Articles By Steven Lassan

All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/bovada-releases-2015-college-football-overunder-win-totals
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Preseason win totals and projections are an interesting part of any college football season. In addition to Athlon’s projected 128 for 2015, a few sportsbooks have released their projected over/under win totals for the upcoming year.

 

On Thursday, Bovada jumped into the mix with their win total projections for the coming year.

 

Needless to say, a few things jump out about the odds. Auburn at 8.5 over/under on the win totals seems a little low. Also, TCU and Baylor are both listed at 10 for the over/under on victories. From the Group of 5 ranks, Bowling Green at 5.5 seems very low for a team projected by most to win the MAC East.

 

Here’s a look at the full over/under odds for the season.

 

TeamBovada Win Over/Under
Air Force6
Akron7
Alabama9.5
Arizona7.5
Arizona State8.5
Arkansas8.5
Arkansas State7
Army3.5
Appalachian State8.5
Auburn8.5
Ball State7
Baylor10
Boise State9.5
Boston College5.5
Bowling Green5.5
Buffalo5
BYU8.5
California5
Central Michigan4
Charlotte2.5
Cincinnati7.5
Clemson8.5
Colorado4.5
Colorado State7.5
UConn3
Duke7
East Carolina7
Eastern Michigan1.5
Florida7.5
FAU5
FIU5.5
Florida State9.5
Fresno State4
Georgia9
Georgia Southern7.5
Georgia State2.5
Georgia Tech7.5
Hawaii5.5
Houston8
Idaho3.5
Illinois3.5
Indiana6
Iowa7.5
Iowa State3
Kansas1.5
Kansas State7
Kentucky6
Kent State4.5
UL Lafayette8
ULM4.5
Louisiana Tech8
Louisville7.5
LSU8.5
Marshall10
Maryland4.5
UMass4.5
Memphis8.5
Miami6
Miami, Ohio3.5
Michigan7.5
Michigan State9.5
MTSU6.5
Minnesota5.5
Ole Miss8.5
Miss. State7
Missouri7.5
Navy7.5
Nebraska8
Nevada6.5
New Mexico4.5
NMSU3
North Carolina8
NC State7.5
North Texas4.5
Northern Illinois8.5
Northwestern6.5
Notre Dame9
Ohio5
Ohio State11
Oklahoma9
Oklahoma State7.5
Old Dominion4.5
Oregon9.5
Oregon State4
Penn State7.5
Pittsburgh6
Purdue4
Rice7.5
Rutgers5
San Diego State7.5
San Jose State4
South Alabama3.5
South Carolina7
South Florida4
SMU2.5
Southern Miss4.5
Stanford9
Syracuse4.5
Temple7
Tennessee7.5
Texas6.5
Texas A&M7.5
TCU10
UTSA7
Texas State7
Texas Tech6
Toledo7
Troy4
Tulane4.5
Tulsa5
UCF7
UCLA9.5
UNLV2.5
USC8.5
Utah7.5
Utah State7.5
UTEP6
Vanderbilt3
Virginia4.5
Virginia Tech8
Wake Forest3.5
Washington4
Washington State5
West Virginia8
WKU7.5
Western Michigan7.5
Wisconsin10
Wyoming5
Teaser:
Bovada Releases 2015 College Football Over/Under Win Totals
Post date: Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 15:39
Path: /college-football/14-position-groups-under-pressure-acc-2015
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The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

14 ACC Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Boston College Offensive Line

This unit has been a strength in coach Steve Addazio’s two-year tenure. But the Eagles lost all five starters off last season’s unit, and there’s very little returning in the way of starting experience. Senior Harris Williams is back after missing nearly all of 2014 with an ankle injury and returns in 2015 as the leader for this group. With a talented backfield returning, Boston College needs this unit to mesh early in the year to exceed last season’s seven wins.

 

Related: College Football's All-Sophomore Team for 2015

 

Clemson Offensive Line

Protecting quarterback Deshaun Watson is priority No. 1 for coach Dabo Swinney in 2015. The line was the biggest issue following spring practice, and the concerns about this unit only increased after Isaiah Battle left for the NFL supplemental draft. The Tigers allowed 27 sacks in 13 games last year and return only one starter (center Ryan Norton). The projected starting five have just 29 career starts, and true freshman Mitch Hyatt is expected to start at left tackle.

 

Related: ACC Predictions for 2015

 

Duke Defensive Line

With five returning starters in the secondary, stopping the pass shouldn’t be an issue for co-defensive coordinators Jim Collins and Jim Knowles. But the Blue Devils have to be better against the run. Duke allowed 192.9 rushing yards per game in 2014 and only one starter – tackle Carlos Wray – is back up front. Converted linebackers Kyler Brown and Britton Grier are expected to play a hybrid linebacker/end role, and junior A.J. Wolf replaces Jamal Bruce on the interior. The development of the offensive line is also something to watch in 2015.

 

Related: Ranking the ACC Coaches for 2015

 

Florida State Linebackers

The offensive and defensive lines are also worth mentioning here, but the linebacker position has been depleted by departures and injuries. Senior Terrance Smith was injured off and on in 2014 and finished the year with 87 stops and two interceptions. He should be an all-conference performer (if healthy) in 2015. After Smith is where the questions begin for coordinator Charles Kelly. Senior Reggie Northrup is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in the Rose Bowl, and sophomore Matthew Thomas is questionable to start the opener after offseason shoulder surgery. If Thomas and Northrup aren’t ready by September, the pressure builds on junior college recruit Lorenzo Phillips, sophomore Ro’Derrick Hoskins and redshirt freshman Delvin Purifoy.

 

Related: ACC Predictions for 2015

 

Georgia Tech Wide Receivers

It seems odd to mention this position for a team that averages only 14.5 pass attempts a game. However, even though Georgia Tech will have one of the nation’s top rushing attacks, the threat of the pass is still needed. DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller accounted for 61 of the Yellow Jackets’ 106 receptions last year. Will coach Paul Johnson find a couple of targets for quarterback Justin Thomas?

