Articles By Braden Gall

All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-2014-week-10-recap
Body:

 

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Last Week: 3-4

Year-to-Date: 32-32-1

 

Oklahoma St (+14) at Kansas St

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

 

Arizona (+6.5) at UCLA

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

 

Arkansas (+10.5) at Mississippi St

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

 

Cal (+4) at Oregon St

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

 

Wisconsin (-10/pk) at Rutgers

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

 

Listen to the Week 10 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Ride the hot(est) hands:

 

TCU (-5.5) at West Virginia

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

 

Utah (+6) at Arizona St

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

 

Tulsa (+24) at Memphis

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

 

Western Michigan (-6) at Miami-OH

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

 

 

Top 25 Picks ATS:

 

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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


Big 12 Week 10 Game Power Rankings

 

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

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

 

Listen to the Week 10 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Big 12 Predictions:

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pac-12 Week 10 Game Power Rankings

 

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

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

 

Listen to the Week 10 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Pac-12 Predictions:

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Listen to the Week 9 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Stop making excuses, creating confounded conspiracies and pointing fingers.

 

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

 

It's not any more complicated than that.

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Florida State will take the blame for something

 

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

 

Stanford will lose to Oregon

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Will Muschamp won’t make it back to Gainesville

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

The Panel:

 

Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports

Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network 

Adam Zucker, CBS Sports

Steven Godfrey, SBNation

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network

Barrett Sallee, Bleacher Report, B/R Radio

Josh Ward, MrSEC.com

Mitch Light, Athlon Sports

David Fox, Athlon Sports

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports, SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

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

Dropped out: Kevin White, Bo Wallace

 

Listen to the Week 9 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

The Top 3:

 
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

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

 

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

 

2. Dak Prescott, Mississippi St

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

 

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

 

3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

192.18: Marcus Mariota's passer rating

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

 

8,625: Career passing yards for Mariota

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

 

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

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

 

Listen to the Week 9 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

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

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

 

15: Consecutive USC losses when trailing entering the fourth quarter

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

75: Yards on Arizona State’s final drive

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

 

23: Touches Shaq Thompson got on offense

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

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Last Week: 5-5

Year-to-Date: 29-28-1

 

Ole Miss (-3.5) at LSU

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

 

Listen to the Week 9 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Mississippi St (-13.5) at Kentucky

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

 

Syracuse (+14) at Clemson

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

 

Ohio St (-13.5) at Penn St

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

 

Lay the 17 points with these favorites...

 

Alabama (-17) at Tennessee

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

 

Michigan (+17) Michigan St

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

 

Oregon (-17.5) at Cal

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

 

Top 25 Picks ATS:

 

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

 

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


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

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

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

 

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

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


Big 12 Week 9 Game Power Rankings

 

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

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

 

Listen to the Week 9 predictions podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Off: Baylor, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas

 

Big 12 Predictions:

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

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

 

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

 

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

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


Pac-12 Week 9 Game Power Rankings

 

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

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

 

Listen to the Week 9 predictions podcast:



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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Pac-12 Predictions:

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

The Panel:

 

Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports

Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network 

Adam Zucker, CBS Sports

Steven Godfrey, SBNation

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network

Barrett Sallee, Bleacher Report, B/R Radio

Josh Ward, MrSEC.com

Mitch Light, Athlon Sports

David Fox, Athlon Sports

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports, SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

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

Dropped out: Todd Gurley, Bryce Petty

 

Listen to the Week 8 recap podcast:



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The Top 3:

 
1. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi St

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

 

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

 

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

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

 

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

 

3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

A game in the ACC will be relevant

 

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

 

Listen to the Week 8 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Nick Marshall will throw for more than 339 yards

 

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

 

Tennessee and Michigan won’t reach the end zone

 

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

 

The Buckeyes will register 10 sacks

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

33.0: Sacks by the Utah defense

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

 

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

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

 

238: Consecutive Marcus Mariota passes without an INT

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

 

72: Consecutive weeks Stanford was ranked in the AP Poll

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

 

1,243: Mike Bercovici passing yards in three starts

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

 

Listen to the Week 8 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

2: Pat Haden sideline altercations

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

 

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

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

Teaser:
10 Amazing College Football Stats from Week 8 in the Pac-12
Post date: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 15:08
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-2014-week-8-recap
Body:

 

Hosts Braden Gall and David Fox recap all of Week 8's action in college football. This week's edition features Florida State's win over Notre Dame, the entertaining Big 12, a Will Muschamp debate, Oregon's return and much more. The fellas also give you their playoff poll as well.


