doesn’t care what you think. He’s going to do whatever he wants, do it well and then laugh at the smoldering rubble he leaves in his wake. One of their biggest rivals is.

 

2. Alabama: Metallica

One of the most powerful bands of its time, which has been extremely successful and popular for a long period of time. They are big, loud, extremely talented but also obnoxious and whiny at times. Hall of Famers but really, really like to get their way.

 

3. Baylor: Justin Timberlake

The early work leaves a lot to be ashamed of — be it on television as a youngster or in a boy band. But over time, his extraordinary talent single-handedly began to dominate an entire industry with big highlights and cool style. Now, he’s one of the hottest things in the world and generally beloved by almost everyone (except maybe some of those former boy band members).

 

4. Auburn: Johnny Cash

When it’s good, it is revolutionary, earth-shattering, industry-changing brilliance — even if a little dark at times. When it’s bad, it’s arrested, divorced, thrown in jail or rehab and generally upset at the more powerful and successful industry power ().


5. TCU: Taylor Swift

She dominated her genre to near unprecedented levels and decided to make a big . In short order, she has managed to shift her style by adding lots of production value/new facilities and still produces in a big way. A little crazy but does her own writing and that gives her respect among experts and fans.

 

6. USC: Led Zeppelin

Possibly under appreciated on the East Coast (especially during their height) but . Generally, this team is led by a heartthrob superstar who dominated his industry while on the team but never reached the same levels of success in the next phase of his career (and the most gifted architect of the team was always someone else — Troy Polamalu, Mike Patterson, Reggie Bush). Slightly self-destructive, extremely elite and powerful and somewhat misunderstood during its time.

 

7. Michigan State: Bruce Springsteen

Is there a more blue-collar program in the country that has been more successful riding the work ethic train more than the Spartans? This has been a quality product in many different decades and appeals to the hard-working, middle class. And both have produced some serious Hall of Fame tracks.

 

8. Oregon: David Bowie

Flashy, experimental and big on wardrobe changes makes David Bowie . Extremely well respected but a little weird and far-out most of the time and never won the national title of the music industry despite being somewhat ahead of his time. He’s been around a long time and loves to try new things and act a little crazy, earning critical acclaim in the process.

 

9. Florida State: Justin Bieber

No one has a more rabid and vocal following — — than the Beebs and the Noles. The fans are crazy passionate and will do anything to support their guys. Both are astronomically successful but so easy to hate from the outside.

 

10. Georgia: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Even the name Heartbreakers fits (SEE: ). This is a really solid, consistently good quality product over a long period of time that got a ton of talent from Florida.

 

11. Ole Miss: KISS

How they look and dress is extremely impressive and important. The loud and awesome party pretty much overshadows everything else — like the play on the field. Very important in history for a variety of reasons but never really one of the best musical talents of their time.

 

12. Notre Dame: Elton John

They are sophisticated, classy and educated — and . The presentation is glitzy and glamorous and mostly elite in the 70s and 80s — with a slight one-hit resurgence in the modern era.

 

13. Arizona State: Daft Punk

No one can really name anyone who plays on the team but no one misses the party. The kings of the club scene, they dominate the charts once every eight years with electric and innovative play-calling and a high level of talent. There is no better place to hang out than when they are on the big stage.

 

14. Clemson: Kings of Leon

Both have been downright unstoppable at times but consistently get in their own way. You think they are really good but you’re never really sure. Both are led by outspoken and occasionally intense and controversial leaders.

 

15. LSU: Black Sabbath

A very successful program with an extremely rabid fanbase that goes over the top to celebrate their favorite people, including a leader who is a little strange. Which football program is most likely to bite the head off a bat, do a line of ants and be involved in the dark arts?

 

16. Arkansas: Allman Brothers Band

True southern, classic, kickass rock and roll with some historically elite songs. However, they were at their best a long time ago and both had a meteoric rise to power halted by a tragic motorcycle accident.

 

17. Oklahoma: The Rolling Stones

On the surface, The Stones are bitter rivals with — despite plenty of overlap between Keith Richards and John Lennon. The Stones are the gruff, more abrasive side of the rivalry that has been successful for a much longer period of time. The highs maybe weren’t as high as The Beatles' but there were a lot more of them. Texas is pop and Oklahoma is the blues.