 

Related: ACC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Louisville Offensive Line

While Louisville must replace all four starters in its secondary, there is plenty of talent waiting to step in for coordinator Todd Grantham. The offensive line had its share of ups and downs in 2014, allowing 40 sacks and clearing the way for rushers to average just 3.7 yards per rush in ACC games. Adding to the concerns about this group was the departure of three key seniors. Junior Tobijah Hughley and senior Aaron Epps are back as returning starters, but this unit is a position of concern for coach Bobby Petrino headed into fall practice.

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers for 2015

 

Miami Offensive Line

The defensive line and linebacker units are also worth a mention here, but Miami’s offense won’t take off unless quarterback Brad Kaaya has enough time to throw. The Hurricanes return just one starter up front (guard Danny Isidora) and projected starter Taylor Gadbois was recently dismissed from the team. Even though there’s new faces stepping into the lineup, this group has potential and talent with sophomores Kc McDermott, Trevor Darling and Nick Linder competing for starting spots.

 

Related: Miami Hurricanes 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

NC State Wide Receivers

With 14 returning starters, along with another year for quarterback Jacoby Brissett to develop, NC State is a sleeper team to watch in the Atlantic Division. Brissett threw for 2,606 yards and 23 scores in his Wolfpack debut, but the senior quarterback needs help from his supporting cast to elevate this team into division title contention. The receiving corps lost leading target Bo Hines (45 catches) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (22 receptions), leaving tight end David Grinnage (27 catches) as the top returning option. This unit isn’t totally depleted, as Bra’Lon Cherry, Johnathan Alston and all-purpose threat Nyheim Hines should give Brissett options in the passing attack.

 

Related: NC State Wolfpack 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

North Carolina Defensive Line

The Tar Heels need better play from their offensive line, but improving the defense was the top priority for coach Larry Fedora in the spring. Hiring Gene Chizik as the team’s new coordinator was a step in the right direction, and the former Auburn coach inherits six returning starters. Getting better play from the defense starts up front, as this unit has to stop the run better after giving up 240.5 yards per game in 2014. Additionally, generating a better pass rush is a must after recording only 22 sacks in 13 games. Sophomores Nazair Jones and Dajaun Drennon are good building blocks for Chizik in 2015.

 

Pittsburgh Defensive Backs

Pittsburgh finished 2014 ranked fourth in the ACC in pass defense, but a deeper look at the numbers shows why coach Pat Narduzzi wants to improve this unit for the 2015 season. The Panthers allowed 12 plays of 40 yards or more and six of 50 yards or more. Both of those totals were near the bottom of the ACC. Eliminating some of the big plays allowed by the defensive backs could be helped by a better pass rush, which is where the influence of Narduzzi and coordinator Josh Conklin should pay off. Pittsburgh has to improve on defense to win the Coastal, and there’s reason to be optimistic in the Steel City going into the 2015 season.

 

Related: All-America Team for 2015

 

Syracuse Defensive Line

A couple of positions deserve a mention here, but Syracuse’s defensive line has been depleted by departures since last season. Junior Ron Thompson is a candidate for All-ACC honors, but how will the rest of this group look by the season opener? Converted linebacker Luke Arciniega could help at defensive end, and Thompson may have to play inside with the concerns on the interior. Senior Wayne Williams recently left the team, leaving redshirt freshmen Kayton Samuels and Chris Slayton has two of the top three options at tackle. Coach Scott Shafer will have a use a few incoming freshmen just to build a rotation up front.

 

Virginia Linebackers

The Cavaliers were hit hard by departures on defense, as end Eli Harold and linebacker Max Valles left early for the NFL Draft. Additionally, senior linebackers Henry Coley and Daquan Romero expired their eligibility, leaving just two returning starters up front. Linebacker is generally one of the easier positions to reload each year, but this will be an inexperienced group for coach Mike London. True freshmen C.J. Stalker and Jahvoni Simmons could start, while Zach Bradshaw, Mark Hall and Micah Kiser are also pushing for snaps.

 

Related: All-Freshman Team for 2015

 

Virginia Tech Offensive Line

This unit has been a question mark in recent years, and the Hokies need better play in the trenches on offense to get back to the ACC Championship. This unit allowed 34 sacks last season, and the rushing attack averaged only 3.2 yards per carry in ACC games. Improvement for this group rests on the development of junior left tackle Jonathan McLaughlin and sophomore guard Wyatt Teller. Both players should be in the mix for All-ACC honors and could develop into one of the ACC’s top pairings on the left side of the line. Promising pieces are in place for line coach Stacy Searels. How much will this unit improve by the fall?
 

Related: Ranking the ACC Cornerback Tandems for 2015

 

Wake Forest Offensive Line

It’s no secret the offensive line was Wake Forest’s biggest weakness last year. The Demon Deacons allowed the most sacks in the nation (48), and rushers generated only 1.3 yards per rush. Coach Dave Clawson hopes another offseason helps this unit improve, and three freshmen – Phil Haynes, Ryan Anderson and Justin Herron – could crack the starting lineup. This unit won’t be as bad as it was in 2014. But how much can it improve?

Teaser:
14 Position Groups Under Pressure in the ACC for 2015
Post date: Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/tennessee-releases-new-uniforms-program-joins-forces-nike
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Tennessee released a new uniform design on Wednesday, as the program officially joined forces with Nike as its apparel supplier.  

 

The Volunteers were under the Adidas brand since the mid-1990s, but as of July 1, the program will be sporting Nike apparel for the next eight years.

 

Nike isn’t making any drastic changes to the Tennessee uniform. Here’s a look at the Volunteers’ Nike uniforms for the upcoming year:

 

Tennessee's 2015 uniforms with Nike:

 

Home Uniform:

 

Alternate Helmet for Tennessee:

 

Alternate Uniform for Tennessee:

 

 

Here's Tennessee's uniforms from 2014 with Adidas:

 

Teaser:
Tennessee Releases New Uniforms as Program Joins Forces With Nike
Post date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 12:45
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-cornerback-tandems-2015
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Cornerback is one of the toughest positions to play in college football. Quarterbacks, spread attacks and skill players aren’t getting any easier to defend and the rules certainly favor the offensive side of the ball.