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

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: 2014 Week 8 Recap
Post date: Monday, October 20, 2014 - 12:42
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/betting-against-spread-college-football-2014-week-8-picks
Body:

Last week was awful. There is no other way around it.

 

In one group (top picks) I was 1-5. In the “if you must” group, I was 2-2. And in the Top 25, I went a pathetic 3-11-1. My only comfort is that the rest of the Athlon Sports staff failed you as well.

 

So all of that hard work over the last month has gone to waste. It’s time to rebound.

 

Last Week: 3-6

Year-to-Date: 24-23-1

 

Washington (+21) at Oregon

The Ducks are really good and are getting healthier on offense. But Oregon is 2-4 against the number and Washington is surging after crushing Cal as an underdog last weekend. The front seven for the Huskies is dynamic and should pressure Marcus Mariota. Don’t forget Chris Petersen’s ability to game plan against Oregon — something he did very well at Boise State. Prediction: Washington +21

 

Listen to the Week 8 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Michigan St (-15) at Indiana

Sparty disappointed in a big way last weekend against lowly Purdue. Why go back to the well against a better Indiana team? Because quarterback Nate Sudfeld won’t play. The Hoosiers are 2-4 against the number and Michigan State should be pretty upset after struggling last weekend. Prediction: Michigan State -15

 

Kentucky (+10) at LSU

The Wildcats are much improved and have been great against the number this season, 5-1 against the spread thus far. LSU is getting better but not by as much as many believe. Mark Stoops will have his team ready to play and could pull the upset outright if Les Miles isn’t careful. Prediction: Kentucky +10

 

Tennessee (+16) at Ole Miss

The Rebels are unbeaten this season and unbeaten against the spread as well (5-0-1). Ole Miss could score 17 points and cover this spread as the Vols' horrible OL won’t be able to do much of anything against arguably the best defense in the nation. Beware of the backdoor cover here but Ole Miss should run away with this one. Prediction: Ole Miss -16

 

Temple (+7.5) at Houston

The Cougars used a bunch of turnovers to upset Memphis last week while Temple keeps surging into relevance in the AAC. Matt Rhule has his team ready to compete with anyone and the Owls could win outright against an inconsistent and overrated Houston squad. Prediction: Temple +7.5

 

UAB (-1.5) at MTSU

Both programs have played well this season but Middle Tennessee is a home dog here and it feels like the Blue Raiders should win outright. I like the over here as well. Prediction: MTSU +1.5

 

Iowa (+5) at Maryland

In a game with two hard-nosed coaches, the Hawkeyes look like the better overall team. Yet, somehow, Iowa is an underdog. Call this one a gut feel, but I like the Hawks to win outright against the Terps. Prediction: Iowa +5

 

Iowa St (+12) at Texas

The Longhorns' defense is outstanding and finally the offense showed some signs of life last weekend. Tyrone Swoopes had his best game and shouldn't have much issue with the 'Clones. Take Texas big in a must-win situation. Prediction: Texas -12

 

Georgia (-3.5) at Arkansas

The Hogs have been great against the number all season but this is a terrible matchup for Bret Bielema. The Dawgs' defensive strength is stopping the run and Arkansas’ defense won’t be able to contain the improving Georgia offense. Prediction: Georgia -3.5

 

Kansas State (+7.5) at Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s offense is struggling right now and Bill Snyder has had two weeks to prepare for their trip to Norman with a defense that was good enough to hold Auburn in check a month ago. Snyder is 3-3 in his last three trips to Norman outright, including a win the last time KSU visited Oklahoma. The Cats’ defense keeps them in the game. Prediction: Kansas State +7.5

 

Top 25 Picks ATS:

 

Top 25Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
N. Dame (+10) at Florida St
Tennessee (+16) at Ole Miss
Baylor (-8) at W. Virginia
Texas A&M (+11.5) at Alabama
Mich. St (-15) at Indiana
Washington (+21) at Oregon
Georgia (-3.5) at Arkansas
Kansas St (+7.5) at Oklahoma
Okla. St (+9) at TCU
Rutgers (+19.5) at Ohio St
Stanford (-3) at Ariz. St
Nebraska (-7) at N'Western
Colorado (+19.5) at USC
Clemson (-5) at B. College
Marshall (-21.5) at FIU
Last Week:3-11-13-11-14-10-13-11-1
YTD:51-52-452-51-445-58-451-52-4

