Articles By David Fox

Path: /college-basketball/college-basketballs-top-international-players-2012-13
Body:

Stars like Syracuse’s Fab Melo (Brazil), St. Bonaventure’s Andrew Nicholson (Canada) and Vanderbilt’s Jeffrey Taylor (Sweden) and Festus Ezeli (Nigeria) may have left the college ranks for the NBA in June, but that doesn’t mean the college game isn’t still flush with international talent.

If we were to assemble a NCAA international dream team for the upcoming season, here are the 10 players who would make our rotation.

Related content:
Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13

Impact Transfers for 2012-13
Coaches on the Hot Seat for 2012-13
10 Players Returning from Injury

2012-13 INTERNATIONAL DREAM TEAM
STARTERS

G Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary’s
Country:
Australia
The perfect leader for our international dream team is Matthew Dellavedova. Before even starting his senior season, the 6-foot-4 do-it-all guard has already made an indelible mark on the Gaels’ record book — first in career assists, second in career 3-pointers, eighth in career steals, ninth in career scoring. The reigning West Coast Conference Player of the Year, Dellavedova bolstered his résumé by representing his native land in the Summer Olympics.

G Myck Kabongo, Texas
Country:
Canada
Rick Barnes has a thing for Canadian point guards — two years ago he had Cory Joseph, then when Joseph bolted for the NBA after one season, he was seamlessly replaced with Myck Kabongo. The slender 6-1 floor general, on of the top recruits in the Class of 2011, led the Longhorns in assists last season, averaging 5.2 per game. Kabongo brings to our team a reliable ball-handler and expert distributor.

F Brock Motum, Washington State
Country:
Australia
Providing the inside scoring for our international team is last season’s leading scorer in the Pac-12, Brock Motum. The 6-10 Aussie averaged 18.0 points and 6.4 rebounds for the Cougars last season. Motum made a dramatic improvement from his sophomore season (7.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg), so don’t be surprised if he is even more productive in his final season in Pullman.

F Elias Harris, Gonzaga
Country:
Germany
Elias Harris has long been on NBA scouts’ radar, but luckily for the Zags he stuck around for four years in Spokane. The 6-7 combo forward led the squad in rebounding (8.4 rpg) last season, earning All-WCC honors. He also has international experience playing for the German National Team. His inside/outside versatility brings a unique dimension to our international squad.  

C Gorgui Dieng, Louisville
Country:
Senegal
Dieng was one of the most improved players in the nation last season for a Louisville team that reached the Final Four. The big man from Senegal has always been effective on the defensive end, but he emerged as a threat on offense as a sophomore. Overall, he averaged 9.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game. He gives our International team some size and shot-blocking.

THE BENCH
G Brady Heslip, Baylor
Country:
Canada
Every team needs a 3-point sharpshooter, and our international squad has one of the best in the nation, Baylor’s Brady Heslip. In his first season on the court for the Bears (after transferring from Boston College), Heslip knocked down 100 3s at a 45.5 percent clip, including a memorable 9-of-12 performance against Colorado in the Round of the 32 of the NCAA Tournament.

G Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga
Country:
Canada
Our second Canadian guard off the bench is Gonzaga’s Kevin Pangos. The Bulldogs have always had a strong recruiting pipeline to Canada, and they imported another key player from the Great White North last season. Despite playing on a roster full of veterans, Pangos surprisingly led the team in scoring (13.6 ppg), as well as assists, steals and 3-pointers made. Pangos can penetrate and kick it out to Heslip behind the arc.

F Ryan Broekhoff, Valparaiso
Country:
Australia
Providing veteran leadership off the bench for our team is Valpo’s Ryan Broekhoff. The reigning Horizon League Player of the Year, Broekhoff, a 6-7 senior, can play forward or guard, and no doubt is on a confidence high training with the Australian National Team this past offseason.

F Arsalan Kazemi, Oregon
Country:
Iran
The first Iranaian to play Division I basketball, Kazemi is a versatile scorer who has averaged a double-double for Rice in each of the last two seasons while shooting over 50 percent from the field. Kazemi transferred from Rice to Oregon in September and is seeking a hardship waiver to play this season.

C Steven Adams, Pittsburgh
Country:
New Zealand
New Zealand isn’t exactly a hotbed of hoops talent, but don’t tell that to Steven Adams. Despite being orphaned and living on the streets as a teen, the 7-foot “Kiwi Phenom” blossomed into one of the top-ranked incoming freshmen to the NCAA this fall. Adams is an explosive, athletic big man who gives Jamie Dixon perhaps his most ballyhooed recruit since taking over the reins of the Panthers.

@AthlonSports

More previews for the 2012-13 season can be found in the Athlon Sports College Basketball annual available in the online store

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky

4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball's Top International Players for 2012-13</p>
Post date: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 05:29
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

In a handful of ways, last week turned the Big 12 race on its head.

West Virginia’s defensive shortcomings finally burned the Mountaineers in their first loss of the season. That it happened in the first place wasn’t as much of a surprise as Texas Tech being the one to deliver the resounding upset. The 49-14 win further proved Texas Tech’s defensive turnaround is no fluke as the Red Raiders are the only Big 12 ranked in the top 10 nationally in both total offense and total defense.

West Virginia’s loss left Kansas State, who escaped a trap game scenario against Iowa State, as the only undefeated team in conference play, a perfect record that will be tested this week at West Virginia.

And then there was the Red River Rivalry. After a 63-21 beatdown to Oklahoma, Texas looks no better than second-tier in the league, if that. And the Sooners looked more like the team picked to win the Big 12 in the preseason. They’ll be rooting for West Virginia on Saturday.

Other Week 8 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big 12’s Top Storylines to Watch in Week 8:

Is Kansas State-West Virginia a Heisman eliminator?
A week ago, West Virginia’s Geno Smith was just about everyone’s Heisman frontrunner. His performance against Texas Tech (29 of 55, 275 yards, one touchdown) may have cut into his lead a bit with Kansas State’s Collin Klein among those who could benefit. For those following the Heisman race as closely as the Big 12 championship race, this will be a critical game where Smith can either boost his case or Klein can further close the gap with the remainder of the field.

How does West Virginia’s no-show defense handle Kansas State’s smash mouth offense?
West Virginia’s struggles on defense are well-established as the Mountaineers have allowed 593 yards per game against three Big 12 opponents. Kansas State’s grinding, physical style brings a different challenge than Baylor or Texas Tech or even Texas. The Wildcats are the rare Big 12 team that still uses a huddle and tries to shorten the game with the run. Moreover, Kansas State doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes: The Wildcats are averaging a Big 12-low three penalties a game and have turned the ball over only four times all season. West Virginia is built for the Big 12, but Kansas State is not the typical Big 12 team.

Can Kansas State continue to stifle big plays?
Only Texas Tech has allowed fewer plays of 20 yards or more (eight) than Kansas State’s 16 -- and we saw how Texas Tech handled the West Virginia offense. Only one of those 20-yards or more plays, a 30-yard pass last week from Iowa State, resulted in a touchdown. West Virginia may have to tweak its receivers against Kansas State with Stedman Bailey hobbled since the second half against Texas Tech and at least one freshman entering the starting lineup (Coach Dana Holgorsen burned the redshirt for Travares Coleman, and considered playing another true freshman). With the way West Virginia started the season, it’s tough to imagine the Mountaineers struggling two weeks in a row on offense, but Kansas State may be able to give West Virginia fits.

How hot can it get for Mack Brown?
Losing 63-21 to Oklahoma is bad enough, but the scene down in Austin could get even worse this week if Texas loses for the third consecutive time to Baylor, a team that has never defeated the Longhorns three times in a row. On paper, this matchup does not bode well for Texas, despite Baylor’s 0-2 Big 12 record. Baylor is averaging 7.4 yards per play -- better than both Oklahoma and West Virginia -- and leads the nation in pass efficiency. Making matters worse for Texas, defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, one of the few players performing at a high level for the Longhorns defense, is out for the remainder of the season. The questions are now extending to the offensive side of the ball as well, as quarterback David Ash is trying to recover from a wrist injury.

How does Seth Doege fare in Round Three against a good defense?
Seth Doege passed for career-highs with 499 yards and six touchdowns against West Virginia. Doege’s a good quarterback, but it may be too much to expect that much out of him each week, especially when he faces another above-average defense. Already this season, Doege threw five total interceptions against Iowa State and Oklahoma. Now the senior will line up against the TCU defense, which has intercepted a pass in every game this season for a total of 14 picks in 2012.

Is Trevone Boykin ready to face the Texas Tech defense?
With a full week to prepare as TCU’s starting quarterback, Boykin rebounded from his three-interception performance against Iowa State with a win over Baylor. The redshirt freshman was 22 of 30 for 261 yards with four touchdowns to go with 56 rushing yards and a score against the Bears. That’s an encouraging sign for a TCU team that just lost its second-year starting quarterback. Then again, Boykin’s performance was against Baylor's struggling defense. This week's opponent, Texas Tech, ranks seventh in the nation in pass efficiency defense and just made Geno Smith look pedestrian a week ago. That’s a tall order for a freshman in his third career start.

Does Oklahoma State have real concerns on offense?
Oklahoma State leads the nation in total offense, but the Cowboys didn’t look that team against Kansas last week. The 20 points Oklahoma State scored were the fewest since the 21-7 Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss at the end of the 2010 season. Against the Jayhawks, Joseph Randle averaged only 2.8 yards per carry, and quarterback J.W. Walsh was 18 of 29 for 255 yards. Granted, the conditions last week were not great as both teams played in a driving rain. A bounce-back game against Iowa State, who defeated the Cowboys 34-31 last season, will be worth watching this week. Freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, who began the season as a starter, would have been available in an emergency against Kansas, but Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been tight-lipped about his availability this week.

What does a two-quarterback plan mean for Kansas’ future?
The youth movement is already under way in Kansas with Charlie Weis spending more time on underclassmen than seniors in practice recently. Now, he’s starting to look at redshirt freshman Michael Cummings at quarterback. Weis said earlier this week Cummings will play this week along with Dayne Crist, the transfer who also signed with Weis at Notre Dame. Odds are, the move won’t make too much difference against Oklahoma, but it could be a glimpse into the future for the Jayhawks.

Week 8 Big 12 Predictions

Week 8 Big 12 Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Iowa St. at Oklahoma St. (-14) Okla. St. 35-21 Okla. St. 34-24 Okla St. 38-24 Okla. St. 31-27
Texas Tech (-2) at TCU TCU 28-21 TCU 30-24 TCU 31-27 Texas Tech 28-27
Kansas at Oklahoma (-35) Oklahoma 41-10 Oklahoma 42-14 Oklahoma 45-17 Oklahoma 37-7
Kansas St. at West Virginia (-2.5) Kansas State 35-28 West Virginia 31-30 West Virginia 38-34 West Virginia 34-30
Baylor at Texas (-11) Baylor 35-31 Texas 42-35 Texas 38-34 Texas 38-30
Last week 3-2 3-2 2-3 3-2
Overall 36-7 34-9 34-10 35-8

by David Fox

@davidfox615

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 7
Post-Week 7 Bowl Projections

Top Heisman Trophy Contenders After Week 7

Teaser:
<p> Big 12 Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:05
Path: /college-football/big-east-week-8-preview-and-predictions
Body:

Here’s the good news for the Big East for the second half of the season: The league has three nationally ranked, undefeated teams in Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati who will all face each other in the final month. For a conference struggling for national relevance, this round robin will be a breath of fresh air.

Here’s the bad news: With apologies to Temple, those three are about all there is in this top-heavy league. Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and USF all have losing records and are facing must-win situations in the coming weeks if any are going to reach the postseason.

Other Week 8 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big East’s top Storylines to Watch in Week 8:

How will Cincinnati’s defense handle the Toledo passing game?

Butch Jones wasn’t completely pleased with his defense after the 49-17 win over Fordham. That’s probably because he knew of the test coming up against Toledo, which may have the best passing game Cincinnati has seen so far this season. Since a season-opening loss at Arizona, the Rockets have completed at least 60 percent of their passes in each game while totaling 1,802 yards in the last six games. Cincinnati gets veteran safety Drew Frey back from injury, so that should boost a unit looking to gain momentum before a critical matchup against Louisville and Teddy Bridgewater in two weeks.

Will Charlie Strong’s fire-and-brimstone pep talk last into another week?
The Louisville coach lit into his team at halftime last week against Pittsburgh, leading to a 21-0 explosion in the third quarter. The Cardinals still allowed Pittsburgh to tack on two fourth-quarter touchdowns for a 45-35 final score, but Strong knew his team needed a kick in the pants. Louisville hasn’t had a beginning-to-end consistent effort since a win over Missouri State in the second week of the season. With Rutgers and Cincinnati challenging for the Big East title, that needs to change in a hurry. Will the intensity level carry over against struggling USF?

Will Temple be the first team to crack the Rutgers run defense?
Rutgers is second only to Alabama in run defense, allowing 60.8 yards per game on the ground. Temple is as good a candidate as any to test the Scarlet Knights’ front seven. The Owls have rushed for 418 yards and five touchdowns in their 2-0 start in the Big East. Montel Harris ran for 142 yards and a touchdown against Connecticut, the league’s No. 2 run defense. Adding to the test for Rutgers’ defense could be the return of Temple’s 1B running back Matt Brown, who is day-to-day with an ankle injury.

Is it time to start considering Khaseem Greene for national awards?
Any Big East player is going to fight an uphill battle to pry national defensive awards away from Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o or a handful of players from the SEC, but Greene is making a case to be a finalist for the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lombardi awards. A week ago, Greene had a singular defensive performance last week with 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception against Syracuse. He’ll have another chance to shine against the Temple run game.

Who comes up with a victory in a must-win game in the Pasqualoni Bowl?
Paul Pasqualoni will coach his first game in the Carrier Dome since he was ushered out of the Syracuse job in 2004. Those were better days for both Syracuse and Pasqauloni, who won 107 games with the Orange from 1991-2004. Any nostalgia will need to be pushed aside of either Syracuse (2-4) or Connecticut (3-4) are going to save their seasons. The two teams have opposite problems -- Syracuse with its Big East-leading pass game but struggling run game and defense and UConn with its stifling run defense and and offense that’s as bad as it’s been since the Huskies moved up to FBS. Of the league’s bottom four teams, Pittsburgh’s second-half schedule is the most friendly to a bowl trip. If the Panthers defeat Buffalo this week, then Temple, Connecticut and USF, they’ll be at six wins without needing an upset over Notre Dame or Rutgers.

How will Paul Chryst juggle his running backs?
With a backfield of Ray Graham and Rushel Shell, it seems a crime for Pittsburgh to be 85th in the nation in rushing. But Pitt is finally getting the two of them healthy at the same time. Buffalo this week could give Pitt a chance to give both plenty of work. Chryst has worked with productive running back tandems over his time at Wisconsin, but it remains interesting how he’s going to rotate the veteran Graham with the freshman Shell over the second half of the season.

Does USF have anything in the tank for Louisville?
Things are looking bleak for USF after a four-game losing streak, which has included losses to Ball State and Temple. The Bulls rank no better than third in the Big East in any major category and rank last in scoring defense and rush defense. The struggles on both sides of the ball prompted Skip Holtz to shuffle his depth chart during the off week, but it remains to be seen if it will have ay major impact one the road against Louisville. After this week, USF has home games against Syracuse and Connecticut. Holtz may need to start picking up wins or see the coaching staff shuffled.

Week 8 Big East Predictions:

Week 8 Big East Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Connecticut at Syracuse (-4.5) Syracuse 21-14 Syracuse 17-14 Syracuse 24-20 Syracuse 23-20
Rutgers (-5.5) at Temple Rutgers 27-13 Rutgers 24-14 Rutgers 27-13 Rutgers 21-14
USF at Louisville (-6.5) Louisville 38-17 Louisville 31-20 Louisville 31-20 Louisville 30-20
Pittsburgh (-11) at Buffalo Pittsburgh 21-10 Pittsburgh 31-20 Pittsburgh 34-13 Pittsburgh 31-7
Cincinnati (-6.5) at Toledo Cincinnati 42-38 Cincinnati 34-27 Cincinnati 34-31 Cincinnati 41-20
Last week 3-1 3-1 3-1 3-1
Overall 28-11 27-12 25-14 26-13

by David Fox

@DavidFox615

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 7
Post-Week 7 Bowl Projections

Top Heisman Trophy Contenders After Week 7

Teaser:
<p> Big East Week 8 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 06:01
Path: /college-basketball/10-college-basketball-players-returning-injury
Body:

A season can be changed by an injury. In the same way, 10 teams are hoping a key player returning from injury will change their fortunes for 2012-13.

Among those players returning from injury include a forward with All-American potential at Minnesota, a key veteran at rebuilding North Carolina, and explosive guard at USC and former starters at three SEC schools.

Related content:
Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13

Impact Transfers for 2012-13
Coaches on the Hot Seat for 2012-13


10 PLAYERS BACK FROM INJURY
Laurence Bowers, F, Missouri

Bowers’ knee injury last October was thought to be a crippling blow to a Missouri team that lacked size in ’11-12. The Tigers, however, thrived playing small ball and went on to win 30 games in Frank Haith’s first season. Still, Mizzou will welcome back the 6-8, 227-pound senior, who averaged 11.6 points and 6.1 rebounds two years ago.

Michael Davenport, G, St. Bonaventure
Davenport started 31 games as a junior in 2010-11, averaging 11.1 points while shooting 37.1 percent from 3-point range. He missed all but the first eight games of the ’11-12 campaign with a shoulder injury. The 6-5 senior from Cincinnati will be one of the Bonnies’ primary offensive options this season.

Jio Fontan, G, USC
The Trojans’ hopes to be relevant in the Pac-12 took a hit last year when Fontan went down with a torn ACL during a summer tour through South America. The transfer from Fordham averaged 10.5 points and 3.9 assists in 2010-11, his first season at USC.

Trevor Mbakwe, F, Minnesota
The skilled power forward was on his way to a terrific senior season (14.0 ppg, 9.1 rpg) before tearing his ACL after seven games. Mbakwe was granted an extra season of eligibility by the NCAA and will return to anchor the Gophers’ frontcourt. His return, however, is a complete guarantee as Mbakwe could face jail time after a DUI conviction was a violation of his probation.

Leslie McDonald, G, North Carolina
The former McDonald’s All-American missed all of his junior season with a torn ACL. He has averaged 5.2 points in 13.1 minutes while shooting a disappointing 35.6 percent from the field. McDonald, however, will be expected to play a big role on the ’12-13 Tar Heels. Fellow guard Dexter Strickland also returns to the UNC lineup after missing the final 19 games with a torn ACL.

Marshawn Powell, F, Arkansas
Powell emerged as one of the best big men in the SEC as a freshman in ’09-10 but has had to battle injuries over the past two seasons. He played in 28 games as a sophomore in ’10-11 but his production was down due in part to a slow recovery from a broken foot. Last year, he missed all but two games after going down with a knee injury.

Scootie Randall, G, Temple
Randall averaged 10.7 points and 4.7 rebounds two years ago but was sidelined with a knee injury in ’11-12. He will play a major role in a Temple backcourt that must replace Juan Fernandez and Ramone Moore.

Kourtney Roberson, F, Texas A&M
An ankle injury limited Roberson to only nine games last season. The 6-9, 240-pound power forward averaged 5.6 points and 3.8 boards in only 12.7 minutes as a freshman two years ago. He could be a double-digit rebounder for the Aggies in 2012-12.

Terrance Shannon, F, Florida State
Shannon, a bullish power forward, was off to a solid last season (8.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg through seven games) before going down with a shoulder injury. With Bernard James and Xavier Gibson no longer around, Shannon will be asked to make significant contributions on a Florida State club that should be in the hunt for an ACC title.

Scott Suggs, G, Washington
Suggs, who missed last season with a broken foot, will give the Huskies a much-need 3-point threat on the perimeter. The 6-6 senior averaged 7.4 points and shot 45.0 percent from the beyond arc two years ago.