 

While the success of the secondary doesn’t necessarily depend on the two starting cornerbacks for any team, having a standout tandem helps to defend the prolific offenses in college football.

 

It’s never too early to think about the upcoming year, so Athlon Sports is taking a look at ranking the top cornerback tandems for the 2015 season. A couple of notes: Only Power 5 programs were considered for the top 25 and there was projection for the upcoming year. Previous stats and awards matter, but it is important to look at what’s ahead for the 2015 season. Additionally, it’s not easy to weigh the tandems when there is one clear standout (Florida State and Clemson) and question marks at other spot.

 

Top 25 CB Tandems from Power 5 Teams

 

1. Virginia Tech: Kendall Fuller and Brandon Facyson

 

Fuller is one of the top cover corners in the nation and a first-team Athlon Sports All-America selection for 2015. Facyson was limited to three games due to injury last year and recorded six stops. When healthy, Facyson is one of the top defensive backs in the ACC, recording third-team all-conference honors in 2013.

 

Related: All-ACC Team for 2015

 

2. Florida: Vernon Hargreaves III and Jalen Tabor

 

Hargreaves III is arguably the best cornerback in college football. Over the last two seasons, Hargreaves III intercepted six passes and broke up 24 throws to his side of the field. Tabor was a member of the Athlon Sports All-Freshman Team last year after recording 22 tackles and one interception in 12 appearances.

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

3. LSU: Tre’Davious White and Kevin Toliver II

 

New LSU coordinator Kevin Steele inherits one of the top defensive backfields in the nation. The Tigers ranked third nationally in pass efficiency defense last season and plenty of experience and talent returns in 2015. White has started 24 games over the last two years and recorded four interceptions in that span. Toliver II was a five-star recruit in the 2015 signing class and will battle with Ed Paris for the starting spot opposite of White.

 

4. USC: Adoree’ Jackson and Kevon Seymour

 

The Trojans have question marks up front with the departure of Leonard Williams, but there’s little concern in the secondary for coordinator Justin Wilcox. Jackson is one of the top all-purpose players in the nation and will see time on offense in 2015. Seymour broke up 13 passes last season and has made steady improvement over the last three years.

 

Related: Pac-12 Predictions for 2015

 

5. Notre Dame: Cole Luke and KeiVarae Russell

 

The Fighting Irish ranked 84th nationally in pass efficiency defense last season but expect to see big improvement out of this unit. Russell recorded 109 tackles and 10 pass breakups from 2012-13 and ranked as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks prior to last year. However, Russell was suspended for all of 2014, forcing Notre Dame to shuffle its secondary. Cole Luke started all 13 games as a sophomore last year and recorded 48 tackles, 11 pass breakups and four interceptions. He should be even better in his second season as the starter.

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

6. Minnesota: Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray

 

Most around the Big Ten know how good this duo was in 2014, but it’s time for the rest of the nation to take notice. Boddy-Calhoun was one of Minnesota’s top playmakers on defense last season, breaking up nine passes and intercepting five in 13 games. Murray only intercepted one pass, but opposing quarterbacks also avoided his side of the field. This duo was a key reason why Minnesota only allowed 12 passing scores in Big Ten play in 2014. 

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

7. Wisconsin: Darius Hillary and Sojourn Shelton

 

Behind the leadership of rising star coordinator Dave Aranda, Wisconsin limited opponents to just 20.8 points per game in 2014. The secondary was a key piece of Aranda’s defensive success last year, as the Badgers allowed just 11 touchdown passes in Big Ten play and held opposing quarterbacks to a 47.4 completion percentage. Hillary started all 14 games last season, while Shelton followed up a solid freshman debut with 33 tackles and six passes defended.

 

8. Florida State: Jalen Ramsey and Marquez White

 

Coordinator Charles Kelly should feel great about one of Florida State’s cornerback spots. The other spot? Wait and see. Ramsey could be college football’s best defensive player in 2015, as the Tennessee native has started all 28 games in his career and will move from safety to cornerback this year. Marquez White is locked into a tight battle for the other job, as converted running back Ryan Green or talented freshmen Tarvarus McFadden or Marcus Lewis could start opposite of Ramsey.

 

Related: ACC Predictions for 2015

 

9. Ohio State: Eli Apple and Gareon Conley

 

The Buckeyes ranked 13th nationally in pass efficiency defense last season and eliminated some of the big plays that hindered this unit in 2013. Doran Grant must be replaced at one corner spot, but Eli Apple is one of the nation’s rising stars on defense after starting 14 games in 2014. Apple is one of the Big Ten’s top corners, while Conley left spring with the edge over Damon Webb and Marshon Lattimore for the other spot.

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

10. Clemson: Mackensie Alexander and Cordrea Tankersley

 

Clemson suffered significant losses to its front seven for 2015, but Alexander gives coordinator Brent Venables a solid piece to build around in the secondary. The Florida native is coming off an impressive freshman season, recording 22 tackles and six pass breakups in 13 games. Uncertainty surrounds the spot opposite of Alexander, which is expected to go to Cordrea Tankersley.

 

11. Tennessee: Cameron Sutton and Emmanuel Moseley

 

Sutton has been underrated throughout his career, but the Georgia native won’t fly under the radar in 2015 as one of the SEC’s top defensive backs. He has 20 pass breakups and five interceptions over the last two years. Moseley played in 13 games as a true freshman in 2014 and recorded 19 tackles and six pass breakups. 

 

Related: College Football's All-Freshman Team for 2015

 

12. Mississippi State: Will Redmond and Taveze Calhoun

 

The Bulldogs finished No. 14 in the SEC in pass defense last season, but that number was a little deceiving. Mississippi State ranked No. 25 nationally in pass efficiency defense and limited opposing quarterbacks to a 53.4 completion percentage. Redmond has never started a game in his career, but the Memphis native has thrived as a nickel back. Calhoun ranked fourth on the team with 53 stops in 2014 and also recorded nine pass breakups. 