 

Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: College Football 2014 Week 8 Picks
Post date: Friday, October 17, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/athlon-sports-cover-2-podcast-week-8-preview
Body:

 

 

Hosts Braden Gall and Steven Lassan preview the big games of Week 8. The Big 12 takes center stage with five ranked teams in action. Notre Dame visits Florida State in the ACC, Stanford and Oregon highlight key games out West and plenty of SEC contenders are looking to hold off upsets. The guys also offer up some locks of the week against the spread.


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

Teaser:
Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast: Week 8 Preview
Post date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 11:14
Path: /college-football/pac-12-2014-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

It’s not a nationally important weekend in the Pac-12 but there are four important and intriguing matchups for both the South and North Division races out West.

 

The North could officially become a two-horse race if Washington cannot overcome 10 years worth of struggles against Oregon. (Especially, if Stanford can handle its business in Tempe.)

 

In the South, UCLA, Arizona State and Utah could be dealt significant title blows with losses OR could find themselves near the top of the heap with key wins.

Week 8 Previews and Predictions:
ACC Big 12 | Big Ten | SEC


Pac-12 Week 8 Game Power Rankings

 

1. Washington (+21) at Oregon
8 p.m., FS1

One of the most fascinating games within the game takes place this weekend in Eugene. Washington’s front seven is one of the most talented and difficult to move in the nation while Oregon’s offensive line, while healthier, still has major concerns. Despite running for his life, Marcus Mariota has been downright filthy managing his offense (try zero interceptions) but he may be forced to work his magic once again. On the flip side, Cyler Miles has developed into one of the league’s better players and should be able to move the ball against the porous Oregon defense. If the Huskies can slow the Ducks rushing attack and pressure Mariota consistently, Washington should be able to keep it close. If not, history will repeat itself. Washington hasn’t beaten Oregon since 2003 (10 straight) and hasn’t lost by fewer than 17 points. The average score over that span has been 43.6 to 18.2. Only once (2011) has this game been within 20 points.

 

Listen to the Week 8 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Stanford (-3.5) at Arizona State
10:30 p.m., ESPN

The Sun Devils have lost four straight to Stanford including both meetings a year ago. After huge numbers from backup Mike Bercovici at quarterback, Todd Graham is expecting Taylor Kelly to be back under center. He will have an interesting decision to make after Bercovici threw for 998 yards (yes, 998) in two games if Kelly is fully healthy and ready to start. Either way, the ASU signal caller will face one of the nation’s nastiest defenses and will be hard-pressed to produce the same type of numbers against the Cardinal. The key will be the rebuilt ASU defense and how it handles the slowly-but-surely developing Stanford offense. Kevin Hogan had arguably the best game of his career last week but that was against lowly Washington State. Another solid outing from Hogan on the road against in a tough environment against a quality team would prove to doubters that the Cardinal can be a most complete team. A statement win for Stanford could put David Shaw’s bunch right back into championship conversations out West.

 

3. UCLA (-7.5) at Cal
3:30 p.m., ESPN2

It will be a tall order for the Bears reeling defense to stop Brett Hundley and what should be an angry Bruins squad. On defense, Cal is 124th in the nation at 518.2 yards allowed per game but had balanced that out with huge offensive numbers. But Sonny Dykes’ group hit a wall against Washington posting season lows with 368 yards, seven points and 4.3 yards per play. The Bruins are in danger of losing three straight and will be tested on the road but Hundley should have no issue moving the ball against a defense that doesn’t pressure the QB (91st nationally with 10.0 sacks) and doesn’t force turnovers (96th with seven). Jared Goff and company could make things interesting but the Bears’ lack of defense gives UCLA a severe edge.