 

18. Georgia Tech: Pink Floyd

Slow, methodical and precise. The , layered and intentionally hard to follow. Yet, somehow it’s just beautiful to behold and consistently solid over a long period of time in a variety of locations.

 

19. Wisconsin: Foo Fighters

Extremely consistent since their early 1990s emergence. They are catchy, tough to beat, classic rock and roll that hasn't ever been bad for more than two decades. But this group has never really been capable of despite plenty of conference championships.

 

20. Texas A&M: Lynyrd Skynyrd

Southern rock in its truest form with the most rabid followers who don’t take no for an answer. However, they are extremely self-destructive and never considered the best at what they do. Both were at their best when playing something despite being from a different conference originally.

 

21. Mississippi State: Blue Oyster Cult

A one-hit wonder that is loaded with cowbell. To be fair, that one-hit wonder (Dak Prescott) is as beloved, popular and influential as any song of its time. And it spawned this.

 

22. Tennessee: Pearl Jam

They were at their best in the 1990s when they were grungy and a little rough around the edges. The entire program will always be slightly overshadowed by one elite superstar. However, the band has been largely boring and absent since the turn of the century despite the large fanbase and respected history.

 

23. UCLA: Coldplay

One of the best light shows in the business . This is a big band with big budgets, tons of record sales and a high-profile name. However, the substance has been severely lacking for most of its existence and has never really been better than 8-4. And like UCLA basketball, Chris Martin’s spouse is more well-known.

 

24. Stanford: Neil Young

One of the most creative, intelligent and forward-thinking individuals in the history of music. He’s had a long and incredibly decorated career with major (yet possibly) underrated successes over a 50-year period of time. The Silicon Valley of music (he holds numerous U.S. patents) has impacted nearly every angle of the industry.

 

25. Boise State: Arcade Fire

This is a North of the border group that has risen quickly from obscurity to national prominence in just a decade. No one can really tell what genre they belong to, be it the WAC, Big East, Mountain West or even the Big 12. And the city of Boise is pretty much located in Canada.

Teaser:
2015 Preseason Top 25 College Football Teams as Rock and Roll Bands
Post date: Monday, June 22, 2015 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/10-big-12-stats-you-need-know-2015
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Here are the most important and interesting stats you need to know about the  in 2015:

 

4: Top 15 finishes between 1961-2010 for

Between 1961 and 2010, the Baylor Bears finished ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll just four times. The No. 9 postseason ranking in 1951 had been the best finish in school history until last year. Over the last four seasons, the Bears have finished in the top 15 three times, including a program-best No. 7 ranking last fall.

 

6-foot-4: Average height of the Cyclones' top three WRs

If there is an area of strength for entering 2015 it’s the wide receivers. A trio of massive targets gives the Clones one of the best sets of pass catchers in the nation. Sophomore Allen Lazard (6-5, 218) stared in 12 games as a freshman last year. D’Vario Montgomery (6-6, 236) was the leading receiver last year and Quenton Bundrage (6-2, 195) returns from injury and might be the best of the group.

 

5: Returning starters for

Only UTSA (3) has fewer returning starters in the nation. Certainly, some of that might be addition by subtraction considering the record. However, it’s hard to replace your top three receivers, the left side of the offensive line and 10 of the top 13 tacklers, including the three best players on the unit. David Beaty was hired for his ability to rebuild a roster but it may take a while.

 

185 and 2,574: Combined receptions and yards from Tyler Lockett and Curry Sexton

Tyler Lockett (106 rec., 1,515 yards) and Curry Sexton (79 rec., 1,059 yards) are the only two receivers to ever top 1,000 yards in the same season and both are gone from Manhattan. The duo combined for 185 of the team’s 250 total receptions and 2,574 of the team’s 3,235 passing yards. Bill Snyder has big shoes to fill on the outside, especially without his quarterback or tight end as well.