 

Related: SEC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

13. Maryland: William Likely and Sean Davis

 

Likely isn’t the biggest cornerback (5-foot-7), but the Florida native is one of the Big Ten’s top returning defenders. In 13 games last season, Likely earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after recording 83 tackles and six interceptions. Davis started all 13 games last season and will move to cornerback from safety on a full-time basis in 2015. He recorded 115 tackles and eight pass breakups last year.

 

14. Virginia: Maurice Canady and Demetrious Nicholson

 

Health is a huge question for this trio, as Nicholson has played in only six games over the last two years due to injury. Assuming Nicholson is healthy and regains his pre-injury form, Virginia should be one of the ACC’s best against the pass. Canady earned second-team All-ACC honors after recording 37 tackles, one forced fumble and three picks in 2014.

 

15. Ole Miss: Tony Bridges and Tee Shepard

 

Ole Miss fielded one of the stingiest defensive units in the nation in 2014, and this unit shouldn’t miss a beat despite losing cornerback Senquez Golson to the NFL. The Rebels allowed only seven passing scores in SEC games in 2014 and limited opponents to a 59.1 completion percentage. Matching those totals in 2015 is on the shoulders of juniors Tony Bridges and Tee Shepard. Bridges ranked as the No. 7 junior college recruit in the 2015 247Sports Composite. Shepard returns to action after missing 2014 due to injury.

 

16. Kansas State: Danzel McDaniel and Morgan Burns

 

McDaniel and Burns are an underrated duo and a big reason why Kansas State allowed only 11 passes of 30 yards or more last season – the fewest in the Big 12. In his first year from the junior college ranks, McDaniel earned second-team All-Big 12 honors and recorded 59 tackles. Burns is a weapon on special teams and started 12 games for the Wildcats last season.

 

17. Auburn: Jonathan Jones and Blake Countess

 

With Will Muschamp calling the signals in 2015, Auburn could have one of the nation’s most improved defenses. The front seven is set with the return of end Carl Lawson, but the secondary has room to improve after allowing 44 plays of 20 yards or more last year. Jonathan Jones had a breakout year in 2014, recording 11 pass breakups and six interceptions en route to earning second-team All-SEC honors. Countess is a graduate transfer from Michigan eligible immediately. He appeared in 38 games with the Wolverines. 

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers to Watch for 2015

 

18. Oklahoma: Zack Sanchez and Jordan Thomas

 

Much like a few teams ahead of the Sooners, one spot is secure and the other spot has uncertainty entering 2015. The pass defense has to improve for coach Bob Stoops, but junior Zack Sanchez should be one of the Big 12’s top cover options. The Texas native has 21 pass breakups in the last two years. Sophomore Jordan Thomas is the favorite to start opposite of Sanchez. 

 

19. Missouri: Kenya Dennis and Aarion Penton

 

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see both Dennis and Penton earn All-SEC consideration this year. This duo anchored the Missouri secondary in 2014, guiding the Tigers to a No. 39 finish in pass efficiency defense. Penton broke up 10 passes and intercepted three balls, while Dennis made 61 stops and defended 10 passes. 

 

20. UCLA: Fabian Moreau and Ishmael Adams

 

With four starters back in the secondary, UCLA should be able to improve off last year’s No. 60 rank in pass efficiency defense. Moreau earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2014 after recording 53 tackles and one interception. In addition to his success on special teams, Adams started all 13 games on defense and picked off two passes and recorded 41 tackles.

 

Related: Pac-12 Predictions for 2015

 

21. Arizona State: Lloyd Carrington and Kweishi Brown

 

The Sun Devils are going to be aggressive with their front seven on defense, so a few big plays are going to be allowed by the secondary if the pass rush doesn’t get to the quarterback. Arizona State allowed 27 passing plays (No. 12 in the Pac-12) of 30 yards or more last year. Coordinator Keith Patterson and coach Todd Graham hope that number drops in 2015, especially with Carrington and Brown returning after combining for four interceptions and 11 pass breakups in 2014.

 

22. Arkansas: Henre’ Toliver and Jared Collins

 

The Razorbacks showed big improvement under coordinator Robb Smith last year, holding opponents to just 5.1 yards per play after allowing 6.1 in 2013. The secondary limited opposing SEC quarterbacks to 12 passing scores last season, and Smith has three solid options to choose from at cornerback. Juniors Jared Collins and D.J. Dean are competing to start on one side, while Henre’ Toliver left spring with the edge at the other spot.

 

Related: College Football's Top Running Back Tandems for 2015

 

23. Penn State: Trevor Williams and Grant Haley

 

Penn State plans on shuffling its secondary a bit in 2015, but coordinator Bob Shoop should feel confident in this group. Senior Jordan Lucas will shift from cornerback to safety, opening the door for Williams and Haley to take over as the new tandem in Happy Valley. Haley played well as a true freshman last season and recorded 18 tackles and one interception in 13 games. Williams made a smooth transition from receiver to cornerback prior to 2013 and started 12 contests last year.

 

24. Duke: Bryon Fields and Breon Borders

 

The Blue Devils quietly ranked 23rd nationally in pass efficiency defense last season. And with five starters returning in the secondary for 2015, matching that total or climbing even higher could be possible for coach David Cutcliffe’s defensive backs. Safety Jeremy Cash is this unit’s headliner, but Fields and Borders combined to intercept four passes and limited ACC opponents to just 12 passing scores in league play.

 

25. NC State: Juston Burris and Jack Tocho

 

The Wolfpack are a sleeper team to watch in the ACC Atlantic this year, as the Wolfpack return 14 starters from a team that won four out of their final five games in 2014. NC State’s defense has to retool up front, but the secondary is a strength with all five starters returning. This unit ranked 42nd nationally in pass efficiency defense and allowed 12 passing scores in league play. Tocho is only getting better with each snap, and the junior anchors the secondary after recording 40 tackles, one interception and 11 pass breakups last year.