 

4. Utah (-3) at Oregon State
10 p.m., P12 Net

Kyle Whittingham is playing it coy against Mike Riley. He won’t announce who is playing quarterback after both Kendal Thompson and Travis Wilson took reps during the off weekend. Meanwhile, the Utes head man knows exactly what he’s dealing with in Oregon State’s Sean Mannion. The Oregon State quarterback has had two weeks to get his supporting cast healthy and should be prepared for the brutal test against a tough Utah front seven that is leading the nation in sacks (28.0). This was a thrilling 51-48 win for the Beavers in Salt Lake City last fall in which Mannion threw for 443 yards, five touchdowns and no turnovers. Whittingham’s defense (and elite special teams) will have to play much better this time around to upset Oregon State on the road.

 

5. Colorado (+19.5) at USC
6 p.m., P12 Net

The only game in the league severely lacking in intrigue will take place in Los Angeles. USC is coming off a critical road win over Arizona and sits in control over the Pac-12 South race. That makes this situation a must-win for a team that has proven to be wildly inconsistent. In three Pac-12 games with the Buffs, USC has won all three 139-52, so odds are the Trojans move to 4-1 in the league.

 

Off: Arizona, Washington State

 

Pac-12 Predictions:

 

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
Wash. (+21) at OregonOre., 38-30Ore., 40-30Ore., 42-28Ore., 38-27
Stan. (-3.5) at ASUStan., 33-24Stan., 21-17ASU, 21-14Stan., 31-27
UCLA (-7.5) at CalUCLA, 41-31UCLA, 28-20Cal, 28-21UCLA 40-30
Utah (-3) at Ore. StOSU, 30-27Utah, 27-21OSU, 35-28Utah 27-24
Colo. (+19.5) at USCUSC, 40-21USC, 33-14USC, 31-13USC, 41-24
Last Week:3-13-12-22-2
YTD:38-1441-1141-1137-15

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 2014 Week 8 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-2014-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

Few weekends in the Big 12 will be as important and as critical as Week 8.

 

The top ranked team and lone unbeaten in on the road at one of the most difficult places to win in the league. Two of the greatest coaches in Big 12 history will battle in Norman with two ranked teams. And Oklahoma State has its first of many brutal road trips against a ranked TCU squad without its star quarterback.

 

More so than any other weekend thus far, the Big 12 takes center stage nationally in the college football world.

Week 8 Previews and Predictions:
ACC Big Ten Pac-12 | SEC


Big 12 Week 8 Game Power Rankings

 

1. Kansas State (+8) at Oklahoma
Noon, ESPN

Two of the most successful coaches in Big 12 history square off in an always interesting and important showdown near the top of league. The Wildcats defense has proven it can stop the nation’s best (See: Auburn) and Trevor Knight has been human ever since Katy Perry called him out on Gameday. Knight has struggled and the running game might not be able to help as KSU has allowed a total of 407 yards rushing in five games (81.4 ypg). Meanwhile, Jake Waters has been excellent, be it torching Texas Tech (395 yards, 5 TD) or carrying his team to victory (Iowa State), but will be faced with his toughest task against Eric Striker and Zack Sanchez on the road. Bill Snyder is 3-3 in his last three trips to Norman, including the last visit in 2012 and has had two weeks to prepare. On two evenly matched and similarly built teams coached by equally impressive leaders, the edge generally falls towards the home team.

 

Listen to the Week 8 preview podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

2. Baylor (-8) at West Virginia
Noon, FS1

Strange and bizarre things happen in Morgantown so Baylor better click on all cylinders for all four quarters if it wants to return to Texas unbeaten. Two of the best passing attacks will be on full display when Clint Trickett (367.2 ypg) and Bryce Petty (306.8) do battle in what is one of the highest scoring rivalries in the nation. In two games since joining the Big 12, Baylor and WVU have combined for 248 points as the Mountaineers scored 63 and 42 points in losses. It took a miracle fourth quarter for the Bears to survive at home against TCU last weekend and that won’t work against a West Virginia team that is capable of beating any team in the nation. West Virginia fans need to hope that Dana Holgorsen finally speaking with his kicker hasn’t jinxed a player who has won two games for WVU thus far.

 

3. Oklahoma State (+8) at TCU
4 p.m., FS1

Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer is charged with stopping arguably the nation’s most improved player in Trevone Boykin (who will play despite bizarre internet reports on Tuesday). TCU’s quarterback is second in the league at 353.6 yards of total offense per game and is leading the No. 3 scoring offense in the nation (45.8 ppg). The key for Gary Patterson’s balanced squad is how they handled the crushing fourth-quarter defeat at Baylor last weekend. If there is any letdown factor whatsoever, Daxx Garman, Tyreek Hill and the Pokes offense is good enough to walk into a normally not very hostile Amon Carter Stadium and win. While the Frogs have already announced themselves as Big 12 contenders, a win for Mike Gundy would give OSU a 4-0 start in the Big 12 and a sixth consecutive win.