@AthlonSports

More previews for the 2012-13 season can be found in the Athlon Sports College Basketball annual available in the online store

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky

4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> 10 College Basketball Players Returning from Injury</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 05:58
Path: /college-basketball/2012-13-college-basketball-preview-10-coaches-hot-seat
Body:

After a year in which the Pac-12 regular season champion failed to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, none of the programs in the league made a coaching change.

That’s partly a testament to some of the new coaches in the league or the built up credibility for some of the others. But it was a mild surprise after the entire league struggled en masse for another season.

It’s no surprise, then, that a handful of Pac-12 coaches are under pressure in 2012-13. The coaches at Arizona State, Oregon State and Stanford all made our  list of top coaches on the hot seat, but they aren’t alone who must win now.

Related content:
Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13

Impact Transfers for 2012-13


10 COACHES ON THE HOT SEAT
Ben Braun, Rice
The expectations for the basketball program at Rice aren’t particularly high, but the Owls made news for reasons that aren’t great for the basketball program. Braun has endured a rash of player transfers, not least of which Arsalan Kazemi to Oregon. Kazemi was one of Conference USA’s top players, but he joined David Chadwick (Valparaiso), Dylan Ennis (Villanova), Omar Oraby (USC) and Jarelle Reischel (Rhode Island) in leaving Houston. The former Cal coach Braun is coming off his first winning season and postseason appearance at Rice, but the departures are troubling.

Jeff Bzdelik, Wake Forest
Bzdelik has only been on the job for two seasons, but Wake Forest is a combined 21–42 overall and 5–27 in the ACC during that span. The five league wins are the fewest in a two-year period for Wake since ’86-87 and ’87-88, when Bob Staak guided the Deacs to a 5–23 record. The talent level is on the upswing — Wake’s incoming recruiting class is ranked No. 25 nationally by Scout.com — but Bzdelik must show significant progress to ensure that he will be around to coach this group as it matures.

Bill Carmody, Northwestern
Northwestern clearly has raised its level of competitiveness in the Big Ten under Carmody’s watch, but the bottom line is that he has failed to reach the NCAA Tournament in 12 seasons at the school. The Cats have won 30 league games over the past four years — the most in a four-year stretch since ’58-61 — but each season has ended in the NIT. John Shurna, one of the best players in school history, graduated in the spring, but there is enough talent on the returning roster to keep Northwestern relevant. At some point, Carmody will have to get his program over the hump.

Johnny Dawkins, Stanford
Stanford hasn’t been bad in Dawkins’ four years on the The Farm, but the program has clearly dropped a few notches down the food chain out West. Consider the following: The Cardinal had 15 straight winning Pac-10 seasons prior to Dawkins’ arrival. They’ve only had one in his four years (last season). Also, Stanford made the NCAA Tournament 13 times in the 14 years before he was hired. It’s made none since.

Travis Ford, Oklahoma State
Ford’s seat is best described as warm. He did well early, guiding the Cowboys to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments in ’09 and ’10 but is a combined 13–21 in the league over the last two seasons. Expectations are high this season, which is a good thing. But if those lofty expectations aren’t met, Ford will be in must-win mode in ’13-14.   

Andy Kennedy, Ole Miss
Give Kennedy credit: He’s remarkably consistent. In each of his seven seasons as a head coach (six at Ole Miss and one at Cincinnati), his teams have gone either 7–9, 8–8 or 9–7 in league games. Another word for consistent (in this case) — average. Kennedy’s teams are never bad — he’s had a winning record in all seven season — but none has been good enough to crash the NCAA Tournament.

Oliver Purnell, DePaul
It might be a bit premature to put Purnell — who inherited a brutal situation at DePaul — on the hot seat after two seasons, but it’s tough to overlook that he has won a total of four Big East games and has finished all alone in 16th place in two straight seasons. Purnell is a proven winner who appears to be a good fit at DePaul, but he will be expected to show significant progress in his third season at the school.

Craig Robinson, Oregon State
It’s kind of cool that Oregon State’s coach is the brother-in-law of the President of the United States. You know what would be cooler? If he started winning more games. The Beavers are 61–70 overall and 27–45 in the Pac-12 with three trips to the College Basketball Invitational postseason tournament under Robinson. There is no doubt OSU has improved — the school won a total of 16 league games in the four years prior to Robinson’s arrival — but he will expected to make the NCAA Tournament some time in the next few seasons.

Herb Sendek, Arizona State
Sendek had seemingly turned the corner at Arizona State, with three straight 20-win seasons (including two straight winning Pac-10 seasons) from ’07-08 through ’09-10, but the Sun Devils are a combined 22–40 overall and 10–26 in the Pac-12 over the last two years. And things don’t appear to getting better any time soon. Sendek will have a tough time surviving another bad season in Tempe.

Tubby Smith, Minnesota
Smith is one of the most respected coaches in the nation, but his tenure at Minnesota has been a disappointment. The Gophers have a 38–49 record in the Big Ten in his five seasons, highlighted by back-to-back 9–9 records in ’08-09 and ’09-10. Smith has had to deal with some significant personnel issues (Royce White got into legal trouble and ended up starring at Iowa State) and injuries (Trevor Mbakwe tore his ACL last season), but he wasn’t hired to be a .500 (at best) coach in the Big Ten.

@AthlonSports

 

More previews for the 2012-13 season can be found in the Athlon Sports College Basketball annual available in the online store.

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky

4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> 2012-13 College Basketball Preview: 10 Coaches on the Hot Seat</p>
Post date: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 07:09
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-preview-impact-transfers-2012-13
Body:
The full list of the top 40 transfers can be found in the Athlon Sports 2012-13 College Basketball annual available in the online store.

College basketball transfers are flying through the sport at an unprecedented pace these days. Hundreds of players have changed schools in the last two seasons to become eligible in 2012-13.

The landscape could be a boon both for teams looking to fill a void on their rosters as well as players looking to find the best fit.

The group of players transferring from one program to another is indeed diverse -- McDonald's All-Americans, top-100 recruits, part-timers ready for bigger roles, small conference stars testing their mettle in major conferences.

Whittling down the pool of transfers eligible for the upcoming season to those that will make the most impact on 2012-13 is quite the undertaking.

From the players transferring from one power team to another, the teams depending on two or more transfers, and the rare players transferring form a low-major program to a power conference, here's our look at the transfer scene in college basketball.

Related content: Top 10 Freshmen for 2012-13

10 KEY TRANSFERS
Rotnei Clarke, G, Arkansas to Butler

One of the elite shooters in college basketball during his time at Arkansas, Clarke take on a leading role with the Bulldogs. He averaged 15.2 points while shooting 43.8 percent from the arc two years ago. Butler’s biggest deficiency last season was the outside shot as the Bulldogs shot only 28 percent from beyond the arc.

Larry Drew II, G, North Carolina to UCLA
Drew left North Carolina 21 games into his junior season when Kendall Marshall took over as the primary point guard. He was oft-criticized by Tar Heels fans, but Drew averaged 8.5 points and 5.9 assists in his last full season at North Carolina. Freshman Ryan Anderson may be the Bruins primary ball-handler, but he and Drew could share time on the court.

Luke Hancock, F, George Mason to Louisville
Hancock gives the talented Cardinals another weapon on the wing. The Virginia native averaged 10.9 points and 4.3 assists for George Mason in ’10-11 and scored 18 points in the Colonials win over Villanova in the Rounds of 68 of the NCAA Tournament.

Colton Iverson, C, Minnesota to Colorado State
Iverson didn’t score a lot during his three years at Minnesota — he averaged 5.4, 5.0 and 5.4 points per game — but he is a decent rebounder and has a high basketball IQ. Iverson joins core of four returning starters with hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament in the first season under Larry Eustachy.

Sidiki Johnson, F, Arizona to Providence
A top-100 in the Class of 2011, Johnson left Arizona after one semester. He is a 6-9 power forward who will give Providence an active body on the frontline. Providence needs Johnson to contribute right away, but the Friars will have to wait until December for the sophomore to be eligible.

Wally Judge, F, Kansas State to Rutgers
The one-time McDonald’s All-American will start immediately, and his 6-9, 250-pound frame will help offset the loss of Gilvydas Biruta, who transferred to Rhode Island. Judge averaged 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds as a sophomore at Kansas State.

Keala King, G, Arizona State to Long Beach State
King, a former top-50 national recruit, bolted Arizona State 13 games into his sophomore season. The 6-4 point guard as averaged 13.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists at the time. He will be eligible at the end of the first semester for a Long Beach State club expected to repeat in the Big West.

Trent Lockett, G, Arizona State to Marquette
Lockett is a graduate transfer who will be a big part of the Golden Eagles’ attack from Day One. He averaged 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last season at Arizona State while hitting 41.2 percent from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles have high hopes Lockett will fill some of the scoring void left by Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom.

Mark Lyons, G, Xavier to Arizona
Lyons, a senior, will step in and take over at the point for the talented but young Wildcats. He averaged 15.1 points and shot 39.2 percent as a running mate to Tu Holloway at Xavier last season. On a team expecting freshmen to be major contributors, Lyons’ experience on three Sweet 16 teams will be invaluable. Current Arizona coach Sean Miller recruited Lyons to Xavier.

Amath M’Baye, F, Wyoming to Oklahoma
The Sooners’ best player last season may have been on the practice squad. M’Baye, a native of France, averaged 12.0 points and 5.7 rebounds as a sophomore at Wyoming in 2010-11. He is expected to be a big part of the Sooners’ attack this season.

SIX TEAMS DEPENDING ON TRANSFERS
Some teams hope to benefit more from incoming transfers than others. For these six teams, two more transfers will play a major role in their bids for the NCAA Tournament or more.

IOWA STATE
G/F Will Clyburn (from Michigan State), G Korie Lucious (from Utah)

Clyburn, a former junior college transfer, averaged 17.1 points and 7.8 boards while shooting 40.3 percent from 3-point range in his only season at Utah. He will be asked to take on big role for an Iowa State team that must replace Royce White. Lucious never scored a lot while playing on some talented Michigan State teams, but he is a true point guard who will be expected to start in his only season in Iowa City.

MISSOURI
G Keion Bell (from Pepperdine), G Jabari Brown (from Oregon), F Alex Oriakhi (from Connecticut), G Earnest Ross (from Auburn)

A high-volume shooter, Bell averaged 18.9 points as a junior for Pepperdine two years ago. He is a shooting guard who could find a significant role as a sixth man for a Missouri team that should contend for an SEC title. A former 5-star recruit, Brown left Oregon after only two games last season. He is a 6-4 shooting guard who can shoot from 3-point range and take the ball to the basket. Oriakhi was key contributor (9.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg) on the Huskies’ 2011 national title team, but his role diminished last season as a junior. Oriakhi will team with Laurence Bowers (who is back from injury) to give the Tigers a solid presence in the paint. A shooting guard with good size (6-5, 222), Ross led Auburn in scoring (13.1 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) two years ago. He shot under 40 percent overall and 33.3 percent from 3 with the Tigers, but he can be more selective now playing on a more talented team.

NORTHWESTERN
F Nikola Cerina (from TCU), F Jared Swopshire (from Louisville)

Cerina and Swopshire will be asked to contribute on a Northwestern front line that must replace All-Big Ten performer John Shurna. Cerina, a 6-9, 245-pound forward, averaged 5.4 points and 4.1 rebounds for TCU in ’10-11. Swopshire averaged 3.3 points for Louisville last season while slowed by injuries. In his last healthy season, Swopshire averaged 7.5 points and 6.1 rebounds in 2009-10 while averaging 25 minutes per game.

SAN DIEGO STATE
F James Johnson (Virginia), F JJ O’Brien (from Utah), F Dwayne Polee II (from St. John’s)

O’Brien and Polee will bolster the Aztecs’ frontcourt. O’Brien started 21 games two years ago as a freshman at Utah and averaged 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds. Polee averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 boards for the Red Storm. The addition of the 6-9, 248 pound James Johnson from Virginia will further bolster San Diego State’s size in the frontcourt.

SETON HALL
G/F Brian Oliver (from Georgia Tech), G Kyle Smith (from Iona), C Gene Teague (from Southern Illinois)

Oliver was billed as a top-level shooter, but he shot a disappointing 33.9 percent from 3 in two seasons at Georgia Tech. Two years ago, as a sophomore, he averaged 10.5 points per game. He likely will start for Seton Hall. The 6-9, 290-pound Teague is a space-eater in the paint who averaged 8.6 points and 5.3 rebounds while shooting 60.6 percent from the field as a sophomore at Southern Illinois. Smith is a 3-point is a 3-point shooting specialist from Iona.

UNLV
F Khem Birch (from Pittsburgh), G Bryce Dejean-Jones (from UCLA)

A top-10 national recruit, Birch lasted only one semester at Pittsburgh. He didn’t contribute much during his stay with the Panthers (4.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg), but he is an elite talent who will be a factor for the Runnin’ Rebels. A 6-5 shooting guard from Southern California, Dejean-Jones will have an opportunity to play a major role on a loaded UNLV team. Dejean-Jones averaged 7.6 points with the Trojans as a freshman in 2010-11. His arrival, however, will be delayed  by broken hand sustained earlier this month.

WEST VIRGINIA
G Matt Humphrey (from Boston College), C Aaric Murray (from La Salle), G Juwan Staten (from Dayton)

Both Murray and Staten were considered recruiting coups for the Atlantic 10 team that signed them. Alas, neither led their respective teams to the NCAA Tournament and instead transferred to West Virginia. Murray is a seasoned big man who averaged 15.2 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks as a sophomore at La Salle. He has the size (6-10, 240) to be major factor in the paint but can also step out and knock down jump shots. Ranked among the top-40 recruits in the Class of 2011, Staten lasted only one season at Dayton, where he averaged 8.5 points and 5.4 assists. He will start at the point for West Virginia. Humphrey will conclude his career in the Big 12 after spending two seasons in the Pac-10 (Oregon) and one in the ACC (Boston College). He averaged 10.3 points per game last season for the Eagles.

SEVEN LOW-MAJOR TO HIGH-MAJOR TRANSFERS
Most transfers occur with players moving from a high-major to a mid-major or low-major. A handful of players are expected to make an impact despite moving from a lower level to a major conference.

Glen Dean, G, Eastern Washington to Utah
The Big Sky Freshman of the Year in 2009-10, Dean twice led Eastern Washington in scoring and assists and also shot over 40 percent from the 3-point arc in both seasons. He will start at the point and could team with another Seattle native — Aaron Dotson from LSU — in all-transfer backcourt.

R.J. Evans, G, Holy Cross to Connecticut
A graduate transfer who will have one season of eligibility, Evans will give a UConn team in transition some veteran leadership. He averaged 11.5 points as a junior for Holy Cross.

Evan Gordon, G, Liberty to Arizona State
The younger brother of standout NBA guard Eric Gordon will bring some much-needed offensive punch to an Arizona State team that is need of some scorers. Gordon averaged 14.4 points as a sophomore at Liberty but shot only 38.8 percent from the field.

Julius Mays, G, Wright State to Kentucky
The well-traveled Mays will end his career at Kentucky after stops at NC State and Wright State. He averaged 14.1 points last season while shooting over 40 percent from 3. He’s a combo guard who likely will see minutes both at the point and at shooting guard.  

Isaiah Philmore, F, Towson to Xavier
Philmore didn’t win a lot of games at Towson — the Tigers went 4–26 in ’10-11 — but the 6-8, 230-pound forward put up solid numbers (15.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg). He will battle for a starting spot on a front line that must replace Kenny Frease and Andre Walker.

Eric Wise, F, UC Irvine to USC
A small forward with good size (6-6, 240), Wise averaged 16.3 points and 8.1 rebounds in his final season at UC Irvine. He will contend for a starting spot on a much-improved Trojan team.

Trey Zeigler, G, Central Michigan to Pittsburgh
A former top-75 national recruit, Zeigler signed with Central Michigan to play for his father, Ernie Zeigler. Dad got fired, so the son bolted for the greener pastures of Pittsburgh, where he will be eligible immediately. The shooting guard averaged 15.6 points and 6.7 boards for the Chippewas last season.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky

4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Preview: Impact transfers for 2012-13</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 05:53
Path: /college-football/big-east-2012-second-half-predictions-and-midseason-review
Body:

At the midpoint of the 2012 season, it's time to take a look at the first half and predict how the second half will turn out in the Big East.

First-Half Awards

Coach of the Year – Kyle Flood, Rutgers
Hired after Greg Schiano unexpectedly left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job and after FIU coach Mario Cristobal turned down the job, Kyle Flood has defied expectations since Day One. The long-time assistant added to the Big East’s best signing class in the days after his Jan. 30 hire and topped that with the Scarlet Knights’ best start since 2006. The quarterback situation and the offensive line are as stable as they’ve been in three seasons, and the defense hasn’t missed Schiano’s touch at all. Now, Flood has Rutgers in contention to do what Schiano couldn’t in 11 seasons — win a Big East title.

Freshman of the Year – Nate D. Smith, LB, Temple
It’s tempting to pick Pittsburgh running back Rushel Shell, but nearly half of his production occurred in a single game (157 yards against Virginia Tech). The brother of Philadelphia Eagles tight end L.J. Smith, Nate D. Smith is making his own mark at Lincoln Financial Field. The Owls starting middle linebacker is third in the Big East in tackles and has come up big in Temple’s 2-0 start in Big East play with 22 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss against USF and Connecticut.

Newcomer of the Year - R.J. Dill, OT, Rutgers
Again, it’s tempting to opt for a running back. In this case, the nod goes to Dill over Temple’s Montel Harris. A two-year project to repair the Rutgers offensive line has culminated at the halfway point thanks in part to Dill, a transfer from Maryland, locking down the right tackle spot. Rutgers has allowed only three sacks this season after allowing 30 all of last year. The line has also paved the way to Jawan Jamison topping 100 yards in all but one game this season.

Offensive Player of the Year – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The sophomore started the season on a tear by completing 75 of 94 passes for 870 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in his first three games. After a couple of challenging games, including one in a downpour in Southern Miss, Bridgewater bounced back with a 17-of-27 performance for 304 yards and a TD against Pittsburgh. Rutgers’ Gary Nova and Cincinnati’s Munchie Legaux are off to good starts, but no Big East coach is a confident in his quarterback situation as Charlie Strong is with Bridgewater.

Defensive Player of the Year – Khaseem Greene, LB, Rutgers
The best defensive player in the Big East the last two seasons had the best game of his career against Syracuse with 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles last week. The game added to his tally of 63 tackles (second in the Big East), 5.1 tackles for a loss, two picks, four pass breakups and four forced fumbles.

Midseason Disappointment (Team) – USF
  The Bulls’ fourth quarter misfortune from last season carried over into 2012 with the exception of a comeback win over Nevada, the Bulls’ only win over an FBS foe this season. USF is riding a four-game losing streak, including losses to Ball State and Temple. If the losing streak increases to five in a row, USF will have its longest losing streak in program history. And with a road trip against Louisville coming up, it would be a major upset for the streak to end. The Bulls have a fourth-year starting quarterback and some of the best talent on defense in the league, making the 2-4 start that much more baffling. A 1-8 record in the Big East since last season has put Skip Holtz’s job security in question.

Midseason Disappointment (Player) – USF defense
Quarterback B.J. Daniels hasn’t progressed as much as USF would have liked, but the criticism shouldn’t be all on his shoulders. The title for biggest disappointment has to go to an entire side of the ball. The Bulls defense gave up 28 points in the second half against Temple and 21 in the second half against Ball State, both thanks to long sustained drives. USF is last in the Big East in rush defense and scoring defense and seventh in total defense. Moreover, USF is the only team in the country that hasn’t intercepted a pass. For a team with talented veterans like DeDe Lattimore, Sam Barrington and Kayvon Webster, those numbers are unacceptable.

Midseason Surprise (Team) – Cincinnati
Picked fifth in the Athlon preseason rankings, Cincinnati has ended up among the league’s top three contenders with Louisville and Rutgers. The Bearcats set the tone early with a 34-10 win over PIttsburgh in the season opener and then followed it with a 27-24 win over Virginia Tech three weeks later. The offense has been explosive at times, and the defense has held its own. The next step will be to get into a routine over the final half of the season after an odd first-half schedule that included two off weeks and two FCS opponents.