 

Other Power 5 CB Tandems to Watch

 

Alabama: Cyrus Jones and Tony Brown

Georgia: Malkom Parrish and Devin Bowman

Georgia Tech: Chris Milton and D.J. White

Iowa: Desmond King and Greg Mabin

Michigan: Wayne Lyons and Jourdan Lewis

Northwestern: Nick VanHoose and Matthew Harris

Oklahoma StateKevin Peterson and Ramon Richards

Oregon: Charles Nelson and Chris Seisay

West VirginiaDaryl Worley and Terrell Chestnut

 

Top Group of 5 Cornerback Tandems

 

Boise State: Donte Deayon and Jonathan Moxey

FIU: Richard Leonard and Jeremiah McKinnon

Houston: Brandon Wilson and William Jackson

Louisiana Tech: Adairius Barnes and Bryson Abraham

Northern Illinois: Paris Logan and Anthony Brooks

San Diego State: J.J. Whittaker and Damontae Kazee

San Jose State: Jimmy Pruitt and Cleveland Wallace

Temple: Tavon Young and Sean Chandler

Teaser:
College Football's Top Cornerback Tandems for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/jim-harbaugh-throws-first-pitch-detroit-tigers-game-tuesday-night
Body:

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has been a busy man this offseason. Whether it’s satellite recruiting camps, providing entertainment through Twitter or a trip to Peru, Harbaugh always seems to be in the news.

 

And Harbaugh’s busy offseason made a stop in Detroit on Tuesday night, as the Tigers hosted the Pirates for an interleague matchup.

 

Harbaugh threw out the first pitch for the first game of this series and also chipped in on the Tigers’ all-star campaign.

 

Check out the video and a few photos from Tuesday night: 

Teaser:
Jim Harbaugh Throws First Pitch at Detroit Tigers Game on Tuesday Night
Post date: Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-all-sophomore-team-2015
Body:

Awards are a big part of any college football season. Whether it’s preseason accolades or awards after the year has finished, All-America, all-conference teams or even a list of the best freshmen, these are an entertaining and informative way to get prepared for the next season or look back at the year that was.

 

Looking ahead to 2015, college football isn’t hurting for talent in the sophomore ranks. Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett was a Heisman contender before a leg injury against Michigan, and the sophomore could be among the nation’s top quarterbacks – if he wins the job over Cardale Jones and Braxton Miller.

 

Related: All-America Team for 2015 | All-Freshman Team for 2015

 

But the strength of the sophomore class has to be at running back. LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Georgia’s Nick Chubb, Florida State’s Darvin Cook and Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine are among the nation’s top rushers – and all four are entering their sophomore camaign.   

 

College Football's All-Sophomore Team for 2015

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBDeshaun Watson
Clemson 
J.T. Barrett
Ohio State 
Brad Kaaya
Miami 
Anu Solomon
Arizona 
RBLeonard Fournette
LSU 
Jarvion Franklin
WMU 
Justin Jackson
Northwestern 
Jalen Hurd
Tennessee 
RBNick Chubb
Georgia 
Samaje Perine
Oklahoma 
Marlon Mack
USF 
Demario Richard
Arizona State 
RBDalvin Cook
Florida State 
Royce Freeman
Oregon 
Nick Wilson
Arizona 
Jon Hilliman
Boston College 
WRJuJu Smith
USC 
Artavis Scott
Clemson 
Isaiah Ford
Va. Tech 
Jalin Marshall
Ohio State 
WRKD Cannon
Baylor 
DaeSean Hamilton
Penn State 
Speedy Noil
Texas A&M 
Travis Rudolph
Florida State 
APDe'Mornay Pierson-El
Nebraska 
Christian McCaffrey
Stanford 
Boom Williams
Kentucky 
Allen Lazard
Iowa State 
TEBucky Hodges
Virginia Tech 
Cam Serigne
Wake Forest 
Austin Hooper
Stanford 
Roger Lewis (WR)
BGSU 
OLCam Robinson
Alabama 
Tejan Koroma
BYU 
Billy Price
Ohio State 
Reggie Bain
FAU 
OLWyatt Teller
Va. Tech 
Tyrell Crosby
Oregon 
Mason Cole
Michigan 
Cole Madison
Wazzu 
OLRod Johnson
Florida State 
Conor McDermott
UCLA 
Ramsey Meyers
Kentucky 
Will Hernandez
UTEP 
OLToa Lobendahn
USC 
Brian Allen
Michigan State 
Jashon Robertson
Tennessee 
Alex Officer
Pittsburgh 
OLViane Talamaivao
USC 
Andrew Nelson
Penn State 
Jake Campos
Iowa State 
Sean Welsh
Iowa 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DLDerek Barnett
Tennessee 
Malik McDowell
Michigan State 
Steven Richardson
Minnesota 
Bijhon Jackson
Arkansas 
DLMyles Garrett
Texas A&M 
Lowell Lotulelei
Utah 
Nazair Jones
North Carolina 

Tyquan Lewis

Ohio State 

DLDavon Godchaux
LSU 
Marquis Haynes
Ole Miss 
Kemoko Turay
Rutgers 
Charles Harris
Missouri 
DLKeShun Freeman
Georgia Tech 
Tashon Smallwood
Arizona State 
Ja'Von Rolland-Jones
Arkansas State 
 
Bryan Mone
Michigan 
LBDarron Lee
Ohio State 
Lorenzo Carter
Georgia 
Ja'Whaun Bentley
Purdue 
Nigel Bowden
Vanderbilt 
LBTaylor Young
Baylor 
Peter Kalambayi
Stanford 
D.J. Calhoun
Arizona State 
Tegray Scales
Indiana 
LBRaekwon McMillan
Ohio State 
Quentin Poling
Ohio 
Otaro Alaka
Texas A&M 
Jerod Fernandez
NC State 
LBEli Apple (CB)
Ohio State 
Elijah Lee
Kansas State 
Steven Parker (S)
Oklahoma 
Armani Watts (S)
Texas A&M 
DBMackensie Alexander
Clemson 
Marcus Allen
Penn State 
Parry Nickerson
Tulane 
Dravon Henry
WVU 
DBAdoree' Jackson
USC 
Ranthony Texada
TCU 
Kamari Cotton-Moya
Iowa State 
Josh Jones
NC State 
DBBudda Baker
Washington 
Jamal Adams
LSU 
Trey Marshall
Florida State 
Jalen Davis
Utah State 
DBQuin Blanding
Virginia 
Brandon Facyson
Va. Tech 