 

4. Iowa State (-12.5) at Texas
8 p.m., LHN

This has become a must-win game for Charlie Strong if his team wants to get to a bowl game and Paul Rhoads certainly hasn’t forgotten about how this controversial game ended last year in Ames. The Horns defense has been excellent and should be able to stop the Cyclones modest attack. The real difference maker should come under center for Texas. Tyrone Swoopes played the best game of his young career against Oklahoma and it’s critically important he continue his positive development. A clear outcome against ISU could be a sign the tide has turned in Austin.

 

5. Kansas (-14.5) at Texas Tech
3:30 p.m.

Much like Texas, Kliff Kingsbury is in desperate need of a Big 12 win after losing eight straight in the league. That losing streak continued last week in painful fashion on a long, last-second field goal but there were signs of hope. After losing the turnover battle in 13 straight games, Tech broke even and Davis Webb had his best game since beating UTEP in Week 2. Penalties and defense are still a major issue and if this team can’t “get healthy” against Kansas, it may not win against the rest of the season.

 

Big 12 Predictions:

 

 Braden GallMitch LightDavid FoxSteven Lassan
KSU (+8) at OklaOkla., 28-24Okla., 27-20KSU, 21-17Okla., 30-24
Baylor (-8) at WVUBay., 51-42Bay., 48-40Bay., 63-48Bay., 50-40
Okla St (+8) at TCUTCU, 30-27TCU, 37-21TCU, 31-21TCU, 34-24
ISU (+12.5) at TexasTexas, 24-7Texas, 17-10Texas, 28-17Texas, 31-13
Kansas (+14.5) at TechTech, 38-24Tech, 44-24Tech, 35-21Tech, 44-20
Last Week:5-04-15-05-0
YTD:40-437-741-341-3

 

Teaser:
Big 12 2014 Week 8 Preview and Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 16, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/expert-poll-week-7-heisman-trophy-voting
Body:

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

 

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

 

The Panel:

 

Stewart Mandel, FOX Sports

Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network 

Adam Zucker, CBS Sports

Steven Godfrey, SBNation

Zac Ellis, Sports Illustrated

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network

Barrett Sallee, Bleacher Report, B/R Radio

Josh Ward, MrSEC.com

Mitch Light, Athlon Sports

David Fox, Athlon Sports

Steven Lassan, Athlon Sports

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports, SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

 PlayerTeamPts1st2nd3rd4th5th
1.Dak Prescott62103---
2.Marcus Mariota523811-
3.Melvin Gordon29-1712
4.Bryce Petty18-1232
5.Everett Golson12--222
6.Shaq Thompson7---23
7.Tevin Coleman6---3-
8.Ameer Abdullah5--11-
9t.Todd Gurley1----1
9t.Bo Wallace1----1
9t.Jameis Winston1----1
9t.Amari Cooper1----1

Dropped out: Nick Marshall, Shane Carden, Jared Goff

 

Listen to the Week 7 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

The Top 3:

 
1. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi St

Prescott takes over the top slot after his third consecutive win over a top 10 team. Against Auburn, Prescott sparked an early 21-0 lead and never looked back. He completed 18-of-34 passes for 246 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions while carrying 21 times for 121 yards and two scores on the ground.

 

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

 

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Mariota has been brilliant despite a bad offensive line. In a blowout win on the road over UCLA, the Ducks quarterback completed 17-of-27 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns to go with 75 yards rushing and two more scores on the ground. He now has wins over Michigan State and UCLA and has yet to throw an interception.

 

Season Stats: 1,621 yards, 69.7%, 17 TDs, 0 INTs, 290 rush yards, 5 TDs

 

3. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Gordon rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns in the blowout win over Illinois last weekend. It’s his fourth consecutive game rushing for at least 175 yards and he has scored 12 times over that span. He’s second in the nation in rushing behind only Tevin Coleman.