Midseason Surprise (Player) – Gary Nova, Rutgers
Rutgers’ revolving door at quarterback has been one of the most pressing questions in Piscataway the last four seasons. After splitting starts with Chas Dodd last season, Nova took hold of the job in the preseason and hasn’t let go. He was shaky in the first two games of the season, but since then, he’s completed 63 percent of his passes for 938 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in the last four games. The defense and the run game remain the backbone for Rutgers, but quarterback is no longer a liability thanks to Nova.

What Athlon Sports got right – Louisville atop the conference, for now.
Picking the Cardinals No. 1 in the Big East was near-unanimous among the Athlon staff, though there was a strong contingent for Rutgers as well. The Cardinals are 6-0 and passed their lone Big East test against Pittsburgh last week. They also remain the highest ranked team in the league at No. 16, though that may be more a factor the Cardinals starting higher than Rutgers or Cincinnati. Whether Louisville lives up to its status as preseason favorite remains to be seen, but either way the Cardinals have more company atop the league than Athlon envisioned.

What Athlon Sports got wrong – Temple finishing in last place
The Athlon staff thought USF’s fourth-quarter struggles were a result of bad luck, and that Paul Chryst would bring instant stability to PIttsburgh. Both turned out to be wrong, but Athlon’s pick for Temple in last place may be the biggest misstep. Despite returning only two offensive starters and five on defense, Temple is 2-0 in the Big East in its first season back in the league since 2004. The back-to-back wins over USF and Connecticut are the first consecutive Big East wins in program history.

Second-Half Projections

1. Louisville
2. Rutgers
3. Cincinnati
4. Pittsburgh
5. Syracuse
6. Temple
7. Connecticut
8. USF

Three Things to Watch

Are Louisville and Rutgers aiming for another undefeated matchup? Rutgers’ 28-24 upset of Louisville on a Thursday night in November 2006 remains one of the signature moments in Big East history as both entered the game undefeated. Six seasons later, the two programs could be on a similar collision course, this time in the regular season finale -- again on a Thursday night in November. It would be a spotlight moment for a conference in need of a nationally relevant football game between two ranked teams late in the season. That said, Cincinnati will look to upset that goal for both teams.

Is Munchie Legaux ready to lead Cincinnati to a Big East title? We love the name. We love the hair. We love the talent. But Legaux’s consistency may be they key to Cincinnati’s ability to contend for a conference championship. Legaux is completing fewer than half his pass attempts against FBS competition, though he’s accounted for seven touchdowns and one interception.

Will anyone escape the mess at the bottom of the Big East? Connecticut, USF and Pittsburgh are a combined 0-7 in the Big East. Those three plus Syracuse already have four losses. If the trend continues, the Big East will fail to fill its six bowl slots, not including its agreement with the Liberty Bowl. UConn, USF and Syracuse all have to play two of the Big East’s top three (Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers) in the second half of the season. Pitt has only of the top three remaining (Rutgers), but faces Notre Dame on the road.

Three Games to Watch in the Second Half

1. Rutgers at Cincinnati, Nov. 17 - The first in a three-team round robin that may decide the league pits Munchie Legaux and George Winn against the salty Rutgers defense.

2. Cincinnati at Louisville, Nov. 26 - Cincinnati has claimed the last four games for The Keg of Nails.

3. Louisville at Rutgers, Nov. 29 - The stakes could be two 11-0 teams playing the Big East title.

Post-Week 7 Power Rankings

1. Louisville (6-0, 1-0) - The Cardinals started to put Pittsburgh away in the second half, but the Panthers tacked on two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Should Charlie Strong be worried?

2. Rutgers (6-0, 3-0) - Rutgers and Alabama are the only teams in the country that have not allowed an opponent to run for 100 yards in a game this season.

3. Cincinnati (5-0, 1-0) - The Bearcats visit Toledo this week before playing their first Big East game since the opener. The return to Big East play will be interesting: At Louisville on a Friday night.

4. Temple (3-2, 2-0) - The Owls spotted Connecticut a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but crawled back to win 17-14 in overtime.

5. Syracuse (2-4, 1-1) - The Orange have managed four offensive touchdowns in its last three games against Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Rutgers.

6. Pittsburgh (2-4, 0-3) - Pitt is making progress on offense, but the Panthers probably couldn’t afford losses to Youngstown State and Syracuse if it wanted to reach a bowl game.

7. Connecticut (2-4, 0-2) - An inept offense is spoiling the effort of a top-flight defense. The Huskies rank sixth nationally in total defense, 107th in total offense.

8. USF (2-4, 0-2) - Will any soul searching over the off week help the Bulls pull out of their two-year funk? Louisville will be tough next week, but following two games against Syracuse and Connecticut in Tampa are winnable, right?

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> Big East 2012 Second-Half Predictions and Midseason Review</p>
Post date: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 06:10
Path: /college-basketball/2012-13-college-basketball-preview-top-freshmen
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Visit the online store for UCLA and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

Led by Anthony Davis, Marcus Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague,  Kentucky ended the notion that freshman-laden teams couldn’t win a national championship.

Granted, the group in Kentucky was one of the best rookie classes in college basketball history with David and Kidd-Gilchrist being selected Nos. 1 and 2 in the NBA Draft. There likely won’t be a class that strong in the country this season, but plenty of prominent programs are counting on freshmen to rebuild or reload.

Of course, John Calipari has another star-studded class coming to Kentucky, led by Nerlens Noel. On the other side of the country, UCLA is counting on Shabazz Muhammad and Ryan Anderson to 1.) pass NCAA eligibility standards and 2.) lead the Bruins back to national prominence.

And at Indiana, the addition of Cody Zeller as a freshman last season was only the start. The Athlon preseason No. 1 team added Yogi Ferrell, listed below, to a veteran mix ready to contend for a national title.

Here’s a look at the top 10 freshmen who could shape the national and conference landscapes:

TOP 10 IMPACT FRESHMEN FOR 2012-13
Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
The highest-rated recruit ever to sign with Pittsburgh, Adams will be asked to be a factor on both ends of the court for the Panthers. The native of New Zealand is still relatively new to the game, so there might be some growing pains early in the season, but he has the size (7-0, 210) and athleticism to be a dominant big man in the Big East.

Kyle Anderson, F, UCLA
Anderson will team with guard Shabazz Muhammad to give Ben Howland two of the elite freshmen in the nation. Anderson, who played for legendary prep coach Bob Hurley at St. Anthony (N.J.) High School, is a swingman who boasts a true inside-outside game. Anderson can knock down the perimeter jump shot but is at his best when taking the ball to the basket.

Related: Arrival of Muhammad, Anderson leads makeover at UCLA

Brandon Ashley, F, Arizona
Fellow Arizona freshman big man Kaleb Tarczewski received more hype through the recruiting process, but don’t be surprised if Ashley makes a bigger impact this season for the Wildcats. At 6-8, 230 pounds, Ashley can play both forward spots, though he likely will see most of his minutes at the 3. He should be one of the most productive players in the Pac-12.

Isaiah Austin, C, Baylor
The 7-footer from Arlington, Texas, will be one of the best big men in the Big 12 in ’12-13. His game has few weaknesses, if any. He has the skills to play on the wing but has the size to be a dominant player around the basket — both offensively and defensively. It will be a surprise if he doesn’t average a double-double for a Baylor team that had three frontcourt players taken in the first 38 picks of the 2012 NBA Draft.

Yogi Ferrell, G, Indiana
Ferrell is a true point guard who will be a great facilitator on an Indiana team loaded with weapons. The Indiana native has range out to 3-point line, but don’t expect him to be a high-volume shooter. His job will be to penetrate the defense and find the open man. Big man Cody Zeller will be the biggest beneficiary of Ferrell’s arrival in Bloomington.

Gary Harris, G, Michigan State
Harris is a shooting guard from Indiana who does just about everything well on the court. He isn’t an elite outside shooter, but he is a threat from behind the arc. Harris will thrive on the defensive end for Tom Izzo’s club right away.

Shabazz Muhammad, G, UCLA
UCLA managed to keep Muhammad, the No. 1 player in the class according to some, away from the likes of Kentucky and Duke. The left-handed swingman is adept at getting to the rim and scoring in traffic, and he shines on the defensive end. This was a huge get for Ben Howland, who is trying to return UCLA to elite status on the national scene.

Nerlens Noel, C, Kentucky
Noel will replace Anthony Davis as the shot-blocking machine on the back end of the Kentucky defense. His offensive game is still a work in progress, but he will get his share of points on dunks and put-backs. His decision to sign with UK over Georgetown instantly made the Wildcats a threat to repeat as national champs.

Marcus Paige, G, North Carolina
Paige will have an opportunity to slide into the starting point guard spot vacated by Kendall Marshall. A 6-1 lefthander, Paige averaged 28.4 points per game as a senior at Linn-Mar (Iowa) High School and played in the McDonald’s All-American Game. He suffered a stress fracture in his left foot in the spring but is expected to be 100 percent by the time practice starts.

Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford signed an elite talent from Texas for the second straight season. Smart will join forward LeBryan Nash, a rising sophomore, to give the Pokes two of the top players in the Big 12. Smart is a combo guard who is regarded as a tremendous leader. Opposing coaches have raved about Smart.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
1. Indiana
2. Louisville

3. Kentucky
4. Kansas
5. Syracuse
6. Michigan
7. Arizona
8. Ohio State
9. Duke
10. Michigan State
11. NC State
12. UCLA
13. UNLV
14. North Carolina
15. San Diego State
16. Missouri
17. Baylor
18. Memphis
19. Notre Dame
20. Florida

Teaser:
<p> 2012-13 College Basketball Preview: Top Transfers</p>
Post date: Monday, October 15, 2012 - 05:59
Path: /college-football/college-football-bcs-analysis-post-week-7
Body:

The first BCS standings for 2012 began where they ended in 2011 -- with an all-SEC title game scenario.

A near-unanimous No. 1 in the coaches’ and Harris polls, Alabama began in the BCS standings in the top spot. But the surprise was at No. 2.

Propelled by a No. 1 average in the computer polls, Florida opened the BCS standings at No. 2 ahead of Oregon. The Ducks were No. 2 in both human polls, but ranked sixth in the computer component.

Florida’s spot at No. 2 was a surprise, but yet another sign of the SEC’s dominance of the BCS rankings. Six SEC teams were in the top six -- Alabama, Florida, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 11 Georgia, No. 12 Mississippi State).

The Gators’ rank was only part of the story in the disparity between the two human polls, which each count as one-third of the BCS formula, and the average of the six computer rankings. With a limited sample size, the computers are expected to digress from the human polls at this stage of the season.

Here are a few observations from the first release of the BCS standings:

BCS Standings: Oct. 14

Coaches Poll Harris Poll

Computer
 Avg.

1. Alabama 1 1 3
2. Florida 4 3 1
3. Oregon 2 2 6
4. Kansas State 3 4 4
5. Notre Dame 5 5 2
6. LSU 6 6 9
7. South Carolina 8 7 7
8. Oregon State 11 10 5
9. Oklahoma 7 9 10
10. USC 9 11 15
11. Georgia 12 12 17
12. Mississippi St 16 14 T-12
13. West Virginia 15 15 T-12
14. Florida State 10 8 28
15. Rutgers 17 17 11
16. Louisville 14 16 19

The computers love Florida. With road wins over Texas A&M, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, plus the win over LSU, the Gators were the No. 1 team in the computer average. Only the Richard Billingsley computer had Florida outside of the top two at No. 5. Florida ranked third in the Harris poll and fourth in the coaches poll. Florida will face three more BCS top-15 teams (South Carolina, Georgia and Florida State) during the regular season.

The computers also love Notre Dame. All six BCS computers had Notre Dame in the top four, resulting in the Irish’s computer rank averaging to No. 2. Notre Dame ranked fifth in both human polls. This sets up a huge game with BCS implications with No. 9 Oklahoma on Oct. 27. A win over Oklahoma may all but clinch a BCS berth for Notre Dame. A win over Notre Dame may be the Sooners back into the title picture.

Seeing a trend? Road wins against big teams matter. Oregon State barely cracked the top 10 in the human polls, but the Beavers are fifth in the computers thanks to road wins over UCLA, Arizona and BYU.

Oregon needs to make up ground... and it can. And the Ducks will have ample opportunity to do so. Despite being No. 2 in both human polls, the Ducks were ranked sixth or lower in five of the six computers. Four home games and none against BCS top 25 teams hammered Oregon in the schedule strength department, but the Ducks face three BCS top-25 teams in November (USC, Stanford, Oregon State).

Alabama has a commanding presence at No. 1. The Crimson Tide have a BCS average of 0.9761 compared to 0.9092 for Florida. The difference between Alabama and Florida is more than the difference between the No. 2 Gators and No. 5 Notre Dame. All 59 voters in the coaches’ poll and 110 of 115 voters in the Harris poll voted Alabama No. 1 on their ballots.

The non-AQ teams picked a bad year to have a down season. The Big Ten is absent from the first BCS standings. Normally, this news would be a boon to BCS busters. A champion of a non-automatic qualifying conference finishing in the top 16 would receive an automatic BCS bid. (Otherwise, a non-AQ champ has to finish in the top 12). Right now, that rule would not be in effect. Ohio is the only remaining undefeated team in the non-AQ conferences, but the Bobcats are absent from the BCS top 25. Instead, this may be better news for one-loss Boise State, ranked 22nd in the BCS. The Broncos would need to move up six slots to capture an automatic bid as long as the Broncos are ranked ahead of the Big Ten (or ACC, or Big East) champion. Ranked seventh the Associated Press poll, Ohio State is ineligible for the BCS standings.


Notes on BCS selection:
Automatic BCS bids go to the top two for the title game, the champions of the ACC (Orange Bowl), Big 12 (Fiesta), Big Ten (Rose), Pac-12 (Rose) and SEC (Sugar). The Big East’s automatic bid is not tied to a particular bowl.

Notre Dame receives an automatic bid if it finishes in the top eight.

A champion from a non-automatic qualifying league (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, WAC and non-Notre Dame independents) receive an automatic bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the standings or if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from a non-AQ conference.

To be eligible for an at-large BCS bid, a team must have nine or more wins and finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings.

Once automatic tie-ins are placed, the selection order for BCS bids goes as follows: 1. The bowl losing the BCS No. 1 team to the championship game, 2. The bowl losing the BCS No. 2 team, 3. The Fiesta Bowl, 4. The Sugar, 5. The Orange.

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Related College Football Content
Week 7 Recap: Notre Dame, Texas Tech make defensive statements
Who votes in the Harris Poll?

Teaser:
<p> College Football: BCS Analysis Post-Week 7</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 19:51
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-7-recap-notre-dame-stops-stanford-aggies-manziel-shines
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The 24 hours before the first BCS standings of 2012 gave voters -- and computers -- plenty to consider.

Teams like Alabama and Oregon may be secure at the top of the polls, but other spots may be a mystery. LSU upended South Carolina’s dominance in another night game win in Baton Rouge. Against Texas, Oklahoma looked like a title contender, despite a loss to Kansas State on its resume. And Notre Dame, despite its juggling act at quarterback, may have the best defense North of Tuscaloosa, perhaps with the help of some beneficial officiating.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 7 RECAP: THREE AND OUT

MOVING THE CHAINS
Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57.
Good things come to those who stay up until 1 a.m. Eastern to watch college football. The late-night college football crowd watched one of the games of the year so far when Louisiana Tech overcame a 27-0 deficit to come within a fade pass into the end zone to force overtime against Texas A&M. The wild game included a 23-point second half comeback, 40-point fourth quarter, record-breaking heroics by Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and 21-catch performance from Louisiana Tech receiver Quinton Patton. Louisiana Tech never led but scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes to keep the pressure on Texas A&M. And even in shootout, the little things matter -- Louisiana Tech had an extra point blocked in the second quarter, returned for two points for the Aggies.

Texas Tech’s pass defense. The aura of invincibility around the West Virginia came to a convincing end in Lubbock. After a setback against Oklahoma, the Texas Tech defense kept the pressure on Geno Smith like no defense has so far this season. The West Virginia quarterback was 29 of 55 for a season-low 275 yards with a touchdown. One of the worst pass defenses a year ago, Texas Tech held West Virginia to 5 yards per pass attempt, compared to the Mountaineers’ 9.4 yards per attempt entering the game. New defensive coordinator Art Kaufman, a former North Carolina assistant, has been the best assistant coach hire of the offseason.

Notre Dame in the clutch. A disputed call may have been the difference in the win over Stanford, but the Notre Dame defense again stifled a quality opponent in crunch time in the 20-13 win over Stanford. The Cardinal advanced to first and goal from the four, but Notre Dame held Stepfan Taylor to 3 yards on four consecutive carries, the last of which was ruled a stop before the end zone. Almost as important, Notre Dame clamped down on a Stanford drive to the 5 to force a field goal. On the disputed play, Fox Sports’ officiating guru Mike Pereira Tweeted the following:



FALSE STARTS
Texas’ last two years against Oklahoma
Early in the first quarter, Texas defensive back Quandre Diggs returned Oklahoma’s blocked extra point for two. For most of the Red River Rivalry, that was pretty much all that went right for Texas. In the final minute of the first half, Oklahoma had run more plays (52) as Texas had gained yards (48) in the eventual 63-21 rout. The loss was embarrassing enough for Texas, but the trends may be even worse. Oklahoma has outscored the Longhorns 118-38 the last two seasons. The Sooners’ 118 points against Texas since 2011 is the most against the Longhorns in a two-year span in the series. By allowing 677 yards, Texas has allowed 450 yards in three consecutive games. The pressure is on defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and coach Mack Brown, who is now 5-9 against Bob Stoops.

South Carolina Just a week ago, South Carolina looked like a dominant title contender, and LSU looked like it was stumbling through the SEC season. Both were on hold in Baton Rouge. LSU’s defense held serve until the offense could catch up as South Carolina amassed only 211 yards. Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore, who was automatic for about 100 yards and a touchdown in every game this season, rushed for only 34 yards and a touchdown against LSU. The Gamecocks were a paltry 3 of 13 on third down (compared to 11 of 19 for LSU), leaving South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier as exasperated as he’s been all season. The loss may not necessarily knock South Carolina out of the BCS title race, but puts more pressure on the Gamecocks against Florida next week.

Louisiana Tech’s BCS hopes. The thrilling finish for Louisiana Tech against Texas A&M was probably a good thing in exposing Sonny Dykes’ program to the masses, but the loss likely costs Louisiana Tech a trip to the BCS. The Bulldogs already defeated Illinois and Virginia on the road, but needed the win against Texas A&M to secure a spot for BCS inclusion. Despite the bowl picture, going toe to toe with Texas A&M in front of a late-night national crowd gave the program the most exposure it has seen in years. In related news, Ohio remains the only undefeated team in the BCS non-automatic qualifying leagues.

HEISMAN MOVERS
Collin Klein, Kansas State.
In typical fashion, Klein didn’t have the Heisman-capturing deep pass play or long run, but he did what he always does, grinding out yards and picking up third downs. Klein was 16 of 24 for 187 yards and rushed for 105 yards with three touchdowns to set up a key game against West Virginia and Geno Smith next week.

Geno Smith, West Virginia. Whether the windy conditions in Lubbock affected him (as coach Dana Holgorsen said) or not (as Smith contended), the Mountaineers quarterback had his worst game of the season. Smith still finished with a stat line most quarterbacks would love -- 29 of 55 for 275 yards with a touchdown. Smith remained an overwhelming favorite for player of the year entering the week, one bad performance may not derail his ability to win the Heisman. But it cracked open the door for others.

Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M. A freshman on a freshman team in the SEC has the top two single-game totals for total offense with 576 yards against Louisiana Tech and 557 yards against Arkansas, beating out records from Ole Miss’ Archie Manning and LSU’s Rohan Davey. No freshman has ever won the Heisman, but Manziel could make a case for votes -- prolific numbers for a winning team and making key plays (a 72-yard run in the fourth quarter that turned out to be the winning score.). He’s a Heisman moment waiting to happen on every play.