Jalen Tabor

Florida 

Charles Nelson

Oregon 

 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists

Fourth-Team

Specialists

K

Matthew McCrane

Kansas State 

Rafael Gaglianone

Wisconsin 

Austin MacGinnis

Kentucky 

Trevor Moore

North Texas 

P

JK Scott

Alabama 

Joe Davidson

BGSU 

Will Gleeson

Ole Miss 

Johnny Townsend

Florida 

 

Teaser:
College Football's All-Sophomore Team for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-secs-receiving-corps-2015
Body:

The SEC is home to some of college football’s top receivers in 2015. Laquon Treadwell is a first-team Athlon Sports All-American, and the Ole Miss receiver should be at full strength from a leg injury suffered against Auburn. In addition to Treadwell, the SEC features Auburn’s D’haquille Williams, Florida’s Demarcus Robinson, Mississippi State’s De’Runnya Wilson and South Carolina’s Pharoh Cooper.

 

While having a clear No. 1 go-to target for a quarterback is ideal, the overall strength of a receiving corps is critical as well. Which teams have the best overall group in the SEC this year? Here’s a 1-14 ranking, with Texas A&M leading the way at the top.

 

Ranking the SEC Wide Receiver Units for 2015

 

1. Texas A&M

 

The Aggies are among the nation’s best at this position. Five of the top six statistical options return for quarterback Kyle Allen, including All-SEC candidates Josh Reynolds, Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones. Noil is one of the conference’s top all-purpose threats, while Reynolds ranked second among SEC receivers with 13 touchdowns. As if that trio wasn’t enough to stop for opposing defenses, true freshman Christian Kirk could make an immediate impact in 2015. Kirk was a five-star recruit in the 2015 signing class.

 

Related: SEC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

2. Ole Miss

 

All signs point to Laquon Treadwell returning at full strength from a season-ending leg injury suffered against Auburn in November. When healthy, Treadwell is among the nation’s best receivers, as he recorded 48 receptions for 632 yards and five scores last year. The talent around Treadwell continues to improve, as coach Hugh Freeze added Washington transfer Damore’ea Stringfellow and talented freshman DaMarkus Lodge to the mix. The depth extends to senior Cody Core and sophomore Markell Pack, while tight end Evan Engram (17.4 ypc) is an Athlon Sports All-American for 2015.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

3. Tennessee

 

The Volunteers return nearly everyone from last season’s receiving corps, and this unit is only going to get better with another offseason to work with coach Butch Jones and quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Junior Marquez North suffered a shoulder injury last season and was limited to 30 catches. When healthy, North has the talent to be one of the SEC’s top receivers. Senior Pig Howard, junior Jason Croom and sophomore Josh Malone combined for 98 receptions last year and are back for 2015. True freshman Preston Williams and tight end Ethan Wolf are two names to watch in the fall.

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

4. Auburn

 

The big-play ability of Sammie Coates will be missed, but Auburn is still in good shape at receiver. D’haquille Williams caught 45 passes for 730 yards in his debut last year, and the junior college recruit could be one of the nation’s top receivers in 2015. Ricardo Louis and sophomore Jason Smith could have breakout seasons, while Melvin Ray, Tony Stevens and Marcus Davis are back to provide depth. 

 

5. LSU

 

There’s plenty of talent here, but LSU’s passing attack hinges on development at quarterback. Junior Travin Dural ranked third among SEC receivers last season with eight catches of 30 yards or more. He also led the team with 37 catches and averaged 20.5 yards per reception. Sophomore Malachi Dupre was a five-star recruit in 2014 and caught 14 passes for 318 yards in his debut. Sophomores Trey Quinn and John Diarse round out the top four returning options, but incoming freshman Tyron Johnson will push for snaps.

 

Related: College Football's 2015 All-Freshman Team

 

6. Mississippi State

 

With quarterback Dak Prescott returning for his senior year, the Bulldogs will be one of the SEC’s best on offense. And Prescott is going to have plenty of help from his receivers, as this group is loaded with talent and experience. Junior De’Runnya Wilson (6-foot-5, 215 pounds) is a nightmare matchup for opposing defensive backs. Fred Ross is another All-SEC candidate after averaging 16.3 yards per catch in 2014. Jameon Lewis and Malcolm Johnson (TE) must be replaced, but Gabe Myles (22 catches), Joe Morrow (20.2 ypc) and junior college recruit Donald Gray should easily fill the voids left behind this year.

 

7. Alabama

 

While most of the focus in Tuscaloosa remains at the quarterback position, the receiving corps still has to find a way to replace standout Amari Cooper. The good news? Talent certainly isn’t an issue. True freshman Calvin Ridley is expected to play a prominent role in the offense this year, and Oregon State transfer Richard Mullaney was a solid pickup to add depth and talent to an unsettled group. Sophomores Robert Foster and ArDarius Stewart, along with junior Chris Black will be counted on to help fill the void left behind by Cooper. Tight end O.J. Howard is an Athlon Sports third-team All-American for 2015.

 

8. Georgia

 

The Bulldogs have suffered a few critical injuries at this position over the last two years, and the receiving corps enters 2015 with uncertainty. Malcolm Mitchell caught 85 passes in his first two seasons with the Bulldogs but missed nearly all of 2013 with an ACL tear and caught only 31 passes in 2014. Mitchell’s health is crucial to the development of Georgia’s passing game with a new quarterback. Sophomore Isaiah McKenzie, junior Reggie Davis and freshman Terry Godwin are other names to watch, while tight end Jeb Blazevich is primed for a breakout campaign after catching 18 passes in 2014.