 

371.9: East Carolina’s passing yards per game

Bob Stoops shook up his coaching staff after one of his worst seasons in Norman by hiring East Carolina’s Lincoln Riley to run the offense. The Pirates were third nationally last year in passing offense at 371.9 yards per game. Riley's offense completed 63.1 percent of its passes for 4,835 yards in 13 games. He is charged with picking a quarterback at that best fits the overhauled offense.

 

20.2: lowest scoring output of the Gundy era

The Cowboys scored just 20.2 points per game in 2005, Mike Gundy’s first as the head coach. Last fall, Oklahoma State scored its fewest points per game (27.6) since Gundy’s first season. In fact, until 2014, only once since then had the Pokes even averaged less than 34 points and that was in 2009 (28.4). With seven starters back on offense, including Mason Rudolph under center, Gundy’s squad should be back above 30 points per game in ’15.

 

5: All-Big 12 defensive selections no longer on roster

The Horned Frogs' biggest concern heading into what could be a magical year is the big voids left by the best defensive players on the team. Gary Patterson will be without the services of two first-team All-Big 12 picks in Paul Dawson and Chris Hackett and three second-team picks in Chucky Hunter, Sam Carter and Kevin White. TCU must replace the team’s best defensive lineman, the team’s best linebacker (and leading tackler) and three all-conference defensive backs.

 

5: Times Tyrone Swoopes' QB rating was under 100

Tyrone Swoopes finished his first full season under center with a quarterback rating of 116.46. That number ranked 90th in the nation behind players like LSU’s Anthony Jennings, Michigan's Devin Gardner and Virginia Tech’s Michael Brewer. Five times Swoopes failed to post a QB rating of at least 100 and his play has to improve for the Horns to have any chance in the Big 12.

 

89.2: penalty yards per game

Two signs of an undisciplined team are turnovers and penalties. Texas Tech hasn’t been good at either since Kliff Kingsbury’s arrival. The Red Raiders finished 128th — that’s last — in the nation with 89.2 penalty yards incurred per game. Baylor (9.8) was the only team in the nation charged with more penalty flags per game than Tech’s 9.3. Tech was 117th in giveaways as well with 28.

 

4,015: average passing yards per season under Dana Holgorsen

Clint Trickett was much better than expected for West Virginia last season, leading the Mountaineers offense to 4,121 total yards. It was the third time in four years that Dana Holgorsen’s offense tallied more than 4,100 yards in a season. Over his four years, WVU has averaged 4,015 yards passing per game — a number brought down by the well-below average 3,145-yard season in 2013. In the three years prior to Holgorsen’s arrival, the Mountaineers threw for 2,403 yards per season.

Teaser:
10 Big 12 Stats You Need to Know for 2015
Post date: Friday, June 19, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/big-ten-college-football-teams-rock-and-roll-bands
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Music, like sports, sparks debate, creates discussion and can even lead to heated disagreements.

 

But both are unquestionably a huge part of American culture. So Athlon Sports has decided to combine two of our favorite things — rock and roll with .

 

What if our favorite football programs were rock and roll bands? Every Power 5 team will be represented, so if you don’t see your favorite band or school here, keep your eyes peeled.
 

Power 5 Teams as Rock Bands: | | | |

 

Here are the 14 Big Ten schools as rock bands:

 

Illinois: Eagles

A band that was at its peak a long time ago, delivering some of the greatest individual songs/athletes of its generation. But it also produced a lot of slow, soft crap and was basically dormant for about two decades until a bizarre resurgence in 2007. I am picturing Dick Butkus standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona.

 

Indiana: O.A.R.

A Midwest college throwback that really isn’t all that good — unless you are in college, then it’s awesome. It had one epically good, historically great song that nearly won a Heisman Trophy despite a bad supporting cast near the turn of the century. Antwaan Randle El was a "Crazy Game of Poker" for most defensive coordinators.

 

Iowa: Grateful Dead

This group is extremely popular but only within a small cross section of the country. It appeals to a very specific type of fan who travels to support their team extremely well. However, the product itself is much slower than you’d think and a lot of people just don’t get it.

 

Maryland: Rush

A progressive, heavy metal-ish act originally from a different conference (Canada), Rush has had some seriously talented arrangements over the years. They’re on stage performance is as loud as their songs and their wardrobe is even louder (and, at times, stranger). This is an eclectic group with a quirky identity that has been solid for a long time and not always fully understood. There seems to be a lot of red and black involved too.