STAT WATCH
72.
With three touchdowns agains Purdue this week and 72 in his career, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball broke Ron Dayne’s Big Ten record of 71 career touchdowns. Ball isn’t going to be a Heisman finalist again, but he has returned to his 2011 form. Ball rushed for a career-high 247 yards in the 38-14 win over the Boilermakers, giving him seven touchdowns in three Big Ten games.

20. With four touchdowns on 11 carries against Texas, Oklahoma backup quarterback Blake Bell has 20 rushing touchdowns on 72 career carries. That gives “The Belldozer” a touchdown every 3.6 plays. By comparison, Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas averages a touchdown every eight plays. Granted, Thomas’s touches aren’t confined to goal line.

2.Through the midway point of the season, only two teams have not allowed an opponent to rush for 100 yards in a game. One is Alabama, which held Missouri to three rushing yards in a 42-10 win Saturday. The other is Rutgers, which limited Syracuse to 62 yards in a 23-15 win. Not surprisingly, both are 6-0.

 

SCORES THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘HUH?’
Oklahoma State 20, Kansas 14
Ohio State 52, Indiana 49
Texas State 38, Idaho 7
THREE SURPRISING 5-1 TEAMS
Arizona State
Kent State
Western Kentucky
THREE SURPRISING TEAMS UNDEFEATED IN CONFERENCE
Iowa (2-0 Big Ten)
Maryland (2-0 ACC)
Temple (2-0 Big East)

BURIED ON THE DEPTH CHART
Giovani Bernard’s hot streak. North Carolina can’t play in a bowl, but running back Giovani Bernard is a worthy candidate for postseason awards. Bernard rushed for 177 yards in an 18-14 win over Miami to give him 439 rushing yards the last two weeks against Virginia Tech and the Hurricanes. North Carolina is 5-0 when he plays and 0-2 when he doesn’t.

No panic at TCU. A week after TCU lost 37-23 to Iowa State days after quarterback Casey Pachall left the team, the Horned Frogs regrouped against Baylor. Redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin was stellar in his second start, finishing 22 of 30 for 261 yards with four touchdowns to go with 56 rushing yards and a score against a struggling Baylor defense. More impressive was an offense that forced six turnovers (four interceptions from four players and two recovered fumbles).

Tulane ends losing streak. The Green Wave ended the nation’s longest losing streak with a 27-26 win over SMU, snapping a 15-loss skid. With Army, Idaho and Memphis all ending eight-game losing streaks last week, the nation’s longest winless streak now belongs to Eastern Michigan. The Eagles put up a fight Saturday, but lost 52-47 to Toledo to extend their losing streak to eight games.

THREE KEY WEST COAST DEVELOPMENTS
USC’s pass game falls flat.
Matt Barkley and his receivers may still be the strength for the Trojans, but they haven’t been overwhelming since this first two weeks of the season. Against Washington, Barkley was 10 of 20 for 167 yards, the third time USC has passed for fewer than 200 yards this year. Silas Redd, who wasn’t even a part of the team until weeks before the season, carried the offense with 155 yards and a touchdown. Not to be ignored: The USC defense recovered four turnovers and the special teams blocked a punt in a 24-14 win over the Huskies.

Oregon State survives without Sean Mannion. Oregon State scored more touchdowns against BYU (five) than the Cougars had allowed all season (four). And the Beavers did it with a backup quarterback making his first start. Cody Vaz was 20 of 32 for 332 yards with three touchdowns in a 42-24 win over BYU, proving he can win on the road just as well as injured starter Sean Mannion.

Boise State gets stronger each week.The Broncos are out of the spotlight thanks to a rebuilding season, but they still manage to impress. Boise State dominated both sides of the run game against a solid Fresno State team. Boise State’s D.J. Harper and and Jay Ajayi combined for 213 rushing yards while the defense held the Bulldogs to 56 yards. Meanwhile, Boise State shut out its opponent in the first half for the fourth consecutive game.

THREE BREAKOUT PERFORMANCES
Jeremy Hill, LSU.
Just what LSU was lacking: Another quality running back. That’s sarcasm, but where had Hill been this season? The freshman had three carries in the last three games, but emerged for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries against South Carolina.

Bo Wallace, Ole Miss. Four touchdowns in an SEC game have been tough to find for the Rebels over their 16-game conference losing skid. Wallace delivered one in style. The Ole Miss quarterback accounted for two touchdown runs, a touchdown pass and a touchdown catch in a 41-20 win over Auburn. It was Ole Miss’ first win over an SEC opponent since Sept. 25, 2010 against Kentucky.

J.C. Coleman, Virginia Tech. Have the Hokies finally found the answer to their stagnant run game? Coleman entered the game against Duke with 136 yards this season but responded with 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Duke. Virginia Tech had rushed for 136 yards a touchdown as a team in its two ACC games this season before Coleman’s breakout. The rookie from Chesapeake, Va., had touchdown runs of 45 and 86 yards against Duke.

DANG, THEY’RE GOOD
Alabama
Florida
Oklahoma
DANG THEY’RE BAD
Boston College
Kentucky
Texas
BEST GAMES NEXT WEEK
South Carolina at Florida
LSU at Texas A&M
Kansas State at West Virginia

THREE COMEBACKS
Virginia Tech 41, Duke 20.
For nearly a quarter, Duke looked prepared to make December plans not involving Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils jumped to a 20-0 lead on Virginia Tech in a dominating effort on both sides of the ball, including a interception returned for a touchdown off Logan Thomas. Duke’s long wait for a bowl eligibility will have to wait another week as the Hokies scored 41 unanswered points.

Temple 17, Connecticut 14 (OT). With its limitations in the passing game and an injured Matt Brown, Temple isn’t really built to stage a major comeback -- unless it has help. Connecticut obliged. The Huskies jumped to a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, but an inept offense and four missed field goals allowed Temple to crawl back -- and crawl the Owls did. Temple didn’t tie the game until the final 19 seconds and then clinched the 17-14 win with a field goal in overtime.

Nevada 42, UNLV 37. Without starting quarterback Cody Fajardo, Mountain West contender Nevada fell behind 31-14 at halftime to lowly UNLV. Nevada regrouped in the second half with both Stefphon Jefferson and backup quarterback Devin Combs topping 100 rushing yards.

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 7 Recap: Notre Dame stops Stanford, Aggies' Manziel shines</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 11:09
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-no-1-indiana-preview
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Visit the online store for Indiana and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 1 Indiana.

Less than one hour after the 2012 college basketball season ended, Indiana coach Tom Crean discovered the expectations his Hoosier program would face this season: IU was ranked No. 1 in the nation in a hastily released preseason poll.

This is why: Indiana returns four starters from a team that won 27 games, including three against top-5 opponents as well as two in the NCAA Tournament. Two of the returnees — Cody Zeller and Christian Watford — could have departed for the NBA. Add a five-player, top-10 recruiting class to a pair of experienced reserves.

Quite a change for a program that had only won 28 of 94 games the previous three seasons.

“When Coach Crean and I first got here, there’s no way we were even in the talk,” says Jordan Hulls, the team’s senior point guard. “Now it’s pretty special for us to be in that talk, but those polls don’t really mean anything until the end of the year.”

FRONTCOURT
Zeller, the team’s center, was billed as the recruit who made it cool to sign with Indiana again — and he justified the hype from the opening dribble. He led the Hoosiers in scoring and rebounding and tied for the team lead in steals, while giving Indiana its first legitimate low-post presence in four seasons.

Zeller would have been a top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft but said he wasn’t “ready to grow up.” Another summer in the weight room should make him capable of a double-double every night, and Crean wants Zeller to become a perimeter threat.

Watford’s 3-pointer at the buzzer to beat Kentucky was The Shot of the Year in college basketball, but more impressive was the way he finished the season. Watford averaged 16.7 points and 7.7 rebounds over IU’s final seven games, grabbing at least 10 rebounds three times.

Will Sheehey, hard-nosed and relentless, plays small forward. Sheehey needs to expand a solid mid-range game. Derek Elston, another senior, can play all three frontcourt spots, but is trying to improve his rebounding. Three freshmen — Hanner Mosquera-Perea, Jeremy Hollowell and Peter Jurkin — give Crean more depth than he’s ever enjoyed.

Related: Q and A with Indiana's Cody Zeller

BACKCOURT
No player appreciated Indiana’s turnaround more than Hulls, who grew up in Bloomington and suffered through two difficult seasons. His role changed last season as Victor Oladipo became more of a ball-handler who attacked high ball screens set by Zeller and Watford.

Oladipo is the team’s best athlete, capable of getting to the rim on anybody. He is also a ferocious defender.

As Oladipo evolved into a co-point guard, Hulls found ways to park himself on the wing and punish Big Ten opponents. He led the Hoosiers with 72 made 3-point field goals, making 49.3 percent of his attempts.

Crean believes Hulls can do better with the arrival of freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell, a McDonald’s all-American who led Park Tudor High School to back-to-back Indiana Class 2A state titles.

“Jordan stands to gain as much as anybody from having a group of freshmen coming in that can help impact the game athletically, especially with the way Yogi passes the ball,” Crean says. “The key will be, ‘Can the two of them play together defensively.’”

Sophomore Remy Abell looked like Indiana’s most improved player during the summer, but he must prove he can consistently make the 15-footer. Sheehey can play short stretches in the backcourt, too.

FINAL ANALYSIS
After several years of what the Indiana players called “getting punked” by stronger and deeper Big Ten programs, Indiana pushed back last season. This season the Hoosiers should do some of the punking.

Zeller is a National Player of the Year candidate, a big man who never stops running. Watford is a 6-9 forward who made nearly 44 percent of his 3-pointers — and showed the maturity to defend and rebound late in the season. Big Ten coaches will tell you that Oladipo and Sheehey, the team’s two juniors, changed the program’s mindset. Hulls, Mr. Hoosier, knows what a Final Four — or national title — would mean to Bloomington and the state. The freshmen are talented, but playing time won’t be available to rookies the way it has been the last four seasons.

“There’s not a sense that any complacency has crept it,” Crean says. “We don’t have any guys who feel they’ve arrived at any point.”

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

5. Syracuse

4. Kansas

3. Kentucky

2. Louisville

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 1 Indiana Preview</p>
Post date: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 06:45
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-no-2-louisville-preview
Body:
Visit the online store for Louisville and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 2 Louisville.

Last February nobody expected the University of Louisville to crash the Final Four, not after the Cardinals finished seventh in the Big East. Surprise, surprise. The Cardinals made it to New Orleans. Now many expect Rick Pitino’s team to make it back to the season’s final weekend.

A 31-point loss to Providence, a homecourt Senior Night loss to South Florida and a 49-point performance at Syracuse were all forgotten after Louisville won the Big East Tournament and backed it up by winning four NCAA Tournament games, including the West Regional final against Florida.

Most of the prime contributors return, led by Big East Tournament MVP Peyton Siva, the point guard, center Gorgui Dieng and powerful forward Chane Behanan. The Cardinals should also be healthier after losing four guys to injuries for at least 25 games.

FRONTCOURT
Dieng is the center Louisville recruited after Fab Melo shocked Pitino by signing with Syracuse three seasons ago. Dieng returns as the most complete big man in the Big East, a guy on the brink of averaging a double-double (9.1 ppg, 9.1 rpg in ’11-12). He also topped four blocked shots per game.

Behanan is a sophomore who finished last season like a senior, averaging 13.2 points and 8.0 rebounds in five NCAA Tournament games while making 60 percent of his shots. He should team with his best friend, fellow sophomore Wayne Blackshear, to give Pitino the inside-outside blend the coach loves. Blackshear battled through surgery to both shoulders to finish with gusto, scoring nine points in Louisville’s season-ending loss to Kentucky in the national semifinals.

Blackshear and junior Luke Hancock will form a hybrid combo on the wing — both are capable of playing either small forward or shooting guard. Pitino has called Hancock, who sat out last season after transferring from George Mason, the team’s best player. Hancock was named a co-captain in April.

There should be plenty of depth, as long as the Cardinals stay healthy. Pitino expects Zach Price, a sophomore center, to be one of the team’s most improved players. Stephan Van Treese reconsidered his decision to transfer and is back on the team. Freshman Montrezl Harrell, a superb athlete, was a late addition after originally signing with Virginia Tech.

BACKCOURT
For more than three months, Siva battled through a difficult season. He sprained his left ankle in November. It was slow to heal. He lost confidence in his jumper. Opponents started playing him exclusively to drive.

On the eve of the Big East Tournament, Pitino showed Siva video of how Steve Nash played the point guard position, preaching the value of not forcing plays. The message registered. Siva was great in the postseason, improving his shot selection and leadership skills.

Pitino has called Russ Smith, his other starting guard, a player unlike anybody he has coached at any of his four college stops. Smith led Louisville in field goal attempts last season, although he only made 35.6 percent of his shots. That’s usually a losing formula, but Pitino was OK with Smith forcing the action because of the Cards’ erratic offense. Smith needs to remain a creative shot-maker, but keep learning to share the ball.

Kevin Ware should be the first backcourt reserve, but he did not make a 3-point shot last season. Pitino believes sophomore Angel Nunez will become a dependable 3-point threat, but Nunez only played 55 minutes last season.

FINAL ANALYSIS
The Cardinal faithful grumbled louder than they had in years after Louisville lost three of its final four games to finish the regular season 22–9. Eight straight postseason victories silenced the complaints and positioned Pitino to win another Big East championship and plan for another big March.

Siva finally figured out how to play winning point guard. Dieng and Behanan understand the requirements of blue-collar Big East basketball as well as any pair of frontcourt players in the league.

Here are three factors that will decide if Louisville will reach its considerable potential — health (especially of Blackshear), 3-point shooting and the maturation of Smith.

Louisville needs Blackshear to become the guy who can make plays late in the shot clock. Departed seniors Kyle Kuric and Chris Smith made 143 of team’s 233 3-pointers last season. Somebody — Hancock and Blackshear — must fill that void. And Russ Smith can’t keep taking all his crazy shots.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

5. Syracuse

4. Kansas

3. Kentucky

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 2 Louisville Preview</p>
Post date: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 06:04
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The Heisman Trophy isn’t the only award worth watching on a weekly basis. The Lombardi, Outland, Davey O’Brien and Biletnikoff races are all worth watching and debating as the season goes along.

Throughout the season, we’ll keep an eye on all the prominent position trophies through college football in addition to the Heisman.

If you’re looking for our thoughts on that other trophy, check our weekly Heisman poll.

OFFENSIVE AWARDS
Davey O’Brien (Top quarterback)
Our leader: Geno Smith, West Virginia
The Heisman frontrunner answered his first road test by completing 25 of 35 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns against Texas. He lost two fumbles but he hasn’t thrown an interception in 260 consecutive pass attempts, dating to the last regular season game of 2011. The next challenge is completing back-to-back road trips to the state of Texas.
Others: USC’s Matt Barkley, Kansas State’s Collin Klein, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller

Doak Walker (Top running back)
Our leader: Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina
Lattimore has yet to carry South Carolina on his back, as he did at times during his first two seasons. The Gamecocks haven’t needed it. That said, Lattimore has scored a touchdown in every game this season. Against SEC opponents, he’s averaging 106 yards per game with seven touchdowns.
Others: Oregon’s Kenjon Barner, North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard, Florida’s Mike Gillislee, Kansas State’s John Hubert

Biletnikoff Award (Top wide receiver)
Our leader: Stedman Bailey, West Virginia
Teammate Tavon Austin, with his production in the return game and run game, is more versatile, but Bailey may be the better pure receiver. He has 49 catches for 710 yards with 13 touchdown catches. No one else in the country has more than eight touchdown catches -- and one of those two is Austin.
Others: West Virginia’s Tavon Austin, Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, USC’s Marqise Lee, Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Baylor’s Terrance Williams

Mackey Award (Top tight end)
Our leader: Zach Ertz, Stanford
Teammate Levine Toilolo had the more productive game in the shootout with Arizona last week, but Zach Ertz had a touchdown catch early and then came up with a key catch on fourth down and 9 to set up the game-tying touchdown late in regulation.
Others: Arizona State’s Chris Coyle, Oregon’s Colt Lyerla, Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Stanford’s Levine Toilolo

Outland Trophy (Top interior lineman)
Our leader: Barrett Jones, Alabama
The defending Outland Trophy winner returns from an open date to prepare for a unique scheme up front from Missouri. The Tigers are third nationally in tackles for a loss.
Others: North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper, Texas A&M’s Luke Joekel, Rutgers’ Kaleb Johnson, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, Florida State’s Bjoern Werner

Rimington Trophy (Top center)
Our leader: Alabama’s Jones
Others: Kansas State’s B.J. Finney, Clemson’s Dalton Freeman

 

 


DEFENSIVE AWARDS
Bednarik Award/Nagurski Award (Defensive Player of the Year)
Our leader: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
Te’o had 10 tackles and one pass breakup against a hot Miami offense to help Notre Dame extend its streak of 12 quarters without a touchdown. With 48 stops, Te’o has 20 more tackles than anyone else on the Irish roster.
Others: South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Utah's Star Lotulelei, Penn State's Michael Mauti

Lombardi Award (Top lineman or linebacker)
Our leader: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
Will there be a player to split the defensive player of the year vote with the frontrunner Te’o? Maybe it will be Clowney, who led a dominant effort up front against Georgia. The sophomore had two tackles for a loss against Georgia, giving up 11.5 for the season. Clowney has had a sack in five of six games this year.
Others: Oregon State’s Scott Chricton, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Utah’s Star Lotulelei, Texas A&M’s Damontre Moore, Ohio State’s John Simon, Notre Dame’s Stephon Tuitt, BYU’s Kyle Van Noy, Florida State’s Bjeorn Werner

Butkus Award (Top linebacker)
Our leader: Te’o, Notre Dame
Others: USC’s Dion Bailey, Kansas State’s Arthur Brown, Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene, Georgia’s Jarvis Jones, Iowa State’s Jake Knott, Penn State’s Michael Mauti, LSU’s Kevin Minter, Alabama’s C.J. Mosely

Thorpe Award (Top defensive back)
Our leader: Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
One of the nation’s most underrated defenders is finally starting to get his due. A lockdown cornerback, Poyer had three interceptions last week against Washington State. With four picks this season, he’s already matched his season total from a year ago.
Others: Mississippi State’s Johnthan Banks, Florida’s Matt Elam, Alabama’s Dee Milliner


SPECIAL TEAMS AWARDS
Groza Award (Top kicker)

Our leader: Jeff Budzien, Northwestern
At 11 for 11, Budzien is one of two perfect kickers with 10 or more attempts. The other is Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro, who is also 11 of 11. Budzien was 5 of 5 in a win over Boston College and 3 for 3 in wins over Vanderbilt and Indiana.
Others: Louisiana-Lafayette’s Brett Baer, Clemson’s Chandler Catanzaro, Iowa’s Mike Meyer, Florida’s Caleb Sturgis

Ray Guy Award (Top punter)
Our leader: Texas A&M’s Ryan Epperson
The Aggies lead the nation in net punting behind Epperson’s 46.1 yards per kick. Epperson has landed nine of his 18 punts inside the 20.
Others: Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Allen, Utah’s Sean Sellwood, LSU’s Brad Wing


OTHER NATIONAL AWARDS
Freshman of the Year
Our leader: Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
Manziel threw his first two interceptions of the season against Ole Miss. By the fourth quarter he helped vanquish the Aggies’ difficulties in the fourth quarter. Texas A&M trailed by 10, but “Johnny Football” completed 17 of 26 for 191 yards with a touchdown. He also rushed for 129 yards and a score.
Others: Georgia’s Todd Gurley, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Miami’s Duke Johnson, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon

Coach of the Year
Our leader: Urban Meyer, Ohio State
The Buckeyes may come to regret taking the bowl ban this season rather than skipping a bowl last season -- Ohio State lost to Florida in the Gator Bowl to finish 6-7. The Buckeyes are 6-0 and the highest ranked team in the Big Ten by a long shot. Ineligible for the coaches’ poll, Ohio State is No. 8 in the AP poll, followed by No. 25 Michigan.
Others: Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien Oregon State’s Mike Riley, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder

by David Fox

@davidfox615

Related College Football Links

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10 key games in Week 7
ACC Week 7 Preview and Predictions
Big East Week 7 Preview and Predictions

Big Ten Week 7 Preview and Predictions

Big 12 Week 7 Preview and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 7 Preview and Predictions

SEC Week 7 Preview and Predictions

Teaser:
<p> College Football Award Watch: Post-Week 6</p>
Post date: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-1-1-indianas-cody-zeller
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When Cody Zeller signed with Indiana in November 2010, a string of stories were written about how Zeller’s decision made it cool to play in Bloomington again. Then Zeller began his freshman season, and the Hoosiers returned to the national conversation after a three-season absence. Not only did Indiana win 27 games and advance to the Sweet Sixteen, the Hoosiers also defeated three top-five opponents — Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan State. Credit Zeller, who averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds.