 

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

Teaser:
Expert Poll: Week 7 Heisman Trophy Voting
Post date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/outrageous-college-football-predictions-2014-week-8
Body:

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

 

The beauty of college football lies in its complete unpredictability and drama. Here are some outrageous predictions for Week 7.

 

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

 
Washington will lose by less than one score

 

Wait, why is it outrageous that a really good Huskies team will play well against Oregon’s depleted offensive line? Because Washington hasn’t beaten Oregon since 2003 (10 straight) and hasn’t lost by fewer than 17 points. The average score of the this important Pac-12 North Division rivalry over the last 10 years is 43.6 to 18.2. Only once (2011) has this game been within 20 points.

 

Everett Golson or Jameis Winston will lose a start

 

Everett Golson and Jameis Winston have had off-the-field issues, to say the least. One has missed an entire season and the other has been buried under salacious headlines ever since winning the Heisman Trophy. However, it’s worth noting that Golson and Winston are a combined 35-1 as starters with the only loss coming against Alabama in the 2012 BCS title game for Golson. Someone WILL, in fact, lose a game as a starter this weekend.

 

Listen to the Week 7 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Oklahoma State will be in first place next week

 

Should Oklahoma State top TCU on the road, the Pokes would move to 4-0 in the Big 12. If Kansas State can beat Oklahoma in Norman, it would move to 3-0 in the Big 12. And if West Virginia can topple Baylor at home, the Cowboys would be alone atop the Big 12 standings. With five ranked teams in the top 15 of the AP Poll and four of them playing each other, Mike Gundy could be alone in first place after Week 8.

 

Kevin Hogan will throw for 300 yards

 

The Stanford Cardinal offense has been atrocious this fall. At least, until they played Washington State last weekend where Hogan threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns. Hogan has one career 300-yard game (Cal, 2013) in 30 career games but will post his second this weekend. Arizona State has allowed 313.7 yards passing per game and seven touchdowns in three Pac-12 games thus far. Stanford has won four straight in the series and should make it five behind what could be a career game from its QB.

 

A coordinator won’t survive the Alabama-Texas A&M game

 

I’m not sure which one it will be but Nick Saban could attack and destroy one of his coordinators against Texas A&M this weekend. The Tide and Aggies have played very close and entertaining games since becoming conference foes two years ago and this year figures to be the same. Lane Kiffin’s offense has gotten plenty of heat after poor showings against Ole Miss and Arkansas while Kirby Smart’s defense was attacked by Bo Wallace in the loss to the Rebels. Smart’s unit could face serious heat from Kenny Hill and the Aggies passing attack.

Teaser:
Outrageous College Football Predictions: 2014 Week 8
Post date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 08:45
Path: /college-football/big-12-2014-second-half-predictions-and-midseason-review
Body:

Entering the season, many believed the Big 12 to be a two-horse race between Baylor and Oklahoma. But at the midseason point, the Big 12 has as many teams ranked in the AP Top 15 as any other league in the nation. (Yes, that includes the SEC.)

 

Those five teams ranked in the top 15 all feel like they have a legit shot at winning the Big 12 championship and likely landing one of the coveted four playoff spots. The top five teams in the league have a combined four losses — all of which have come against teams ranked 11th or better in the current AP Poll.

 

Only TCU has faced one of the other five ranked opponents. Needless to say, there is a plenty of ball left to be played in the Heartland.

Midseason Reviews and Second-Half Predictions
ACC | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

2014 Big 12 Midseason Review and Second-Half Predictions


Coach of the Year: Gary Patterson, TCU

The Horned Frogs were 4-8 last year and now sit 4-1 and ranked No. 12 in the nation - AFTER playing Oklahoma and Baylor. The Frogs are still facing huge tests on the road against West Virginia and Texas as well as home games with Kansas State and Oklahoma State. But the changes Patterson made on the offensive coaching staff have paid huge dividends in just five games thus far in 2014.

Newcomer of the Year: Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma and Tyreek Hill, AP, Oklahoma State
Perine is third in the league in carries (109), second in the league in rushing (568) and is leading the Big 12 in rushing touchdowns (9). The 240-pound true freshman from Pflugerville, Texas (aka, Mack Brown’s backyard) has been brilliant in place of Keith Ford for Bob Stoops. Oklahoma State’s do-everything dynamo Tyreek Hill deserves mention as well as the junior college playmaker has made a huge impact for Mike Gundy’s squad. Hill is second in the Big 12 in all-purpose yards.