 

Michigan: U2

They’ve been around a long, long time and saw their biggest rise to stardom take place in the 1990s. They are massive, loud and really good but sort of sanctimonious (always) and basically hollow for the last decade. They are good enough to love easily but holier than thou from time to time.

 

Michigan State: Bruce Springsteen

Is there a more blue-collar program in the country that has been more successful riding the work ethic train more than the Spartans? This has been a quality product in many different decades and appeals to the hard-working, middle class. And both have produced some serious Hall of Fame tracks.

 

Minnesota: Talking Heads

This is an extremely well-respected group among critics and experts but not really by the mainstream younger generation. Everything about both screams underrated despite some elite-level success a long time ago. The city is underrated, the history is underrated and the general personality is underrated.

 

Nebraska: Dave Matthews Band

This group totally kicked ass in the 1990s and delivered as much success as any act in the history of the sport. It built a massive, committed and, at times, delusional, fan base that is as supportive of their boys as any in the nation. However, it’s been sort of boring and rarely relevant since about 2003.

 

Northwestern: Wilco

Chicago-based intelligent Dad Rock who hates being labeled as such (despite how true it is). In fact, they are almost too smart for their own good. Both are led by frontmen who consider themselves the smartest people in the room (mostly, because they are) and will tell you about it. Neither ever has been as respected as they probably should be.

 

Ohio State: The Black Keys

The pride of Akron, Ohio, the Black Keys are the biggest and best rock band going today. They are No. 1 in the nation, the reigning arena tour of the current landscape. They are loaded with elite talent and led by a guy who doesn’t care what you think. He’s going to do whatever he wants, do it well and then laugh at the smoldering rubble he leaves in his wake.

 

Penn State: Jack White

One of Ohio State's/The Black Keys' biggest rivals in the industry today, Jack White is extraordinarily talented despite a big conference move (from Detroit to Nashville). They are both obsessed with a blue and white color scheme and, let’s be honest, both are a little weird while still sustaining elite-level success. The live performances are second to none in the entire industry and both have done some things that have revolutionized the sport.

 

Purdue: The Yardbirds

Like Purdue quarterbacks going on to the NFL, the Yardbirds did one thing really well: supplying better bands with killer guitar players. Drew Brees is the Jimmy Page of the Big Ten. And good luck trying to find many fans of either in 2015.

 

Rutgers: The Gaslight Anthem

Grungy, loud, abrasive Northeastern rock that sounds and looks the same all the time. Their success is fairly new and has been pretty solid for a about half-a-decade with some killer songs. Questions about the groups’ long-term upside should be answered in the next few seasons/albums.

 

Wisconsin: Foo Fighters

Extremely consistent since their early 1990s emergence. They are catchy, tough to beat, classic rock and roll that hasn't ever been bad for the better part of a decade. But this group has never really been capable of winning a national title despite plenty of conference championships.

Teaser:
Big Ten College Football Teams as Rock and Roll Bands
Post date: Friday, June 19, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/big-12-college-football-teams-rock-and-roll-bands
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Music, like sports, sparks debate, creates discussion and can even lead to heated disagreements.

 

But both are unquestionably a huge part of American culture. So Athlon Sports has decided to combine two of our favorite things — rock and roll with .

 

What if our favorite football programs were rock and roll bands? Every Power 5 team will be represented, so if you don’t see your favorite band or school here, keep your eyes peeled.
 

Power 5 Teams as Rock Bands: | Big Ten | | |

 

Here are the 10 Big 12 schools as rock bands:

 

Texas: The Beatles

They are probably the biggest, most powerful, most lucrative rock group of all-time. Part of the reason the fabulous foursome from Liverpool fits in Austin is the rivalry with Oklahoma (more on that in a second). The more conservative, cleaner side of the rivalry is Texas. The star power is revered among fans and experts alike as some of the greatest performers in the history of the industry.