He starts the 2013 as a top Player of the Year candidate and is the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Zeller’s Indiana team checked in at No. 1 in our Countdown.


You signed with Indiana when the Hoosiers were coming off two of the worst seasons in school history. Although you grew up in Washington, Ind., you could have gone anywhere in the country. Your older brothers Luke (Notre Dame) and Tyler (North Carolina) did not pick IU. Why Indiana when North Carolina, Butler, Florida and others wanted you?
I had confidence in what Coach (Tom) Crean was doing. The players that were already here seemed to be working hard and heading in the right direction with everything. It just felt like it was the right thing for me. A lot of people asked me why I went here and my brothers didn’t. It was a completely different situation for them, different coaches. I’m definitely happy with my decision. I’d do it all over again.”

Do you have any sense of the impact your decision had on Indiana basketball?
A little bit. I wasn’t too worried about validating all that. You have to make you’re your decision selfishly and whether it’s going to benefit you. That’s kind of what I made my decision on. All the rest of it kind of followed.”

You made another decision last spring to return to Indiana for your sophomore season, even though you figured to be a top-10 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Many freshmen can’t wait to get to the NBA. Why are you still on campus?
My final decision was that I wasn’t ready to grow up yet. Everyone tells me that college is the best years of your life. I’m not ready to pay bills, buy a house and start paying rent and everything else. It was mostly that I wasn’t ready to grow up yet. No reason to leave.”

You’ve earned a 3.6 grade point average in the Kelley School of Business, one of the top 20 business schools in the country. When will you earn your degree?
I should have it in two-and-a-half years. I came here with 16 hours out of high school. I earned six last summer and 12 more this summer.

You’ve always been a good student?
I got one A-minus my freshman year of high school in English. Tyler got an A-minus. Same class. Luke got a 4.0. Tyler and I were 3.99. Luke was the valedictorian. I was the salutatorian.

So Luke is obviously the best student?
No. Luke got that 4.0 before that English teacher got there.

Were you upset you were only salutatorian?
Actually we had co-valedictorians, and I was third, but they still gave me salutatorian. I was only mad because I had to give a speech on graduation. I thought I was getting out of the speech, but apparently not.

Visit the online store for Indiana and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

You’re pretty active on Twitter. Do you do your own Tweets?
I do. Just random stuff I see around campus.

The word is that when the Arizona Diamondbacks started following your Tweets last winter, you asked if they were going to select you in the next MLB Draft?
I did.

Maybe the next Randy Johnson, a 6-11 pitcher?
I’m a catcher. Our whole family was kind of catchers. I played until seventh or eighth grade, then I had to give it up. I just didn’t have enough time.”

If the walls at the Washington High School gymnasium could talk about the two-on-two games that you, Tyler, Luke and your father (Steve) played, what would they say?
Growing up my Dad was always beating on us, making us go one-on-one. We do go at it pretty good. My Dad still tries to go at it. He’s pretty competitive. We can beat him fairly easy now. Tyler and Luke and I play more one-on-one type stuff now. We’ll do things like set up on the block and say, ‘You have three seconds to make a move.’ We’ll set up different situations like that. Stuff that you would see in a real game, not your traditional one-on-one. We definitely compete and go at each other. Once we step off the court, we’re definitely very tight.

What’s your favorite gym, other than Assembly Hall?
The Hatchet House, my high school gym. It’s unbelievable to play there. It prepared me for playing in Assembly Hall because we had so many fans and it was always so packed. Even for regular season games we might have 5,000 people there. It wasn’t too much of a change or a shock when I got to college, playing in front of 17,000 people.

Who was the toughest player you guarded last season?
John Shurna of Northwestern. Our team loves everything he does because he’s so tough to guard with everything he does. He’s undersized a little bit but he finds a way to make it. Everyone is like, ‘Hey, I can stop him.’ Then you get out there and he puts up 30.

Who was the toughest player defending you?
Tyler. He’s so strong. The bench press doesn’t say so, but he’s stronger than me. He’s faster than me. I usually have one or the other – strength or speed.  But he’s pretty comparable, probably a step better.

Who is the best college coach out there not named Tom Crean?
All the great college coaches that recruited me were extremely nice. I have a lot of respect for Roy Williams (of North Carolina), just because of all stories from Tyler and how well he treated Tyler and the family.

Indiana’s breakthrough moment last season was that 73–72 win against Kentucky on Christian Watford’s three-pointer at the buzzer in Assembly Hall. This season, Indiana isn’t playing Kentucky, at least not in the regular season. Are you disappointed?
I don’t care too much. We’re still going to have a strong schedule. It was a fun game last year, but I don’t think it’s too big of a deal we’re not playing them this year.”

Other than Purdue, who is Indiana’s biggest rival?
Maybe Kentucky this past year, but it kind of changes with how good the teams are. A lot of the rivalries are because they’re two of the best teams. IU-Purdue, you can definitely feel the tension. I’d go with all the teams in the Big Ten because they all seemed to play us tough.

What’s been your primary focus during this offseason?
Strength has definitely been a big part of my summer workouts because you can put on a lot of weight. I’ve been doing a lot of squats and lower body stuff. You can put a lot of weight into your legs and it won’t affect your speed or anything else. Actually my vertical and some of that stuff has gone up, even though I have put on weight. It’s been a big part of my offseason workouts. You can put on weight and it will help all parts of my game, whether it is holding post position, rebounding, banging with the big guys in the Big Ten.

Did you come back to win a national championship?
We’re going to have high goals this year. We’ll see what happens.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

5. Syracuse

4. Kansas

3. Kentucky

2. Louisville

1. Indiana

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: 1 on 1 with Indiana's Cody Zeller</p>
Post date: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 05:18
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-7-preview-and-predictions
Body:

Once a kingmaker in the Big 12, Texas-Oklahoma this week almost seems to be an undercard for other matchups in the league in the coming weeks. While the Red River Rivalry is the top game in the Big 12 this week, Kansas State-West Virginia next week may do more to determine the conference champion.

In Dallas on Saturday, one team will remain in the Big 12 race while the loser will endure its second conference loss. Either Oklahoma or Texas won the Big 12 every season from 2004-10, but neither controls its own destiny as of the second week of October.

Kansas State and West Virginia, though, aren’t assured of getting to next week’s game unscathed. Both teams head on road trips (Iowa State and Texas Tech) against teams who have been known to play the role of spoiler.

Other Week 7 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big 12’s Top Storylines to Watch in Week 7:

What are the stakes in the Red River Rivalry?
Oklahoma and Texas started the season ranked first and second, respectively, in Athlon’s Big 12 preseason rankings, but one could be in danger of falling out of the Big 12 race with a loss in Dallas. For now, they’re both chasing West Virginia and Kansas State, who will face each other in Morgantown next week. Without the benefit of a conference championship game, two losses could be devastating. Even the winner of Texas-Oklahoma does not control its own destiny as long as West Virginia and K-State remain undefeated.

Did the Texas defense find something on which to build from last week’s loss?
No Kheeston Randall, Keenan Allen and Emmanuel Acho has made the Texas defense a shell of its former self, but the Longhorns insist there was progress last week against West Virginia. It certainly wasn’t against the run (192 rushing yards allowed) or on fourth down (5 of 5 converted). But Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz said the Longhorns missed only seven tackles -- which says something about Texas being in position to make tackles against the Mountaineers. On the other side, Texas sacked Geno Smith five times. But the run defense must be better than the one that has allowed at least 170 yards in the last four games. A big help could be the potential return of starting linebacker Jordan Hicks.

Is the old Landry Jones back?
Oklahoma’s veteran starting quarterback started to look more like the  veteran signal caller we saw up until the Ryan Broyles injury last season. Jones was 25 of 40 for 259 yards with two touchdowns against Texas Tech in the 41-20 rout. Against the Red Raiders, Jones spread the ball around to seven different pass catchers and settled into a groove with shorter and intermediate passes. Jones already has a good track record against the Longhorns (55 of 89, 603 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions in the last two wins), and the Texas defense has looked nothing like the dominant unit we saw a year ago.

Will there be another track meet for West Virginia?
This may be the toughest stretch of West Virginia’s season. The Mountaineers answered their first Big 12 road trip to Texas, but will have to make the quick turnaround for another road trip to Lubbock, Texas, against the Red Raiders. Beyond that, a home date with Kansas State -- which could be the de facto Big 12 championship game -- is a week away. Lubbock’s not an easy place to play, even if Texas Tech’s last win as a home underdog was over Oklahoma at the end of 2009. With Seth Doege, a one-time recruit of West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, Texas Tech can put up points, and the Mountaineers have been happy to oblige opposing offenses the last two weeks.

What’s next for TCU and Casey Pachall?
After a driving while intoxicated arrest and a positive drug test in February, TCU quarterback Casey Pachall voluntarily withdrew from school to seek treatment for substance abuse. With Pachall gone, TCU likely will turn to freshman Trevone Boykin, who started last week in the loss to Iowa state. Boykin was 23 of 40 for 270 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. This week, he’ll be able to prepare as the primary quarterback, but he’s also making his first road start when the Horned Frogs visit Baylor. Sophomore Matt Brown, who backed up Pachall last season, remains in the mix as well.

Why isn’t anyone talking about John Hubert?
Bill Snyder is a great coach, and Collin Klein is a Heisman contender. Both are true, but let’s take a minute to appreciate someone else at Kansas State: Running back John Hubert is having a career year. With four touchdowns last week against Kansas alone, he matched his entire total from last season. In addition to doubling his touchdowns from last season to eight, Hubert has topped 100 yards in four of five games this year after only hitting the triple digits three times last season. This week, he’ll have an opportunity for a key matchup against Iowa State’s standout linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein.

Will Wes Lunt make his return?
It’s been nearly a month since Oklahoma State freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, named the starter in spring practice, was knocked out of the Louisiana-Lafayette game with an injury. His return could come as early as this week against Kansas, but coach Mike Gundy is playing it safe. It doesn’t hurt that backup J.W. Walsh has played well (39 of 57, 648 yards, six touchdowns, one interception, 130 rushing yards) the last two weeks.

Week 7 Big 12 Predictions

Week 7 Big 12 Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Kansas St. (-7) at Iowa St. Kansas St. 28-14 Kansas St. 42-17 Kansas St. 31-24 Kansas St. 27-17
Texas vs. Oklahoma (-3) Oklahoma 35-28 Oklahoma 45-20 Texas 31-27 Oklahoma 35-31
Oklahoma St. (-24) at Kansas Oklahoma St. 48-14 Oklahoma St. 45-20 Oklahoma St. 52-17 Oklahoma St. 41-10
West Virginia (-4) at Texas Tech West Virginia 35-31 West Virginia 38-24 West Virginia 41-38 West Virginia 44-24
TCU at Baylor (-8) Baylor 28-14 Baylor 31-20 Baylor 41-31 Baylor 27-18
Last week 33-5 2-2 2-2 2-2
Overall 30-4 31-7 31-7 32-6

by David Fox

@davidfox615

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 6
Post-Week 6 Bowl Projections

Top Heisman Trophy Contenders After Week 6

Teaser:
<p> Big 12 Week 7 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:59
Path: /college-football/big-east-week-7-preview-and-predictions
Body:

The Big East favorites are well established with Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers are vying for the top spot.

The middle of the league is a different story. Syracuse’s 14-13 upset of Pittsburgh last week and Temple’s 37-28 upset of USF shook up the Big East’s second tier. This week may establish more clarity.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse take on two of the league favorites in Louisville and Rutgers, respectively. Meanwhile, Temple, picked to finish last in the preseason, will try to open its conference schedule at 2-0 when it faces struggling Connecticut.

Other Week 7 Previews and Predictions

ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

Big East’s top Storylines to Watch in Week 7:

Will Louisville’s struggling pass rush thrive against Pittsburgh

Facing Pittsburgh the last two seasons has proven to be a boon for opposing pass rushers, most recently Syracuse with five sacks last week. The Cardinals have the same amount all season, and no one on Louisville’s defense has multiple sacks. Defensive end Marcus Smith, who led the team with 5.5 sacks last season, has yet to get to the quarterback so far this season. Beyond the pass rush, the Cardinals haven’t been spectacular in the “big play” department. Louisville has intercepted only two passes all season, second-fewest in the Big East. As teams like Rutgers and Cincinnati continue to show improvement, Louisville will look to prove it can keep pace.

Which Pittsburgh will show up against Louisville?
Pittsburgh’s defense held up on its end of the field in the loss to Syracuse last week, shutting out the Orange after the final three quarters. Pitt also held Syracuse to 305 total yards and 4.8 yards per play, both season lows for Pitt against FBS competition. The offense, though, regressed, giving up five sacks and allowing a fumble to be returned to a touchdown. Most mystifying was a lack of production from the run game against Syracuse. In short, Pitt looked nothing like the team that picked up back-to-back wins entering the Syracuse game. Which Panthers team will face Louisville, a team the Panthers have defeated in each of the last four years?

Can Syracuse muster anything against the Rutgers defense?
The Rutgers defense enters its game against Syracuse allowing only 303 rushing yards all season. The Orange rushing game has been nothing special this season, putting more on the shoulders of quarterback Ryan Nassib. That could be problematic against Rutgers. Against the pass, the Scarlet Knights has been just as stifling, with nine interceptions in the last three games. After topping 450 yards in the first three games, Syracuse has had 350 yards or fewer in the last two against Minnesota and Pitt.

How long will Rutgers’ turnover fortune last?
The answer is possibly for quite a while. Rutgers is plus-nine in turnover margin the last three games against USF, Arkansas and Connecticut to lead the Big East in that category. The Scarlet Knights’ 11 takeaways in just the last three weeks is more than six Big East teams all season. This week’s opponent, Syracuse, has forced only five turnovers all year.

Can the hot streak continue for Montel Harris or will the Connecticut run defense reassert itself?
Montel Harris, who was injured for most of the first two games of the season, enjoyed his best game in a Temple uniform last week against USF. The Boston College transfer rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns as Matt Brown was sidelined for part of the game with an injury (he’s still day-to-day). Harris will try to build off that performance against UConn to give Temple a 2-0 start in its return to the Big East. The Huskies started the season as one of the best against the run, but the last two weeks broke a streak of teams rushing for fewer than 100 yards. Buffalo rushed for 141, and Rutgers rushed for 123. For the second consecutive week, the UConn front seven will be in a matchup of strength vs. strength.

Week 7 Big East Predictions:

Week 7 Big East Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Louisville at Pittsburgh Pitt 24-21 Lousville 30-24 Louisville 27-20 Louisville 27-23
Syracuse at Rutgers Rutgers 27-14 Rutgers 27-13 Rutgers 30-17 Rutgers 24-10
Temple at UConn Temple 14-10 UConn 20-17 UConn 24-20 UConn 17-10
Fordham at Cincinnati Cincinnati 56-10 Cincinnati 41-17 Cincinnati 41-6 Cincinnati 47-7
Last week 3-1 2-2 2-2 2-2
Overall 25-10 24-11 22-13 23-12

by David Fox

@DavidFox615

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 6
Post-Week 6 Bowl Projections

Top Heisman Trophy Contenders After Week 6

Teaser:
<p> Big East Week 7 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:58
All taxonomy terms: Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, College Basketball
Path: /college-football/college-basketball-countdown-no-3-kentucky-preview
Body:
Visit the online store for Kentucky and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 3 Kentucky.

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: John Calipari’s Kentucky team will be among the most talented in the country, but the big question is whether the Wildcats are too young to go all the way. That storyline is recycling for a fourth straight season — with one twist. Last year’s team closed the deal, bringing Calipari his first NCAA title.

Only one contributor from that team returns, but the Cats have reloaded with yet another top-ranked recruiting class. Calipari’s had four of those and 15 NBA Draft picks since coming to Lexington in 2009. Rinse, repeat. But repeat?

“I wish it was the ‘70s and ‘80s where I had guys for four years, because it would get kind of scary,” Calipari says. Still, “to start over every year, I’m going to be honest, it’s exciting.”

FRONTCOURT
The Wildcats must replace Anthony Davis, who just polished off one of the most impressive runs in history — National Player of the Year, Final Four Most Outstanding Player, national champion, No. 1 NBA pick and Olympic champion — as well as first-round pick Terrence Jones. That’s a tall task, but Calipari took his best shot.

In comes the nation’s No. 1 recruit, 6-10 Nerlens Noel, said to be a better shot-blocker than Davis, who set an NCAA freshman record for swats. Calipari also landed 7-footer Willie Cauley-Stein, who is athletic enough that he played wide receiver in high school.

“I’m just blown away by him,” Calipari says. “I knew he was good when I (recruited) him, but he … just blossoms and blossoms.”

So much so that Calipari is already talking about using some “Twin Towers” looks with both Cauley-Stein and Noel on the floor together. Other times, he’ll use his top returning player, 6-9 sophomore power forward Kyle Wiltjer, who also happens to be the team’s sharpest 3-point shooter.

Oh, and then there’s small forward Alex Poythress, merely a McDonald’s All-American who Calipari calls “a beast” and is already a projected top-10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

BACKCOURT
Swingman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went No. 2 overall in the draft, point guard Marquis Teague was a late first-rounder and shooting guards Darius Miller and Doron Lamb were both second-round selections. Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Replacing four pros in the backcourt is a tall …

Calipari brought in McDonald’s All-American Archie Goodwin for scoring, Wright State transfer Julius Mays for depth, and finally has a non-freshman point guard in Ryan Harrow. The last five guys to run Calipari’s offense were one-and-dones. Harrow, a transfer from NC State who sat out last season at UK and has three years of eligibility left, will be an interesting change.

“I’m happy because I have a feel for Ryan,” Calipari says. “He’s different than all the other point guards I had. How does he compare? Well how did Marquis compare to those guys? They were really good; he’s really good.”

While slight of stature, Harrow is quick, can jump out of the gym and “may be a little bit more of a shooter like Brandon (Knight) was,” Calipari says.

Goodwin impressed all summer and will start from Day 1, while Mays, a senior who began his career at NC State and led Wright State in scoring, assists and steals last season, offers not only a versatile backup but also a veteran presence. Other possible contributors are Twany Beckham and 6-7 Jon Hood.

FINAL ANALYSIS
Kentucky, with three straight Elite Eights, back-to-back Final Fours and a national title, is enjoying its finest stretch since reaching three consecutive NCAA title games — winning twice — from 1996-98. Calipari is the king of reloading, but is repeating a fair expectation?

Since UCLA won seven in a row from 1967-73, only Duke (1991-92) and Florida (2006-07) have won back-to-back championships. But Calipari says: “I can tell you I like my team,” which he’s said at the start of the last three seasons, and those turned out pretty well.

The guys who just helped UK win it all and have been back to watch the Cats work out this summer seem to think the next group will make another run.

“I’m really impressed,” Miller says. “They’re going to have a really good team and everybody’s going to enjoy watching them.”

Says Lamb: “I think they’re going to have a great team to win it all this year.”

Rinse, repeat.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

5. Syracuse

4. Kansas

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 3 Kentucky Preview</p>
Post date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:28
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-offseason-news-and-scandal-roundup
Body:

Even after every recruit signed, after players were drafted, and after (nearly) every coaching change was made, college basketball news impacting the 2012-13 season continued to break through the late summer and early fall.

From Jim Calhoun’s retirement, to eligibility issues at UCLA and Kentucky, to NCAA concerns at Duke and North Carolina, we’re here to keep you up to date.