 

Related: Ranking the SEC Offensive Lines for 2015

 

9. Florida

 

Considering the skill talent in the state of Florida, it’s a little surprising to see the Gators struggling to develop playmakers at this position. Junior Demarcus Robinson (53 catches in 2014) is the go-to guy for quarterback Will Grier. And tight end Jake McGee is back after missing nearly all of 2014 with a leg injury. But outside of McGee and Robinson, can the Gators find consistent production? Converted running back Brandon Powell is a name to watch this fall.

 

Related: Beware of the Improving SEC East in 2015

 

10. Arkansas

 

The Razorbacks’ run-first approach isn’t going to change under new coordinator Dan Enos, but the former Central Michigan coach should help this passing attack take a step forward. Tight end Hunter Henry is an Athlon Sports first-team All-American for 2015, and senior Keon Hatcher is the top target for quarterback Brandon Allen at receiver. Junior Jeremy Sprinkle is primed for a breakout year opposite of Henry at tight end, but the Razorbacks need a No. 2 and No. 3 option to emerge at receiver.

 

Related: College Football's Top 20 Running Back Tandems for 2015

 

11. South Carolina

 

South Carolina’s place among SEC receiving corps is largely based on the strength of one player: Pharoh Cooper. The junior caught 69 passes for 1,136 yards and nine scores and added 200 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 2014. Cooper is one of the nation’s top receivers, but the Gamecocks have question marks everywhere else in this group. Can freshman Deebo Samuel and senior tight end Jerell Adams step up as an effective duo for new quarterback Connor Mitch?

 

12. Kentucky

 

This ranking might be too low for Kentucky by the end of 2015. The Wildcats have four of their top six returning options back, including Ryan Timmons (45 catches) and sophomores Garrett Johnson, Blake Bone and Dorian Baker. Tight end C.J. Conrad is a name to watch this fall, and the offense will benefit from a full year from sophomore Boom Williams at running back. Sophomore Jeff Badet – 22 catches in 2013 – is back after missing all of 2014 with injury.

 

13. Missouri

 

Much like the defensive end position, Missouri has generally reloaded with ease at receiver. The Tigers will be tested here this fall, as the top four statistical options in the passing game are gone. Receivers Bud Sasser, Jimmie Hunt and Darius White, along with running back Marcus Murphy expired their eligibility after combining to catch 175 of Missouri’s 221 passes in 2014. Sophomore Nate Brown is a breakout option to watch in 2015.

 

Related: College Football's Top Coordinators on the Rise for 2015

 

14. Vanderbilt

 

The Commodores need better production from their quarterbacks, but this unit also has to provide more help. Tight end Steven Scheu led the team with 39 catches last year and only two other receivers caught more than 20 passes. Scheu suffered a leg injury in the spring and his status for Week 1 is in question. New coordinator Andy Ludwig is counting on players like C.J. Duncan, Latevius Rayford and Caleb Scott to step up even more in 2015.

Teaser:
Ranking the SEC's Receiving Corps for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Kansas Jayhawks, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/new-helmets-coming-kansas-2015
Body:

Kansas is facing an uphill battle in 2015, as first-year coach David Beaty inherits a major rebuilding project and few returning stars. 

 

But the Jayhawks could be rebuilding in 2015 with new uniforms and helmets.

 

A post that popped up on the Twitter account (@UniformSwag) shows a few new designs for the Jayhawks at an event that could be coming this year.

 

If these are the real deal, this looks like a nice upgrade:

 

 

Teaser:
New Helmets Coming for Kansas in 2015?
Post date: Monday, June 29, 2015 - 16:55
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-all-freshman-team-2015
Body:

College football fans and coaches already know about the established stars, Heisman contenders and proven players entering 2015. However, there’s no shortage of new faces ready to emerge onto the scene as key contributors for all 128 teams this year.

 

Since freshmen need more time to develop physically or within a system, it’s tough to count on every newcomer in a signing class to make an immediate impact. However, more freshmen are enrolling early and redshirt seasons help newcomers close the gap with the upperclassmen.

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

With the season just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the top freshmen for 2015. True and redshirt freshmen were considered for this article, with an emphasis on talent and playing time for the spots.

 

College Football's 2015 All-Freshman Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
QBJosh Rosen
UCLA 
Seth Collins
Oregon State 
Will Grier
Florida 
RB

Jacques Patrick

Florida State 

Ronald Jones
USC 
Dalvin Warmack
Kansas State  
RB

LJ Scott/M. London
Michigan State 

Markell Jones
Purdue 
Aeris Williams
Mississippi State 
APDonte Jackson
LSU 
Jeff Jones
Minnesota 
Nyheim Hines
NC State 
WRCalvin Ridley
Alabama 
George Campbell
Florida State 
Tre'Quan Smith
UCF 
WRChristian Kirk
Texas A&M 
Deebo Samuel
South Carolina 
Terry Godwin
Georgia 
TEMark Andrews
Oklahoma 
Deon Cain
Clemson 
DaMarkus Lodge
Ole Miss 
OLMitch Hyatt
Clemson 
Derwin Gray
Maryland 
Jacob Bragg
Kansas 
OLMartez Ivey
Florida 
Michael Dieter
Wisconsin 
Sam Jones
Arizona State 
OLDalton Risner
Kansas State 
Will Clapp
LSU 
Tyler Jones
NC State 
OLDamian Prince
Maryland 
Connor Williams
Texas  
Dennis Edwards
WKU  
OL

Ross Pierschbacher

Alabama 

Quenton Nelson
Notre Dame 
Javon Patterson
Ole Miss 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
DLKahlil McKenzie
Tennessee 
Daylon Mack
Texas A&M 
Terry Beckner
Missouri  
DLTrent Thompson
Georgia 
CeCe Jefferson
Florida 
Breiden Fehoko
Texas Tech 
DLByron Cowart
Auburn 
Neville Gallimore
Oklahoma 
Christian Wilkins
Clemson  
DLSolomon Thomas
Stanford 
Dexter Wideman
South Carolina 
Victor Evans
Ole Miss 
LBMalik Jefferson
Texas 
Mike Freeze
TCU 
Canton Kaumatule (DL)
Oregon 
LBGerri Green
Miss. State 
Edwin Freeman
Texas  