 

Oklahoma: The Rolling Stones

On the surface, The Stones are bitter rivals with The Beatles — despite plenty of overlap between Keith Richards and John Lennon. The Stones are the gruff, more abrasive side of the rivalry that has been successful for a much longer period of time. The highs maybe weren’t as high as The Beatles' but there were a lot more of them. Texas is pop and Oklahoma is the blues.

 

Oklahoma State: The Who

Pretty awesome and loaded with elite-level skill and talent, but sort of always second fiddle when it comes to The Beatles and The Stones. Well respected, extremely enjoyable and successful for a long period of time. However, it will always be unfortunately tethered and beholden to one all-powerful individual who makes or breaks the future success.

 

Baylor: Justin Timberlake

The early work leaves a lot to be ashamed of — be it on television as a youngster or in a boy band. But over time, his extraordinary talent single-handedly began to dominate an entire industry with big highlights and cool style. Now, he’s one of the hottest things in the world and generally beloved by almost everyone (except maybe some of those former boy band members).

 

TCU: Taylor Swift

She dominated her genre to near unprecedented levels and decided to make a big switch to a new place. In short order, she has managed to shift her style by adding lots of production value/new facilities and still produces in a big way. A little crazy but does her own writing and that gives her respect among experts and fans.

 

Kansas State: Prince

Always really, really good no matter what era or league this team plays in as long as the esteemed leader is in place atop the pyramid. This leader is a little weird and a little out there but a wizard on the big stage. The team isn’t good when being coached by a Prince and Prince isn’t good when he’s not named Prince. And the color scheme matches are undeniable.

 

West Virginia: Jimi Hendrix

One of the best party scenes in the business — to a fault. This group is the most likely to light things on fire and are as fun to watch as anyone else in the business. The elite-level successes have been short lived and few and far between because of some self-destructive tendencies.

 

Texas Tech: ZZ Top

It’s the state of Texas. It looks a little weird. It’s better than you think over a longer period of time than you think. It’s played at a tempo that few others in the industry can match. But it won’t ever be considered the best the Lone Star State has to offer.

 

Kansas: Kansas

It had to be, right? Who else could this possibly have been? Soft rock that rarely moves the needle but every now and then has a nice hit. Carry On Wayward Reesing has a nice ring to it.

 

Iowa State: The Band

Always playing second fiddle inside the state to either Iowa or Bob Dylan. Supremely underrated as far as atmosphere and entertainment value, as Jack Trice Stadium is underappreciated nationally. The Cyclones may never be as good as Levon Helm and company but there is something about the down-home personality and bizarre antics of Iowa State and that of The Band that just fits.

Teaser:
Big 12 College Football Teams as Rock and Roll Bands
Post date: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/14-big-ten-stats-you-need-know-2015
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Here are the most important and interesting stats you need to know about the  in 2015:

 

513.2: yards per game with Nate Sudfeld

In the five games that Sudfeld finished last year, the Hoosiers averaged 513.2 yards per game and won three times, including a road victory over eventual SEC East champ Mizzou. In the seven games Sudfeld didn’t finish (six of which he didn't play in), Indiana averaged 327.7 yards per game and won just once.

 

220.4: Wes Lunt’s division-leading yards per game

The but Illinois may have the best one. Lunt missed five games last year but still led the division with 220.4 yards passing per game. He also posted the division’s best TD:INT ratio with 14 scoring strikes and just three picks. It’s Lunt who gives any chance at winning games in 2015.

 

5.2: yards per play under Greg Davis

Greg Davis took over as the Iowa offensive coordinator in 2012 and has not exactly set the world on fire in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have averaged just 5.2 yards per play in those three seasons — which would have ranked 98th in the nation last season. That said, his 2014 was his best year since arriving at Iowa with a 5.5 yards per play clip and his offense has gotten (slowly) more efficient each season he’s been there. (Although, that 5.5 clip was still just 72nd in the nation.)

 

41.5: leading rusher's yards per game average in 2014

C.J. Brown led Maryland in rushing last year at 41.5 yards per game, good for just 20th in the Big Ten last season. Brandon Ross is the leading returning rusher and he carried the ball just 85 times. Needless to say, the Terps need to improve on the 111th-ranked rushing offense if they want to keep improving in the run-oriented Big Ten.