Here’s a rundown of 20 offseason news events impacting the upcoming basketball season:

A RETIRING LEGEND
1. Jim Calhoun retires. In the biggest college basketball news of the offseason, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun retired after 873 carer wins and three national titles. The Huskies program is turned over to assistant and first-time head coach Kevin Ollie, who will try to piece together a season with a handful of challenges including
a postseason ban, a one-year contract for Ollie, and a roster depleted by transfers and NBA Draft early entries. The lack of a long-term commitment to Ollie hasn’t harmed recruiting yet as Jabari Parker, one of the top prospects in the class of 2013, added UConn to his list of prospective schools after a visit with the new Huskies coach.
Related: What’s next for UConn without Calhoun?

NCAA-ISH ISSUES
2. Duke dodges an NCAA issue again. The possibility of an NCAA violation at Duke was raised when former player Lance Thomas, a starter on the 2010 title-winning team, was sued for not repaying a $68,000 loan to purchase jewelry in 2009-10. Thomas settled the lawsuit, meaning the NCAA will not have access to court records to determine if the loan would have impacted Thomas’ eligibility. The NCAA has begun an inquiry, but Thomas told The Washington Post he will “eventually” speak with the NCAA. As a former athlete, he is not required to do so.
Related: Duke team preview

3. North Carolina’s academic scandal. New details of the academic scandal at North Carolina seem to trickle out every day, though the spotlight has not focused on the basketball program specifically. What started as an investigation into fraud and no-show classes in the African and African-American Studies department also seeped into other academic programs. The Naval Weapons Systems course in the Department of Naval Science was found to have a disproportionate amount of athletes enrolled, including six basketball players in 2007. Although the NCAA initially stated it would not take action on academic issues at North Carolina, NCAA president Mark Emmert told CBSSports.com the organization is continuing to monitor the situation in Chapel Hill. Chancellor Holden Thorp already announced he will resign at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Meanwhile, Tami Hansbrough, the mother of former Tar Heels star Tyler Hansbrough, resigned from her role as a fundraiser when an audit revealed she and Matt Kupec, a North Carolina vice chancellor, billed the university for personal trips. Kupec also resigned. Tami Hansbrough was hired as the associate director of development in the dentistry school during her son’s senior year. Her move to a fundraising role and the personal trips occurred after Tyler Hansbrough left school.

4. Texas Southern feels NCAA’s wrath. From one end of the college basketball spectrum (Duke and North Carolina) to the other. The NCAA levied series sanctions on Texas Southern of the SWAC, stepping just short of the death penalty. Texas Southern allowed players across 13 sports over the course of seven years compete and receive financial aid while ineligible. The basketball program, which has played in the NCAA Tournament just once since 1995, was banned from the postseason and vacated all wins across all sports from 2006-10. The basketball coach to clean up the mess left by Tony Harvey, who resigned after he was accused of providing misleading information to investigators? Former UAB and Indiana coach Mike Davis.

CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT
5. Notre Dame. Before Jim Calhoun’s retirement, Notre Dame’s move to the ACC in all sports but football was the biggest news of the offseason. This is more of a football development, including four games per year between the Irish and ACC teams and a drift away from the Big Ten, but it has clear basketball implications as well. Mike Brey has rebuilt Notre Dame basketball into a consistent NCAA Tournament team which should contribute to the depth of a 15-team ACC. Without Notre Dame basketball, the Big East will remain a 17-team league when it expands in 2013-14.
Related: Notre Dame team preview

COACH HEALTH SCARES
6. Roy Williams’ cancer scare. The North Carolina coach had surgery in late September to remove a tumor from his right kidney but was relieved to find it was not cancerous. Williams was also scheduled to have a biopsy on a tumor on his left kidney, but doctors said in a news release it was unlikely for the other tumor to be cancerous.
Related: North Carolina team preview

7. Rick Majerus' departure. The Saint Louis coach has battled health concerns for much of his career, but the latest caused him to unexpectedly walk away from one of the Atlantic 10’s top teams. The school announced in late August that Majerus would miss the season while undergoing treatment and evaluations for a heart condition. Assistant Jim Crews, a former head coach at Army and Evansville, was promoted to interim coach. With one year left on his contract, this could be the final season for Majerus at Saint Louis and perhaps his career.

8. Billy Gillispie’s resignation. Texas Tech’s season was bad enough on the court in Gillispie’s first season. Turns out things were worse behind the scenes for the former Kentucky and Texas A&M coach. A report from CBS Sports detailed mistreatment of players and support staff in addition to difficulties with current and potential assistants and staffers. The report indicated practices of eight hours in a day and in excess of the NCAA-mandated 20-hour limit in addition to Gillsipie forcing players to practice while injured. On Aug. 31, Gillispie was hospitalized for six days and was later treated for kidney problems and abnormal headaches. He resigned citing health concerns, turning the program over to interim coach Chris Walker.

ELIGIBILITY WATCH
9. Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson, UCLA. Neither of the Bruins’ two freshman centerpieces have been cleared by the NCAA. Muhammad’s delay is due to alleged impermissible benefits from the brother of an assistant coach at his high school and a financial planner related to his AAU team. The investigation forced UCLA to leave Muhammad home during an exhibition trip to China. The NCAA is investigating Anderson’s relationship with an agent though Anderson did participate in the China trip.
Related: Arrival of top freshmen leads UCLA makeover

10. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky. After delaying his enrollment when he reclassified from the class of 2012 to 2013, Noel became the subject of an NCAA inquiry related to how he paid for unofficial visits during the recruiting process, according to SI.com. Kentucky coach John Calipari recently said he’s confident Noel will be cleared after the inquiry.

11. Rodney Purvis, NC State. The Wolfpack’s star freshman guard was cleared to play after the NCAA examined his high school transcript. Purvis did not join NC State on an exhibition trip to Spain.

Related: NC State team preview

12. Ricky Ledo, Providence. The full Ed Cooley-rebuilding project will be on hold for a year as a his freshman guard sits outs as a partial qualifier. Ledo can practice but cannot play in any games this season. Highly touted point guard Kris Dunn also joined Ledo in Cooley's recruiting class, but Dunn is nursing a shoulder injury to give the Friars a shorthanded roster early in the season.

13. Notre Dame Prep. Maryland’s Sam Cassell Jr. and Xavier’s Myles Davis, both freshmen, were ruled ineligible related to coursework at Notre Dame Prep, a program whose classes the NCAA had been monitoring. Adding to the confusion, eight other teammates who took similar classes were cleared, drawing harsh criticism from Cassell's father, former NBA player Sam Cassell.

TRANSFERS
14. Dez Wells, Xavier to Maryland. Wells did not transfer per se, but he did change schools. The former Xavier starter was expelled after he was accused of sexual assault, but prosecutors declined to pursue the case and publicly disputed the actions of Xavier’s conduct board. After considering Kentucky, Memphis and Oregon, Wells chose Maryland. An NCAA waiver to make him eligible this season has been requested.

15. Arsalan Kazemi, Rice to Oregon. One of the best players in Conference USA but languishing at Rice transferred to Oregon, where a hardship waiver may allow him to play this season.

DISMISSALS
16. Reggie Moore, Washington State. The Cougars dismissed their senior guard and third-leading scorer for a violation of team rules, putting more pressure on unheralded center Brock Motum.

17. Kyle Casey and Brandyn Curry, Harvard. The Crimson’s hopes to return to the NCAA Tournament received a major blow when its co-captains were accused of being part of a cheating scandal including both athletes and non-athletes. Both were expected to withdraw from school, leaving Harvard with only one returning starter.

18. Chrishawn Hopkins, Butler. Brad Stevens dismissed his third-leading scorer for the dreaded undisclosed violation of team rules.

POLICE BLOTTER
19. LIU Brooklyn. LIU Brooklyn’s top three scorers, including NEC Player of the Year Julian Boyd, were among four arrested on third-degree assault charges stemming from a fight at an on-campus party. All four, including Athlon All-NEC forward Jamal Olaswere,  were suspended for the first two games and placed on school probation.

AND FOR 2013-14...
20. Kentucky’s recruiting (t)wins.
Guards Andrew and Aaron Harrison, twins from Richmond  (Texas), continued to make John Calipari look unbeatable on the recruiting trail when the two top-five prospects in the 2013 class committed to Kentucky. The decision was considered to be a close one between Kentucky and Maryland. A major factor in Maryland being in the mix was reported to be Under Armour’s sponsorship of the Harrisons’ AAU team, coached by the twins’ father. Under Armour also has a partnership with Maryland. But again, Kentucky walks away a winner.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball 2012-13 Preseason Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

5. Syracuse

Teaser:
<p> 20 Offseason Events Every College Basketball Fan Should Know</p>
Post date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 07:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-one-year-coaching-tenures-good-bad-and-ugly
Body:

After Arkansas’ 24-7 dismantling of Auburn on Saturday, coach John L. Smith has a reason to smile. Sure, it’s been a disappointing season for the coach who will likely spent only one season at Fayetteville, but at least a bowl game remains a possibility now

For Arkansas, Smith’s one-year tenure will be one of the most painful single seasons in recent years. For fans outside of Arkansas, it’s at least been one of the more intriguing one-year coaching situations.

Smith isn’t first one-year tenured coach and won’t be the last. Even some of the all-time greats have made short stints at other schools -- Bear Bryant, Bill Parcells, Darrell Royal and Howard Schnellenberger had one-year stints in their careers.

Just last season, four coaches had one year tenures either due to taking other jobs (Hugh Freeze and Todd Graham) or like Smith, had the job on an interim basis (Luke Fickell and Everett Withers).

Here are the good, the bad, the ugly and the interesting for college football’s one-year coaching tenures:

THE GOOD
Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State (2011)
Record:
10-3, 8-0 Sun Belt
Freeze got the job in unorthodox fashion as he was the offensive coordinator for the head coach the program just fired. But his only season at Arkansas State was the best in team history. The Red Wolves won an outright Sun Belt title for the first time and reached only their second bowl game. Freeze set the table for another high school coach-turned-offensive mastermind in Gus Malzahn.

Todd Graham, Rice (2006)
Record:
7-6, 6-2 Conference USA
Before Pittsburgh, Graham left Rice in the lurch after one season. But that single  was one of the best for a moribund program. Graham took over a 1-10 team under Ken Hatfield the year before to lead Rice to its first bowl game in 45 years. When his year was over, he returned to Tulsa, where he was defensive coordinator before landing at Rice.

Steve Mariucci, Cal (1996)
Record:
6-6, 3-5 Pac-10
A 6-6 season is enough to put current Cal coach Jeff Tedford on the hot seat watch. Yet in the mid-90s, this was Cal’s best record and only bowl appearance between 1994-2002, the latter being Tedford’s first season. At age 41, Mariucci left to coach the San Francisco 49ers to replace George Seifert, who abruptly resigned after the ’96 season.

Nick Saban, Toledo (1990)
Record:
9-2, 7-1 MAC
Saban’s first head coaching gig was short-lived but successful with a share of a MAC title and the Rockets’ best season in seven years. And as a sign of the times, Toledo’s nine wins weren’t enough to earn the Rockets a spot in one of 19 bowl games in 1990. Saban left after his only season in Toledo to be Bill Belichick’s defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns.

Frank Broyles, Missouri (1957)
Record:
5-4-1, 3-3 Big 7
Broyles’ stint was sandwiched between two of Missouri’s most accomplished coaches. He preceded Dan Devine and succeeded Don Faurot, who would later be the namesake of Missouri’s field. After one year in Columbia, he embarked on his Hall of Fame career with Arkansas.

Jim Tatum, Oklahoma (1946)
Record:
8-3, 4-1 Big 6
Tatum led Oklahoma to a conference title and a Gator Bowl victory, but he’ll be better remembered for who he left behind in Norman before he bolted for Maryland. Tatum paid players out of the athletic department coffers and was notoriously difficult to deal with. That said, he brought nine All-Americans to Oklahoma, including Buddy Burris and eventual Texas coach Darrell Royal, in addition to hiring the legendary Bud Wilkinson as his offensive coordinator.

Bear Bryant, Maryland (1945)
Record:
6-2-1, 3-2 ACC
Maryland athletic director Curley Byrd was impressed enough with the 32-year-old career assistant Bryant to give him his first head coaching job. But the Bear and Byrd clashed in his lone season with the Terrapins, and Bryant bolted for Kentucky after one season. Two years later, Maryland would benefit from a one-year stint at another school when it hired Jim Tatum from Oklahoma.

THE BAD
John L. Smith, Arkansas (2012)
Record:
2-4, 1-2 SEC
This season has been so bad for Arkansas, the question remains if this team could contend in the SEC West no matter the coach. With one of the worst defenses in the SEC, the Razorbacks are just looking to salvage a bowl game before moving on to the next coach.

Luke Fickell, Ohio State (2011)
Record:
6-7, 3-5 Big Ten
With Jim Tressel resigning on Memorial Day before the 2011 seasons, Ohio State had its first losing season since 1988 and lost to Michigan for the first time since 2003. But the season under the interim coach Fickell wasn’t a total loss -- the Buckeyes defeated Big Ten champion Wisconsin and lost only one game by more than a touchdown. Meanwhile, quarterback Braxton Miller made his debut. New coach Urban Meyer retained Fickell as defensive coordinator.

Lane Kiffin, Tennessee (2009)
Record:
7-6, 4-4 SEC
Kiffin brought swagger to Knoxville. He got under the skin of Florida’s Urban Meyer and other SEC rivals. And he signed an elite recruiting class. Tennessee loved all that. Then he took the USC job in mid-January, weeks after most coaching changes. Tennessee fans did not like that. Moreover, Kiffin’s top-10 signing class never panned out as a bulk of the class transferred, failed to qualify or ran into legal trouble.


Dennis Erickson, Idaho (2006)
Record:
4-8, 3-5 WAC
Erickson was not the most in-demand coach when he returned to the program that gave him his first job, but a year later, Arizona State came calling. Erickson returned to the Pac-10 and left Idaho with a team that went 3-19 the two seasons after he left.

Sam Wyche, Indiana (1983)
Record:
3-8, 2-7 Big Ten
Wyche would eventually take the Cincinnati Bengals to the Super Bowl, but he couldn’t win more than three games at Indiana. The last coach to leave the Big Ten for and NFL job, Wyche had his Hoosers tenure preceded by eventual ESPN analyst Lee Corso and followed by Bill Mallory.

THE UGLY
Todd Graham, Pittsburgh (2011)
Record:
6-7, 4-3 Big East
The high-octane offense never delivered at Pittsburgh, where Graham took over for a coach, Mike Haywood, who didn’t even make it into his first season, much less complete a full season. When Graham bolted unexpectedly for Arizona State, he left behind a fractured locker room and an angry team for Paul Chryst to repair.


Howard Schnellenberger, Oklahoma (1995)
Record:
5-5-1, 2-5 Big 8
In stints at Miami, Louisville and FAU, Schellenberger’s credentials as a program-builder are impeccable. As a program rebuilder at Oklahoma, he was a disaster. He arrived to clean up a mess left by Barry Switzer but never fit in culturally in Norman. He was forced out amid rumors of off-field issues and was replaced by John Blake.

Lou Saban, Northwestern (1955)
Record:
0-8-1, 0-6-1 Big Ten
The well-travelled Saban had many jobs in the college ranks and pro ranks, but few of them were as bad as his lone year at Northwestern. Saban’s 0-fer in 1955 was the first at Northwestern, but not the last. Saban would be succeeded by Ara Parseghian, who had a successful run in Evanston before going to Notre Dame.

THE INTERESTING
Houston Nutt, Boise State (1997)
Record:
4-7, 3-2 Big West
Houston Nutt was Boise State’s first hire after the Broncos became a Division I-A program. After a successful run in I-AA at Portland State and Boise State, then-Broncos coach Pokey Allen was poised to guide the Broncos into major college football before he died of cancer shortly after the 1996 season. After one season at Boise State, Nutt left for Arkansas and was replaced by Dirk Koetter, who began a run of three wildly successful Boise State coaches.

Bill Parcells, Air Force (1978)
Record:
3-8
Parcells’ first head coaching job was not with the New York Giants, instead it came five years earlier at Air Force. Parcells wasn’t thrilled with the recruiting process, so he left after a year to be an assistant with the Giants. Coaching stability, though, was easy to find at Air Force thereafter. The Falcons have had only three head coaches since The Tuna left -- Ken Hatfield, Fisher DeBerry and Troy Calhoun.

Pat Dye, Wyoming (1980)
Record:
6-5, 4-4 WAC
Wyoming once had a nice coaching tree with Fred Akers (who would coach at Texas), Dennis Erickson (who won two national titles at Miami), Joe Tiller (who would coach at Purdue), and Pat Dye. A long time assistant to Bear Bryant at Alabama, Dye was a possible successor to Bryant, who was then two years away from retirement. Dye instead took the job at rival Auburn, where he won 142 games in 11 seasons.

Jackie Sherrill, Washington State (1978)
Record:
3-8, 2-5 Pac-8
Sherrill’s first head coaching job was also one his least successful. After going 3-8 at Wazzu, Sherrill landed at Pittsburgh where had four top-10 finishes in five seasons with a little help from Dan Marino. Sherrill then went to Texas A&M, but his .273 win percentage in his single season at Washington State was the worst of his career until 1995 at Mississippi State.

Darrell Royal, Washington (1956)
Record:
5-5, 4-4 Pacific Coast Conference
After a middling season at Washington, Royal returned to his Midlands roots by taking the Texas job, where he’d become the Longhorns’ most celebrated coach. After Royal’s short stint, Washington had only two coaches (Jim Owens and Don James) from 1957-92.

by David Fox

@davidfox615

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College Football Week 6 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Coaching Tenures: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly</p>
Post date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 06:05
All taxonomy terms: Big 12, Kansas Jayhawks, College Basketball
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-no-4-kansas-preview
Body:
Visit the online store for Kansas and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 4 Kansas.

It’s hard to imagine a team losing a top-five NBA Draft pick in the paint and a four-year starter at the point and somehow getting better. But that’s the scenario facing the Kansas Jayhawks as they enter the 2012-13 season.

On the heels of their thrilling run to the 2012 national championship game, Bill Self’s squad returns several key pieces from last year’s team and will look to replace leading scorers Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor with one of the deepest and most talented recruiting class of the Self era.

Although the talent is in place — isn’t it always at Kansas? — Self’s biggest challenge will be getting the group to mesh while also relying on new leadership.

Top returners Elijah Johnson and Jeff Withey will get the first crack at leading this year’s Jayhawks, who figure to enter the season more motivated than ever.

“I think (that) experience will only make us more hungry for next year,” Withey said of reaching the 2012 title game but falling to Kentucky. “We’ll have a great team, and I’m really excited for the opportunity to be a leader.”

FRONTCOURT
Withey was a force defensively in his first season as a starter at KU. He set a record with 31 blocks in the NCAA Tournament and finished the year with a Big-12-best 140 rejections. This season, he will be asked to contribute more on the offensive end.

“I don’t think I was too much of an offensive threat last year,” Withey says. “A little bit here and there, maybe, but not what I’m capable of. So for next year, offensively, I’m going to try to get better and stronger and try and look like T-Rob. That’s the game plan.”

Is that even possible?

“I could see that happening,” senior forward Travis Releford says. “Because that’s how it’s been in the past. Guys leave, other guys step up. It’s going to continue to be like that at a program like Kansas.”

Joining Withey up front will be impact freshman Perry Ellis, a four-time Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year, along with Kevin Young and redshirt freshman Jamari Traylor. Young, a former transfer from Loyola Marymount, averaged 3.4 points in his first season at KU. Traylor was academically ineligible last season but practiced with the team.

BACKCOURT
After his breakout NCAA Tournament, Johnson takes the reins at point guard. Like Taylor, his predecessor, Johnson is an athletic guard with good size and toughness. Unlike Taylor, Johnson seems to be a better decision-maker and a more natural shooter. The Las Vegas native played extremely well late last season, averaging 15.1 points in the final eight games and scored in double figures in all six NCAA Tournament games.  

Ben McLemore, a 4-star recruit in the Class of 2011, was forced to sit out last season because of academic issues. Self has said that McLemore, a possible starter at shooting guard, might have emerged as the team’s top pro prospect had he played last season.