Offensive Player of the Year: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Dealing with a back injury, Petty performed at his best in the biggest spot of the season thus far. Trailing late in the second half, he rallied the Bears with 24 straight points to stay unbeaten against rival TCU. Petty has thrown for 1,534 yards and scored 18 total touchdowns in just five games (he missed one start) and is poised for another run at the Heisman Trophy.

Defensive Player of the Year: Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor
Shawn Oakman gets the slight nod over Eric Striker or Zack Sanchez in what is a very tight race for top defensive player in this league. Oakman has been a force for the top team in the league, posting 24 tackles, 8.0 for loss, 5.0 sacks and one forced fumble. Striker has 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks while Sanchez has five interceptions and 25 tackles.

Midseason Disappointment: Texas Tech
After a tenuous start to the year in wins over Central Arkansas and UTEP, Kliff Kingsbury’s bunch has lost four straight games in ugly fashion. After it’s first 0-3 conference start since 1990, Texas Tech is staring at eight straight losses in the Big 12. This team has problems with turnovers and penalties and has already changed defensive coordinators.

Midseason Surprise: TCU's offense 
Gary Patterson has found the formula. He brought in Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham to run his offense and quarterback Trevone Boykin has flourished. The TCU quarterback has thrown for 292.6 yards per game and scored 14 total times while only throwing two interceptions and rushing for 305 yards. In a league known for offense on a team known for defense, TCU ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 at 45.8 points per game and No. 3 in total offense at 510.0 yards per game.

 

Listen to the Week 7 recap podcast:



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher


Three Things to Watch in Second Half 

1. Can Baylor repeat and does the Big 12 make the playoff?
The trip to Norman in November obviously looms large, but since the league is so much deeper and more balanced than anticipated, the Bears will face plenty of other hurdles en route to a second straight league crown. A road trip to Morgantown as well as games with Oklahoma State and Kansas State still loom. That said, the path to a title still runs through Norman, and the Bears are in control of their own destiny. A second championship for Art Briles puts him alongside the nation's best and likely lands Baylor in the College Football Playoff.

2. Who are the challengers?
TCU, Oklahoma State and Kansas State have all joined the championship conversation and all three have yet to face each other. Both Oklahoma State and K-State have yet to face Baylor or Oklahoma as well. Someone will jump into the title fray — much like TCU already has — and this could become a three- four- or five-team race for the top. Which one of these programs has staying power and can any of these "second-tiered" teams step into contention remains to be seen. Either way, it figures to be an exciting final two months in the middle of the Big 12.

3. Tyrone Swoopes development
The Longhorns have a great defense. But Tyrone Swoopes showed Longhorns fans glimpses of the future with his play against Oklahoma. This offense is in desperate need of a spark and Swoopes might be capable of supplying it. He finished 27-of-44 for 334 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in the close loss to Oklahoma. He added 50 yards rushing on 11 carries and another score on the ground.

Top Five Games in Second Half

 

1. Baylor at Oklahoma (Nov. 8)

The Bears have never won in Norman. Ever. And if Art Briles wants to win another Big 12 title, his squad will have to go up North to Oklahoma and win.

 

2. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (Dec. 6)

The rivalry aspect gives this game extra juice. Mike Gundy has struggled in this bout but at the season’s end, both teams could still be in the title race.

 

3. Kansas State at Baylor (Dec. 6)

Bill Snyder defense faces Art Briles offense? Yes, please. The Cats could be the top challenger to Oklahoma or Baylor but will have to win some key road games.

 

4. Kansas State at Oklahoma (Oct. 18)

See: Kansas State at Baylor above.

 

5. Kansas State at TCU (Nov. 8)

TCU has already played the two toughest games of its season and it split. Kansas State could be the No. 3 biggest game on the schedule if KSU can upset the Bears or Sooners along the way.

 

Next up: Oklahoma State at Baylor, Oklahoma State at TCU, TCU at Texas, Oklahoma State at Kansas State, Texas at Oklahoma State, Baylor at West Virginia


Projecting the Final 2014 Big 12 Standings
 David
Fox
Braden
Gall
Steven
Lassan
Mitch
Light
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Second-Half Predictions and Midseason Review
Post date: Monday, October 13, 2014 - 14:10

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