 

3: Times finished the season ranked since 2006

Michigan obviously hasn’t had its best decade. But to finish the season unranked in six of the last eight seasons is downright unbelievable. Only once in 2006 has Michigan finished in the top 15 (2011) and only three times has it even been ranked at season’s end. The Wolverines were ranked in the top 15 to end the year 29 times between 1969 and 2006.

 

79.1%: winning percentage since 2010

The Spartans have won 53 games in 67 tries over the last five years for a remarkable 79.1 percent clip. Michigan State has won at least 11 games four times during that span, which is the only time in school history that the program has won at least 11 times in a season. It marks the highest percentage over a five-year span for Sparty since 1951-55.

 

0-12: against ranked foes under Jerry Kill

In four years under the highly respected Kill, Minnesota has quickly improved from a 3-9 afterthought to a perennial bowl team to a division contender. However, the Gophers have not been able to beat ranked teams, going 0-for-12 in his four seasons. Otherwise, Minnesota has won the games it’s supposed to, going 16-4 in the last two seasons against unranked opponents.

 

5,278: Ameer Abdullah's career yards from scrimmage

Abdullah is one of the greatest running backs at a school known for its great running tradition. In fact, no player in school history produced more yards from scrimmage than his 5,278 yards. Abdullah was the first to rush for 1,000 yards in three straight seasons and his 4,588 career total is second to Rozier all-time in Lincoln. His 48 career touchdowns rank third all-time as well. Replacing him should be Mike Riley’s first order of business.

 

45: Career starts from Ibraheim Campbell

finished above average on defense in the Big Ten last year, ranking in the top 50 nationally in yards per play allowed, turnover margin, red zone defense and big-play defense (20+ yards). A huge part of that was three-time All-Big Ten safety Campbell. He posted 316 career tackles and 11 career interceptions in 45 career starts for Pat Fitzgerald. Campbell was a leader and model athlete for Northwestern and will be missed.

 

4.3: Average recruiting ranking for under Urban Meyer

Urban Meyer was going to bring the SEC to the Big Ten and that is exactly what happened. He has won a national title with elite athletes on both sides of the ball, crushing the Big Ten along the way. In four classes in Columbus, Ohio State has out-recruited every team in the nation but one with an average national recruiting ranking of 4.3. Only Alabama’s 1.0 average ranking is better over the last four cycles. Michigan is a distant second in the league with an average class ranking of 17.0 over that same span.

 

2.9: yards per carry

The Nittany Lions had major offensive line woes in 2014 and it led to a frustrated quarterback and zero running game. The Lions ranked dead last in the Big Ten in yards per carry (2.9), yards per game (101.9) and rushing touchdowns (13). Those numbers ranked 125th, 120th and 104th nationally. Christian Hackenberg needs more support from his ground game if the Lions want to be relevant in the Big Ten East.

 

836: offensive snaps

In an era of tempo offense in a league that is infamously slower than most, Purdue was one of the slowest and least effective. The Boilermakers ran just 836 offensive plays in 2014, ranking ahead of only Michigan and finishing 105th nationally. It’s hard to score points when the offense is on the bench, so it should be no surprise that Purdue averaged just 23.8 points per game (98th) last fall.

 

6.4: yards per play allowed

The Knights finished dead last in the Big Ten and 113th nationally in defensive efficiency in 2014 by a wide margin. Rutgers allowed 6.4 yards per play — nearly a half yard more per play than Illinois, which checked in at No. 13 in the B1G. The Knights return five starters on defense in 2015.

 

1,987.3: Yards leading rusher has averaged over last four years

Wisconsin is known for its running game and star ball carriers. Over the last four years, the Badgers' leading rusher has AVERAGED 1,987.3 yards and 24.0 touchdowns. Melvin Gordon and Montee Ball clearly upheld the lofty expectations for a UW running back. Corey Clement now steps into a starting role after averaging 7.0 yards per carry in his first two seasons (214 att., 1,496 yards). He’s talented enough to keep those average leading rusher statistics up at Wisconsin.

Teaser:
14 Big Ten Stats You Need to Know for 2015
Post date: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 09:30

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