Releford, like Johnson, played well in the NCAA Tournament, scoring in double figures against Purdue (10 points), North Carolina (11) and Ohio State (15). Seldom-used early in his career, he emerged as a key cog in his first season as a starter.  

Freshmen Anrio Adams and Milton Doyle and sophomore Naadir Tharpe will push for playing time. Adams, a shooting guard from Seattle, has been compared to Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade.
“He can certainly score,” Self says. “He’s capable of being an elite guard.” Tharpe arrived as a highly regarded recruit but failed to crack the rotation as a freshman last season.

FINAL ANALYSIS
Last year’s squad survived and thrived because of heart and will, but this year’s team figures to benefit from different strengths. Chief among them is depth, something the Jayhawks had little of a season ago.

While KU’s roster will give Self plenty of options, it also figures to provide a few growing pains as nearly half of the rotation could be first-year players. In addition, Self’s bench will feature two new faces — Norm Roberts steps in for his second stint at KU to replace Danny Manning (now the head coach at Tulsa), and Doc Sadler, formerly the head coach at Nebraska, takes over as the director of basketball operations. Self doesn’t seem to be concerned.


“I love the makeup of this team, especially the newcomers,” says the veteran coach. “This is going to be a young group that will rely heavily on senior leadership.”

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

5. Syracuse

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 4 Kansas Preview</p>
Post date: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-no-5-syracuse-preview
Body:
Visit the online store for Syracuse and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 5 Syracuse.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim prefers to look at the players he has and not the ones who are gone. So while many pundits will pore over Syracuse’s extensive personnel losses off last year’s team that went 34–3 and advanced to the Elite Eight, Boeheim will stick to one of his favorite mantras.

“I coach the players that are here,” Boeheim says.

Syracuse’s losses would debilitate most programs. Gone from last year’s team are three starters — seniors Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph plus NBA first-round pick Fab Melo — and Big East Sixth Man of the Year Dion Waiters, who was the No. 4 pick in the draft despite not starting a game for SU in ’11-12.

Syracuse, however, should maintain its customary spot at or near the top of the Big East standings. Senior guard Brandon Triche and sophomore forward Rakeem Christmas return as starters, while senior James Southerland and juniors C.J. Fair and Baye Keita should step into bigger roles this season after gaining a wealth of experience last year.

“The fact that you have six guys that played a lot, that’s a lot,” Boeheim says. “Most teams don’t have that many. We have a good, solid nucleus of players.”

FRONTCOURT
The key to Syracuse’s frontcourt rotation could be the readiness of DaJuan Coleman. The  6-10, 285-pound freshman local product led Jamesville-Dewitt High to four New York State Class A titles and was a McDonald’s All-American last year. “I think he’s got good tools,” Boeheim says. “He’s underrated as a ball-handler and passer. He can do those things even though he’s a big guy.”

If Coleman proves ready to start, Christmas can remain at power forward. Christmas averaged just 2.8 points and 2.9 rebounds last year, but he had big moments like an eight-point, 11-rebound game against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament.

Joseph led Syracuse in scoring in each of the last two seasons, but Fair has been preparing for a featured role for two years. Fair played 26.4 minutes per game off the bench last season, second-most on the team team behind Joseph. Fair can play either forward position but needs to extend his range out to the 3-point line to become a complete player.

Southerland could start at forward if Christmas gets moved to center, or the long, lanky senior will come off the bench ready to launch his accurate jumper from 3-point range. Expect Keita and freshman forward Jerami Grant to provide depth.

BACKCOURT
Last year, Syracuse’s backcourt was one of the most experienced in the country. This year, Triche will be the only SU guard with any substantial experience.  Still, the Orange backcourt could be just as potent.

Triche will need to emerge as a vocal leader and a become more aggressive on the offensive end of the court. Improving his 3-point shooting (35.0 percent last year) would be nice, too.

“I think he’s important,” Boeheim says. “He’s got to be ready. It’s his fourth year. He knows what to do.”

Complementing Triche will be two young players in sophomore Michael Carter-Williams and redshirt freshman Trevor Cooney. Carter-Williams, whose lean 6-5 frame reminds some of a young Jason Kidd, has outstanding court vision. His passing ability will create easy looks for the big guys up front. Carter-Williams averaged 2.1 assists in only 10.3 minutes of action as a freshman.

Cooney, a Delaware native who signed with SU two years ago, can drill the spot-up 3-pointer, but don’t label him, says Boeheim. “He’s not a guy we look at as just being a shooter. We think he’s a good player.”

FINAL ANALYSIS
Despite losing four players, including three NBA Draft picks, Syracuse will compete for the Big East title in what will be its last year in the conference before leaving for the ACC.

The Orange have enough experience in Triche, Fair, Southerland and Christmas, but the big keys will be two of the team’s younger players. If Carter-Williams can handle the point and Coleman can step in and contribute in the middle, the Orange could emerge as a Final Four contender.

“I think it’s always difficult to replace a lot of guys,” Boeheim says. “The good news is that the other guys all got to play a lot last year. We have seven guys that we think can play, and we think the two freshmen certainly are playing right away.”

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

6. Michigan

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 5 Syracuse Preview</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 05:54
All taxonomy terms: College Football
Path: /college-football/college-football-who-votes-harris-poll
Body:
Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is one of 115 voters in the Harris poll for 2012.

The calendar has turned to October, and the unveiling of the BCS standings is near.

For college football fans, in short, this can be an infuriating time. College football’s national championship is decided by a handful of components -- active coaches, computers and the mix of personalities in the Harris Interactive top 25.

Part of the BCS standings since 2005 when the Associated Press pulled its poll out of the formula, the Harris poll may be the least understood of the postseason components.

Its 115 voters are randomly selected to represent each conference and the independents. Harris Interactive selects 10 voters each from a pool of candidates provided by each conference, bringing the total voters to 110. Candidates submitted by the four independents make up the final five spots in the poll.

But who are the voters? Harris releases a list of names of the panel, but not their relationship to college football, the conference from which they were selected, or the college or conference that nominated to the panel in the first place.

Through research, we have filled in the gaps with a quick description of each voter for 2012.

Here are a few of our observations on the panel.

The mix is as expected among former players, former coaches, current and former media members and college administrators.

Our breakdown is as follows:

39 former players. This includes football players who went on to broadcast careers but not former college football players who went on to become coaches or administrators. One Heisman winner, Army’s Pete Dawkins, is in the panel.

31 former administrators. This includes former commissioners, athletic directors and sports information directors. The most notable is former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer, who is considered to be the father of the BCS.

27 current and former media members for print, broadcast and online outlets.

13 former coaches. This includes Lloyd Carr (Michigan), Tommy Bowden (Clemson and Tulane), Rich Brooks (Kentucky and Oregon) and Jackie Sherrill (Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh and Washington State).

5 “others.” This includes a former head of officials (Tim Mills), a former television executive (Loren Matthews) and a director of college scouting for the Green Bay Packers (John Dorsey).

Other notes:

Of the 115 voters, 29 have participated in the Harris poll every season since it began in 2005.

The Harris poll features 15 new voters from last season including former Tulane quarterback Shaun King, former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El, former Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner, former Minnesota running back Darrell Thompson and former Cincinnati and Florida State athletic director Bob Goin.

Another new voter, Bob Condron, spent the last 28 years as the director of media services for the United States Olympic Committee. His last experience in college athletics was sports information staffer at SMU and Texas Tech in the early 1980s.

Gary Hogeboom was a quarterback at Central Michigan and with the Dallas Cowboys, but he was also a contestant on Survivor: Guatemala in 2005.

Voter Description
*Denny Aldridge Texas player 1966-68
Bob Anderson Army player 1956-60
Eric Bailey Reporter, The Tulsa World
James Bates Florida player 1993-96, CBS Sports Network broadcaster
Sammy Batten Reporter, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer
*Dick Bestwick Georgia administrator 1986-88, South Carolina athletic director 1988, Virginia coach 1976-81
*Joe Biddle Former columnist, The Nashville Tennessean
*Blaine Bishop Ball State player 1990-92, Radio host, WGFX in Nashville
Tommy Bowden Tulane coach 1997-98, Clemson coach 1999-2008
Dave Braine Georgia Tech athletic director 1997-2006, Virginia Tech AD 1988-97, Marshall AD 1985-87
Gil Brandt NFL.com analyst, Former Cowboys director of player personnel
Rich Brooks Oregon coach 1977-94, Kentucky coach 2003-09
Chip Brown Reporter, Orangebloods.com
*Brenston Buckner Clemson player 1990-93
Grant Burget Oklahoma player 1970-74
Chris Carlin Broadcaster for Rutgers and SNY
Lloyd Carr Michigan coach 1995-2007
*Charlie Cavagnaro UNLV athletic director 1995-2001, Memphis AD 1982-95
Pete Cavender Boise State player 2003-07, radio analyst BSU Sports Radio Network
Tony Collins East Carolina player 1977-80
Bob Condron Former USOC director of media services 1984-2012, former SID staffer at Texas Tech and SMU
Gene Corrigan Notre Dame athletic director 1981-87, Virginia AD 1971-80, ACC commissioner 1987-97
Joe Crowley Former University of Nevada president, former NCAA president
Dick Crum North Carolina coach 1978-87, Kent State coach 1988-90
Fran Curci Miami coach 1971-72, Kentucky coach 1973-81
*Pete Dawkins 1958 Heisman winner at Army, former CEO of Primerica Financial Services
Herb Dromedi Central Michigan coach 1978-93
Mark Dienhart Minnesota athletic director 1995-2000, Executive Vice President, University of St. Thomas
John Dorsey Green Bay Packers director of college scouting, Connecticut player 1980-83
Bob Dunlevy West Virginia player 1963-65
Chuck Ealey Toledo player 1969-71
Jack Ebling Columnist, SpartanTailgate.com; Former columnist Lansing (Mich.) State Journal
Rondo Fehlberg BYU athletic director 1995-99
Robert Gagliardi Reporter, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle
Richard Giannini Southern Miss athletic director 1999-2011, former administrator at ULM, Florida and Duke.
Bob Goin Cincinnati athletic director 1997-2005, Florida State athletic director 1990-94
Joe Gottfried South Alabama athletic director 1984-2009
Mike Griffith Reporter, MLive.com
*Bob Grim Oregon State player 1964-66
Lee Grosscup Utah player 1957-58
Mark Hermann Purdue player 1977-80
*Tommy Hicks Columnist, Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register
Gary Hogeboom Central Michigan player 1976-79
David Horning NC State administrator 1984-2010
*David Housel Auburn athletic director 1990-2004
Todd Husak Stanford player 1996-99
J.J. Joe Former Baylor player 1990-93; Radio analyst, Baylor
Scott Johnson Fresno State athletic director 2001-05
Tony Jones Texas player 1986-89
Adam Jude Reporter, The Oregonian
Don W. Kassing San Jose State president 2005-08
Laing Kennedy Kent State athletic director 1994-2010, Cornell athletic director 1983-94
*Blair Kerkhoff Reporter, The Kansas City Star
*Mike Kern Reporter, The Philadelphia Daily News
Shaun King Tulane player 1995-98
*Roy Kramer SEC Commissioner, 1990-2002
Nate Kreckman Radio host, KXDP in Denver
*Bobby Leach SMU player 1981-84
Sonny Lubick Colorado State coach 1993-2007
*Mike Lude Auburn athletic director 1992-93, Washington athletic director 1975-91
*Tom Luicci Reporter, Newark (N.J.) Star Ledger
John Mallory West Virginia player 1965-67
Bob Marcum Kansas athletic director 1978-82, South Carolina AD 1982-88, Marshall AD 2002-09
Loren Matthews Former ABCSports Senior Vice President
Derrick Mayes Notre Dame player 1992-95
*Mike McGee Duke coach 1971-78, Cincinnati athletic director 1979-84, USC athletic director 1984-93
*Lance McIlhenny SMU player 1980-83
Pete Medhurst Radio reporter and host, Navy Radio Network
Tim Millis Former executive director of the NFL Referees Association, former Big 12 supervisor of officials
Eric Mizell Troy player 1990-91
*Craig Morton Cal player 1962-64
Gerald Myers Texas Tech athletic director 1996-2011
Joe Novak Northern Illinois coach 1996-2007
Jim Oakes Louisiana Tech athletic director 1994-2008
Denny O'Brien Reporter on East Carolina for Bonesville.net
David Paschall Reporter, Chattanooga (Tenn.) Free-Press
Allen Pinkett Notre Dame player 1982-85; Radio analyst, Notre Dame
Doug Plank Ohio State player 1972-74
Mike Prater Sports editor, Idaho Statesman
*Steve Preece Oregon State player 1966-68
Antwaan Randle El Indiana player 1998-2001
*Pat Richter Wisconsin athletic director 1989-2004
Earle Robinson Radio host, AM870 East Lansing, Mich.
*Kenny Roda Radio host WKNR 850 in Cleveland
Gary Sanders Former radio broadcaster, UAB
*Harvey Schiller CEO of GlobalOptions Group, SEC Commissioner 1986-90, Former VP at TBS
*Terry R. Schmidt Ball State player 1971-73
Terry Shea San Jose State coach 1990-91, Rutgers coach 1996-2000
Jackie Sherrill Pittsburgh coach 1977-81, Texas A&M coach 1982-88, Mississippi State coach 1991-2003
Corky Simpson Former columnist, The Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen
Riley Skinner Wake Forest player 2006-09
Joe Smigiel Arizona player 1992-94
Adam Sparks Reporter, The Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Daily News Journal
Fred Stabley Former Central Michigan sports information director
Patrick Stevens Reporter, The Washington Times
Don Strock Florida International coach 2002-06
Pat Swilling Georgia Tech player 1982-85
Mel Thomas Former TCU administrator and assistant coach
Darrell Thompson Minnesota player 1986-89
*John Toner Connecticut athletic director 1969-87
Charlie Trotman Auburn player 1977-79
*Max Urick Iowa State athletic director 1983-93, Kansas State athletic director 1993-2001
*Roger Valdiserri Former Notre Dame sports information director
Jeff Van Note Kentucky player 1966-68
Tommy Vardell Stanford player 1988-91
Mike Vaught Former SMU administrator
Jim Vruggink Former Purdue sports information director
*Bob Wagner Hawaii coach 1988-95
Jim Walden Iowa State coach 1987-94, Washington State coach 1978-86
Jay Walker Radio host, KPEL in Lafayette, La., play-by-play announcer, Louisiana-Lafayette
John Walters Former columnist, The Daily
Jack White Alabama player 1971, former director for PGA Tour's Shotlink
Dwayne Woodruff Louisville player 1976-78
Rick Wright Reporter, Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal
*Hugh Yoshida Hawaii athletic director 1992-2002
  *Indicates voters since first Harris poll in 2005
  Bold indicates new voter in 2012

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> College Football: Who votes in the Harris Poll?</p>
Post date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 05:53
Path: /college-football/big-east-post-week-6-power-rankings
Body:

The Big East continues to battle uncertain times, but at least the league as a bona fide race for the title among three ranked teams. No. 16 Louisville, No. 19 Rutgers and No. 25 Cincinnati are all in the AP poll, giving the Big East three ranked teams for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.

There’s still a way to go before the Big East approaches the notoriety of past seasons -- the final 2009 poll included two Big East teams in the top 15, where this week’s poll includes none -- but three undefeated teams is a start.

None of the three teams will face each other until late October, so there’s room for all three to build up their records and national reputations before a critical final month of conference play.

Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville --
It’s going to be difficult to knock Bridgewater off his perch, but others are gaining. The Cardinals quarterback will try to overcome his last two shaky starts on the road against Pittsburgh this week.

2. Jawan Jamison, Rutgers -- Jamison’s sixth consecutive 100-yard game wasn’t the most flashy, but it may have been among the most impressive. Jamison rushed for 110 yards against a top-10 run defense and a Big East Defensive Player of the Year candidate in Yawin Smallwood.

3. Gary Nova, Rutgers -- After two standout games against USF and Arkansas, Nova had a workman-like effort against Connecticut. Nova was 18 of 27 for 157 yards with a touchdown. Nova threw two interceptions against Tulane and Howard but none since.

Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Khaseem Greene, Rutgers --
The defending Co-Defensive Player of the Year jumps into the top spot after eight tackles, three quarterback hurries and an interception returned for 33 yards against Connecticut. Rutgers held UConn to 53 rushing yards.

2. Camerron Cheatham, Cincinnati -- Cheatham’s 68-yard interception returned for a touchdown swung the momentum into Cincinnati’s favor in the rout against Miami (Ohio). It was his second interception in two weeks.

3. Walter Stewart, Cincinnati -- Stewart had one tackle for a loss against Miami (Ohio), but the Bearcats defensive end remains among the league leaders in sacks (three) and tackles for a loss (six).

Coach of the Year Standings
1. Butch Jones, Cincinnati --
Big East play for Cincinnati won’t resume until Oct. 26 against Louisville, but Jones has his team ready. The Bearcats are in the top three in the Big East in total offense, scoring offense and scoring defense.

2. Kyle Flood, Rutgers -- The Scarlet Knights’ defense is doing just fine without Greg Schiano calling the shots, a credit to new defensive coordinator Robb Smith. The offense is also enjoying a stability it hasn’t seen in several seasons. Credit  quarterback Gary Nova limiting mistakes and improved play from the offensive line.

3. Charlie Strong, Louisville -- The Cardinals fought through some adversity in the last three games to get to 3-0, but the big tests begin in October when Louisville faces Cincinnati.

Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings

1. Louisville (5-0, 0-0)
Last week’s rank:
1
Week 6 result: Off
After an off week, Louisville will look to regroup after three consecutive close calls against North Carolina, FIU and Southern Miss. This week’s trip to Pittsburgh will be the Cards’ third road game in a row, but who knows what team Louisville will encounter at Heinz Field. Pitt has been good enough to rout Virginia Tech, but the Panthers are 0-2 in the Big East. Moreover, coach Charlie Strong is battling the requisite coaching carousel questions that plague every successful Big East coach.
This week: at Pittsburgh

2. Rutgers (5-0, 2-0)
Last week’s rank:
2
Week 6 result: Beat Connecticut 19-3
Off to its best start since 2006, Rutgers’ schedule may set up for another banner year with late-season intrigue. The Scarlet Knights’ next two games are against a pair of teams -- Syracuse and Temple -- that just won their Big East openers, but the season-defining games for Rutgers may come on Nov. 17 (at Cincinnati) and Nov. 29 (Louisville). Against Connecticut on Saturday, the Rutgers offense did enough to win while the defense bewildered the Huskies in the passing game and run game. Rutgers limited UConn to 1.9 yards per carry and intercepted Chandler Whitmer four times -- two stats that are setting the tone for Rutgers this season. Rutgers is second in the nation in rush defense at 60.6 yards allowed and is tied for second with 10 picks this season.
This week: Syracuse

3. Cincinnati (4-0, 1-0)
Last week’s rank:
3
Week 6 result: Beat Miami (Ohio) 52-14
The Big East takes its lumps, but any team from a non-automatic qualifying conference would jump at the chance to join. Case in point: Cincinnati’s dominance of the rivalry with Miami (Ohio). The Bearcats have won seven in a row over its MAC rival since their second season in the Big East, winning by an average of 29.6 points per game. It’s the longest winning streak by either team in the series, in which Miami had a 58-44-7 edge before Cincinnati joined the Big East. The Bearcats enjoyed their highest scoring game of the season thanks to an interception return for a touchdown from Camerron Cheatham and 189 combined yards on returns (114 on three interceptions, 75 on two kickoffs).
This week: Fordham

4. Syracuse (2-3, 1-0)
Last week’s rank: 7
Week 6 result: Beat Pittsburgh 14-13
Syracuse ended its eight-game losing streak to FBS opponents with an unexpected victory over a hot Pittsburgh team. With a road trip to Rutgers upcoming, the Orange will find out in short order whether it has turned a corner or if this win was a fluke similar to its last FBS win, a 49-23 victory over West Virginia on Oct. 21. After hard-fought losses to Northwestern and USC and a turnover-filled defeat to Minnesota, Syracuse finally caught a break with Dyshawn Davis’ 52-yard fumble returned for a touchdown in the first quarter, which turned out to be the game-winning score. Defensive end Brandon Sharpe (four sacks) led a dominant effort up front that sacked Tino Sunseri five times and held Pitt to 27 rushing yards.
This week: at Rutgers

5. Pittsburgh (2-3, 0-2)
Last week’s rank:
4
Week 6 result: Lost to Syracuse 14-13
Forget that defeating Virginia Tech might not be something to brag about this season, but what happened to the Pitt team that overwhelmed the Hokies two weeks ago? Pitt’s defense regrouped after allowing a scoring drive early in the first quarter, but the offense regressed, squandering scoring chances late in the game. The Panthers drove deep into Syracuse territory twice in the fourth quarter only to have penalties and sacks push the Panthers out of field goal range. Tino Sunseri was sacked five times and the running back duo of Ray Graham and Rushel Shell combined for only 59 yards and 2.4 yards per carry.
This week: Louisville

6. Connecticut (3-3, 0-1)
Last week’s rank:
6
Week 6 result: Lost to Rutgers 19-3
The Huskies’ defense did enough to win through the first half against Rutgers, limiting the Scarlet Knights to two field goals by halftime, but the D couldn’t overcome another rough day by the Huskies’ offense. Rutgers’ two field goals were all the Scarlet Knights needed to win. Chandler Whitmer’s four interceptions (10 for the season) are ugly, but the last two occurred on desperation attempts late in the fourth quarter. Just as alarming is UConn’s Big East-worst run game. Not helping matters was Lyle McCombs missing the first quarter as punishment for an arrest stemming from an altercation with his girlfriend. UConn has failed to win consecutive games in a year and a half under Paul Pasqualoni.
This week: Temple

7. Temple (2-2, 0-1)
Last week’s rank:
8
Week 6 result: Beat USF 37-28
Temple’s return to the Big East is already going better than its departure as the Owls won their first conference game as a Big East member since 2004. Temple got its most complete game of the season out of its backfield despite the game-ending ankle injury to Matt Brown (he’s expected to return against UConn). Montel Harris rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, and Chris Coyer completed 16 of 20 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. But the key was defense and special teams late. USF advanced to the Temple 23 before the Owls’ defense pushed Demetris Murray back five yards. The ensuing 45-yard field goal attempt, which would have put USF up by 1, was blocked and returned for a touchdown.
This week: at Connecticut

8. USF (2-4, 0-2)
Last week’s rank:
5
Week 6 result: Lost to Temple 37-28
What has gone wrong at USF? USF is 1-8 in the Big East since the start of 2011 thanks to fourth quarter woes that have continued into their second year. On Saturday, USF narrowed Temple’s lead to 2 points in the final 5:19 before a blocked field goal and a touchdown on the Bulls’ next possession ended USF’s comeback bid for good. Despite ample talent on that side of the ball, USF is seventh or eighth in the Big East in the major defensive categories. The Bulls are also the only team in the country without an interception. Good news: USF will have an off week to recover from four consecutive losses. Bad news: USF’s next game is at Louisville.
This week: Off

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

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Teaser:
<p> Big East Post-Week 6 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:01
Path: /college-basketball/college-basketball-countdown-no-6-michigan-preview
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Visit the online store for Michigan and other editions of the 2012-13 Athlon Sports College Basketball annual.

The first practices of college basketball season begin in mid-October, and Athlon Sports 2012-13 preview annuals have arrived on newsstands all over the country.

To prepare for the start of college basketball season, we will preview one team each weekday, counting down to the first official day of basketball practice on Oct. 15, or for some teams on Oct. 12.

We continue our countdown with a preview of No. 6 Michigan.

Don’t try to convince John Beilein, an eternal optimist, that last year’s NCAA Tournament thud against Ohio was a bad thing for his program. To the sixth-year Michigan coach, the loss was a case of not playing “well in one particular game” and not an indication that the team’s share of the Big Ten championship was sullied.

Since a program’s ultimate success is measured in terms of NCAA wins, it’s time for Michigan to make a move into the Tournament’s second weekend. The good news is for the first time in Beilein’s tenure, the Wolverines may be in a good position to do that. A highly regarded recruiting class, the decision by guard Trey Burke to return for his sophomore season and a level of depth Michigan hasn’t enjoyed in a long time should combine to make Michigan quite dangerous — both during the regular season and postseason.

“The Block M has never been stronger across the board,” Beilein says. “We have momentum.”

FRONTCOURT
Beilein teams haven’t exactly been known for their rough-and-tumble front lines, but this year’s Wolverines have plenty of options in the paint. If they want to play big and nasty, redshirt freshman Max Bielfeldt (6-7, 240), sophomore Jon Horford (6-10, 250) and junior Jordan Morgan (6-8, 250) can bring the beef. Bielfeldt and Horford were both sidelined with injuries last season.

If they want to play a little more of a finesse game, then 6-10 freshman Mitch McGary, a fine passer and shooter from the high and low post, can team with fellow newcomer Glenn Robinson III to form a dynamic offensive combination. A pair of high-level recruits who have helped lift Michigan’s national profile, Robinson and McGary give the Wolverines potential star power. Robinson was relatively highly regarded when he signed last fall, but his stock soared even greater since. He could be one of the nation’s top scoring freshmen. McGary is the kind of skilled big man Beilein craves. Some have compared McGary to former West Virginia star Kevin Pittsnogle, who thrived under Beilein.

“Some big men have a natural ability to pass, while others have to learn it,” Beilein says. “Mitch sees the floor well from the high post and low post positions.”

BACKCOURT
Last summer, the Wolverines lost Darius Morris to an ill-advised jump to the NBA Draft. This year, Burke stuck around after his great debut (14.8 ppg, 4.6 apg), giving the Michigan attack a high-energy floor leader who will be extremely productive and able to help the rest of the team deliver, too.

“Trey gets it, and that’s what’s going to help him become a better player,” Beilein says. “He understands he will get a lot of attention, and if the young men around him can shoot and score, his assists will go up, and his turnovers will go down. He saw a lot of minutes last year, and he can be better this year with more people around him.”

One person who will help Burke is freshman point guard Spike Albrecht, a 6-1 dynamo whom Beilein believes will be an instant fan favorite and who should allow Burke to rest some after he averaged 36.1 minutes per game last year.

The other big backcourt holdover is junior Tim Hardaway Jr., who has great skill but must learn to moderate his approach. He shot just 28.3 from 3-point range last year and didn’t always play great defense. Hardaway has plenty of talent, and the addition of Robinson, McGary and Albrecht mean he doesn’t have to do as much.

“He has gained trust with his teammates, and he should have enough people around him so that he can shoot less and score more points,” Beilein says.

Two other freshmen, tough shooter Nik Stauskas and athletic wing Caris LeVert, will also vie for time.

FINAL ANALYSIS
Michigan isn’t ready for a run at the Final Four, but the Wolverines should be an improved team that can certainly reach the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend. And, if everybody comes back for ’13-14, some real fun can be had.

Burke has great potential, and Hardaway can be a big factor if he plays within himself. The freshman class is talented, and Michigan should be deeper all over the floor. The loss to Ohio was tough, but the future is bright.

@AthlonSports

Athlon College Basketball Countdown So Far:
20. Florida

19. Notre Dame

18. Memphis
17. Baylor
16. Missouri

15. San Diego State

14. North Carolina

13. UNLV

12. UCLA
11. NC State

10. Michigan State
9. Duke

8. Ohio State

7. Arizona

Teaser:
<p> College Basketball Countdown: No. 6 Michigan Preview</p>
Post date: Monday, October 8, 2012 - 06:00
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Statement games littered the Saturday football lineup. For South Carolina, a statement of dominance. For Florida, a statement of a return to the national scene. For Ohio State, a statement the Buckeyes are the Big Ten’s best, postseason or no postseason.

Elsewhere, other statements were less positive, but still loud and clear. Florida State isn’t back among the national title contenders, but back to the status quo of disappointing in ACC play with another loss to a conference underdog on the road. And suddenly, LSU looks like it may be in trouble after its offense could muster only two field goals against Florida before the Tigers face South Carolina, Texas A&M on the road, Alabama and Mississippi State.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 6 RECAP: THREE AND OUT

MOVING THE CHAINS
South Carolina’s dominance.
What was billed as the biggest game in South Carolina history may hold that title for a few weeks or months. A matchup against a fellow top-six team was all but over in the first quarter when South Carolina took a three-touchdown lead in a 35-7 win. The Gamecocks defense was dominant up front, limiting Georgia’s freshman tailbacks, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, to 76 yards. The duo averaged nine yards per carry in SEC games entering Saturday but averaged three yards per carry against South Carolina. Another highlight-reel punt return from Ace Sanders and a brutally efficient effort from quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Marcus Lattimore completed a dominant effort in all three phases of the game. And suddenly the schedule that seemed to be tilted against South Carolina in the SEC East doesn’t look quite as bad. Florida, not LSU, may be the tougher away game in South Carolina’s upcoming two-week road swing.

Florida in the second half. Most of the credit to the Gators’ turnaround goes to Florida’s resilience in the second half. On Saturday, Florida broke open a defensive stalemate in the second half with a few key second-half adjustments. The absence of LSU linebacker Kevin Minter (20 tackles, three tackles for a loss, one sack, one forced fumble) for parts of two series didn’t hurt, either.  LSU’s defensive line dominated the first half, but the Gators’ unbalanced line look caused the Tigers problems, starting when Mike Gillislee went untouched in a 12-yard touchdown run to give the Gators the lead. Against LSU, Will Muschamp doubled down on the power run game in the second half to earn the signature win of his career. After trailing at halftime against Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU, Florida outscored those three opponents 51-6 in the second half on the way to a 4-0 start in the SEC.

Landry Jones in Lubbock. Oklahoma’s veteran quarterback had been off to an unspectacular start, but the Sooners may have vanquished some demons with a dominant win on the road against Texas Tech. With a 41-20 win, Jones became the first Sooners quarterback to win in Lubbock since Jason White in 2003. The Sooners’ offense wasn’t explosive, but it was effective. Jones finished 25 of 40 for 259 yards with two touchdowns against the national leader in pass efficiency defense.

FALSE STARTS
Florida State.
Like clockwork, Florida State raised expectations only to lose to a nondescript ACC team on the road. This season, the the Seminoles reached the top three in the AP poll for the first time since 2003 yet lost to NC State 17-16. Florida State was shut out in the second half, but handed the Wolfpack chance after chance late in the fourth quarter, first on a blocked punt and then on a personal foul penalty to move NC State into the red zone. And, somehow, NC State’s offensive line held Florida State to one sack despite the Wolfpack missing three starters. This was as mystifying as any of Florida State’s ACC upsets.

Texas defense. West Virginia’s going to score on anyone, but it’s past time to be suspicious of the Texas defense, a unit that was expected to the best in the Big 12. The Longhorns held Geno Smith to a season-low 268 passing yards and four touchdowns, but Texas’ run defense allowed an opposing back to thrive for the second consecutive week. Andrew Buie rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns only a week after Oklahoma State’s Joseph Randle rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns in Stillwater.

Nebraska. The Cornhuskers failed to build on the momentum from a second-half comeback against Wisconsin and collapsed in a 63-38 loss to Ohio State in what was supposed to be a game between the Big Ten’s two best teams. If that was the case, the Buckeyes erased any doubt. The Cornhuskers defense gave up 300 rushing yards for the second time this season (UCLA was the other team to do so). The Huskers gave up a touchdown in all three phases of the game (one interception return, one punt return, seven on offense). For Nebraska’s sake, at least every team in the Big Ten Legends Division is vulnerable.

HEISMAN MOVERS
Aaron Murray, Georgia.
The Bulldogs quarterback entered the game against South Carolina ranked third nationally in pass efficiency. He left with one of the worst games of his career, going 11 of 31 for 109 yards with an interception.  His 35.5 completion percentage against the Gamecocks was the lowest of his career.

EJ Manuel, Florida State. Two weeks after his second-half heroics against Clemson, Manuel had trouble putting NC State away as the Seminoles were shut out in the second half. Manuel was 17 of 29 for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Braxton Miller, Ohio State. Matt Barkley had trouble overcoming USC’s bowl ban to reach New York as a Heisman finalist. Will Miller face the same fate even if his play merits inclusion. Miller was 7 of 14 passing for 127 yards with a touchdown against Nebraska, but as usual did most of his damage in the ground game. He rushed for 186 yards, including a 72-yard rush and a 31-yard touchdown run. Miller has topped 100 rushing yards in seven of his last 11 games.

STAT WATCH
182:12.
Notre Dame has not allowed a touchdown in more than 12 quarters, dating back to a Purdue touchdown in the final 2:12 on Sept. 8. A first-quarter field goal was the only scoring from Miami in Notre Dame’s 41-3 win.

3,905. Poor performances against Alabama and Notre Dame probably cost Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson some national recognition, but he’s still rewriting record books. With 234 rushing yards against Purdue, Robinson passed Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El for the Big Ten’s rushing career rushing record for quarterbacks with 3,905 career yards. Robinson is 575 yards short of the national record held by West Virginia’s Pat White.

36. Geno Smith can win a Big 12 road game, we learned that much Saturday. The West Virginia quarterback threw four touchdown passes against Texas to give him 36 touchdown passes since his last interception, including 30 this season. Smith did have his first turnovers of the season, however, with two lost fumbles. West Virginia’s only other turnover this season was an interception by backup quarterback Paul Millard.

SCORES THAT MAKE YOU GO ‘HUH?’
Syracuse 14, Pittsburgh 13
Vanderbilt 19, Missouri 15
Cal 43, UCLA 17
FIRST THREE BOWL ELIGIBLE TEAMS
Ohio
Oregon
South Carolina
LAST THREE TEMPLE WINS IN THE BIG EAST
Oct. 6, 2012: USF 37-28
Nov. 13, 2004: Syracuse 34-24
Nov. 16, 2002: Rutgers 20-13

BURIED ON THE DEPTH CHART
UCLA.
The Bruins’ late-night 43-17 loss to Cal was one of the most surprising scores of the day with the Bruins enjoying a rebound year under Jim L. Mora and Cal starting the season 1-4. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley finally looked like a freshman with four interceptions and five sacks. Cal quarterback Zach Maynard’s performance was just unexpected as he finished 25 of 30 for 295 yards with four touchdowns.

Losing streaks end. Three eight-game losing streaks ended Saturday with Army defeating Boston College 34-31, Idaho defeating New Mexico State 26-18 and Memphis defeating Rice 14-10. The nation’s longest losing streak still belongs to Tulane, which has lost 15 in a row with a 41-13 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.

Another crazy finish in Navy-Air Force. Navy offensive guard Jake Zuzek fell on a fumbled snap in the end zone in overtime to give the Midshipmen a 28-21 victory for another unorthodox finish in this series. A year ago, Air Force won 35-34 in overtime when officials flagged Navy unsportsmanlike conduct on an OT touchdown. Th extra point from 35 yards out was blocked, and Air Force won on the second frame of OT.

THREE WILD FOURTH QUARTERS
Stanford 54, Arizona 48.
The Wildcats ran their offense at a breakneck pace, including 69 pass attempts from Matt Scott and 103 total plays. But Stanford’s more traditional offense got the last laugh. After an Arizona fumble, Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes led two scoring drives to erase a two-touchdown deficit in the final 6:34. An interception followed by a 21-yard Stepfan Taylor touchdown in overtime sealed a 54-48 win.

NC State 17, Florida State 16. The Wolfpack narrowed the deficit to 6 points early in the fourth quarter, but the game took its turn on NC State’s blocked punt in the final 2:30. Mike Glennon then converted three fourth-down plays on the final possession including the game-winning touchdown pass to end FSU’s national title hopes.

Texas A&M 30, Ole Miss 27. Yet another page in the legend of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. Early in the fourth quarter, the Aggies had turned the ball over six times and trailed by 10 in Oxford. Manziel led two scoring drives, capping them with a 29-yard touchdown run and 20-yard touchdown pass to give the Aggies their first SEC road win.

THREE COACHES WORKING MIRACLES
Bill O’Brien, Penn State.
Say this for O’Brien’s first team at Penn State: It doesn’t give up easily. The same group that fell apart in the second half against Ohio and endured a kicking debacle against Virginia, overcame an 11-point deficit in the final 10 minutes against Northwestern to win comfortably 39-28. Quarterback Matt McGloin may be the most improved quarterback in the nation with 10 touchdown passes and two interceptions this season. He had eight touchdowns and five interceptions all of last season. The Penn State offense topped 30 points for the third time in the last four games, a feat the Nittany Lions accomplished only three times all of last season.

David Cutcliffe, Duke. What kind of hex does Cutcliffe have on Virginia? The Duke coach is 4-1 against the Cavaliers at Duke, but no win was bigger than Saturday’s. After defeating Virginia 42-17, the Blue Devils are a win a way from bowl eligibility for the first time since 1994. Even more remarkable than a rout in an ACC game, is that Duke did it without three-year starting quarterback Sean Renfree. Backup Anthony Boone replaced the injured Renfree to complete 18 of 31 passes for 212 yards and four touchdowns.

Kyle Flood, Rutgers. The signature win came last week against Arkansas, but there was no hiccup the Scarlet Knights’ 19-3 win over Connecticut. Jawan Jamison rushed for at least 100 yards for the fifth time this season, and the defense forced five turnovers, including four interceptions, to extend Rutgers’ 5-0 record in Flood’s first season.

THREE COACHES UPDATING RESUMES
Gene Chizik, Auburn.
Can a coach who won a national title two seasons ago really be under this much pressure? It sure looks that way. Auburn’s offense was listless against Arkansas despite a halftime change at quarterback. The Tigers were sacked eight times and committed five turnovers -- against a team that had seven sacks and two takeaways all season. Auburn is 4-7 in the SEC since Cam Newton’s last game. Meanwhile, Auburn has scored three offensive touchdowns in its last five SEC games, including two in three games this season.

Skip Holtz, USF. The Bulls may be among the two or three most talented teams in the Big East. Yet despite a veteran quarterback and a speedy defense, USF has the worst record in the league the two seasons. A 37-28 loss to Temple gave the Bulls a 1-8 mark in the Big East since the start of last season and a 3-11 mark overall since starting the 2011 season 4-0. Riding a four-game losing streak, the Bulls are minus-12 in turnover margin this season.

Frank Spaziani, Boston College. The Spaziani tenure at Boston College hit its lowest point with a 34-31 loss to Army. Quarterback Trent Steelman ran for a 29-yard touchdown with 45 seconds left to end an eight-game losing streak for the Black Knights. With an option offense, Army will get its rushing yards, but 516 against Boston College is a little much, to put it mildly. A week before defeating Boston College, Army lost 23-3 to Stony Brook. Not a good sign for Spaziani and Boston College, which is 5-12 since the start of 2011.

DANG, THEY’RE GOOD
Kansas State
Ohio State
South Carolina
DANG THEY’RE BAD
Virginia
Auburn
Kansas
BEST GAMES NEXT WEEK
Texas vs. Oklahoma
Stanford at Notre Dame
South Carolina at LSU

THREE TEAMS BREATHING SIGHS OF RELIEF
Michigan State. The Spartans had seven penalties in the first half against Indiana, all of the personal foul or 15-yard variety. The Hoosiers took a 27-14 lead that took Michigan State the entire second half to overcome. The Spartans won 31-27, but it was another close call for a team that also struggled to put away Eastern Michigan two weeks ago.

Clemson. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has Clemson’s number, a trend that continued into the fourth quarter Saturday. The Yellow Jackets led 31-30, but Clemson scored 17 unanswered points for a key ACC win, especially when Florida State lost to NC State. Sammy Watkins didn’t have a play from scrimmage longer than nine yards, but Tajh Boyd passed for a career-high 397 yards in the win.

Oregon State. The Beavers had their worst game of the season on offense since the opener against Wisconsin. Sean Mannion threw three interceptions, and the Beavers rushed for 100 yards on 40 carries. Good thing Oregon State was playing Washington State. The Cougars threw four interceptions, including three to Jordan Poyer, in the 19-6 loss.

 

By David Fox

@DavidFox615

Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 6 Recap: South Carolina dominant, Florida State flops</p>
Post date: Sunday, October 7, 2012 - 10:55

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