Arden Key (DL)

LSU 

LBDillon Bates
Tennessee  
Jeff Holland
Auburn 

I. Murphy-Richardson

Arizona State 

DBJabrill Peppers
Michigan 
Iman Marshall
USC 

C.J. Stalker (LB)

Virginia 

DBDerwin James
Florida State 
Ronnie Harrison
Alabama   

T.J. Edwards (LB)

Wisconsin 

DBJamal Peters
Miss. State 
Marlon Humphrey
Alabama  

Cornelius Sturghill

Louisville 

DBKevin Toliver II
LSU 
Holton Hill
Texas 

Vayante Copeland

Michigan State 

 First-Team 
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
KJustin Yoon
Notre Dame 
Austin Seibert
Oklahoma 
Andrew David
Michigan 
PAlex Kinney
Colorado 
Jake Hartbarger
Michigan State 
Ian Shannon
Auburn 

 

Teaser:
College Football's All-Freshman Team for 2015
Post date: Monday, June 29, 2015 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/golden-nugget-releases-lines-2015-college-football-games-year
Body:

The 2015 college football season is still a ways off, but the preview and look ahead to the upcoming year never stops.

 

On Friday, Golden Nugget sportsbook released odds on several key games for the upcoming year.

 

According to BettingMoves.com, Alabama, Auburn, LSU and USC are favored in nine of the games listed by the Golden Nugget.

 

Check out the full list of first odds for the 2015 season: 

 

Golden Nugget Sportsbook 2015 CFB Games of the Year Lines:
DATE/TEAMSOPEN
September 3 
MICHIGAN 
UTAH-4
  
TCU-18
MINNESOTA 
  
September 4 
WASHINGTON 
BOISE ST.-13
  
September 5 
WISCONSIN (Arlington) 
ALABAMA-10
  
LOUISVILLE (Atlanta) 
AUBURN-11½
  
ARIZONA ST. (Houston) 
TEXAS A&M-3
  
TEXAS 
NOTRE DAME-7½
  
VIRGINIA 
UCLA-17
  
BYU 
NEBRASKA-6
  
September 7 
OHIO ST.-16
VIRGINIA TECH 
  
September 12 
LSU-3
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
  
UCLA-32
UNLV 
  
OKLAHOMA 
TENNESSEE-3
  
NOTRE DAME-9
VIRGINIA 
  
OREGON ST. 
MICHIGAN-14
  
IOWA-4½
IOWA ST. 
  
MARSHALL-3½
OHIO U. 
  
BOISE ST.-6
BYU 
  
OREGON 
MICHIGAN ST.-1
  
September 17 
CLEMSON-3
LOUISVILLE 
  
September 19 
AUBURN 
LSU-4
  
UNLV 
MICHIGAN-33
  
OLE MISS 
ALABAMA-9½
  
S. CAROLINA 
GEORGIA-11
  
GEORGIA TECH 
NOTRE DAME-2
  
NEBRASKA 
MIAMI (FL)PICK
  
STANFORD 
USC-4
  
BYU 
UCLA-14
  
COLORADO (Denver)-1½
COLO. ST. 
  
September 24 
  
CINCINNATI 
MEMPHIS-2
  
September 25 
  
BOISE ST.-9
VIRGINIA 
  
September 26 
LSU-20
SYRACUSE 
  
UCLA 
ARIZONAPICK
  
USC-1
ARIZONA ST. 
  
UTAH 
OREGON-14
  
OKLAHOMA ST. 
TEXAS-2½
  
BYU 
MICHIGAN-7
  
TEXAS A&M (Arlington) 
ARKANSAS-6½
  
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
AUBURN-8
  
TENNESSEE-2½
FLORIDA 
  
October 1 
MIAMI (FL) 
CINCINNATI-2½
  
October 3 
UNLV 
NEVADA-14
  
OLE MISS-6
FLORIDA 
  
ALABAMA 
GEORGIAPICK
  
S. CAROLINA 
MISSOURI-11
  
ARKANSAS 
TENNESSEE-1
  
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
TEXAS A&M-6½
  
PITTSBURGH 
VIRGINIA TECH-9
  
ARIZONA 
STANFORD-7½
  
ARIZONA ST. 
UCLA-6
  
OREGON-16
COLORADO 
  
ARMY 
PENN ST.-28
  
W. VIRGINIA 
OKLAHOMA-10
  
KANSAS ST. 
OKLAHOMA ST.-4
  
TEXAS 
TCU-21
  
NOTRE DAME 
CLEMSON-3½
  
October 8 
WASHINGTON 
USC-19
  
October 10 
  
LSU-8
S. CAROLINA 
  
GEORGIA TECH 
CLEMSON-3
  
ARKANSAS 
ALABAMA-7½
  
FLORIDA 
MISSOURI-10
  
GEORGIA 
TENNESSEEPICK
  
MIAMI (FL) 
FLORIDA ST.-14½
  
VIRGINIA 
PITTSBURGH-6
  
BOISE ST.-12
COLORADO ST. 
  
TCU-11
KANSAS ST. 
  
OKLAHOMA-6½
TEXAS 
  
OKLAHOMA ST. 
W. VIRGINIA-5
  
WISCONSIN-1
NEBRASKA 
  
NAVY 
NOTRE DAME-14
  
October 15 
UCLA 
STANFORD-4½
  
AUBURN-9
KENTUCKY 
  
October 16 
UNLV 
FRESNO ST.-12
  
BOISE ST.-9½
UTAH ST. 
  
October 17 
FLORIDA 
LSU-14
  
ARIZONA ST. 
UTAH-2
  
USC 
NOTRE DAMEPICK
  
OREGON-15
WASHINGTON 
  
LOUISVILLE 
FLORIDA ST.-12
  
PITTSBURGH 
GEORGIA TECH-14
  
VIRGINIA TECH 
MIAMI (FL)-6
  
MISSOURI 
GEORGIA-8½
  
ALABAMA-7
TEXAS A&M 
  
W. VIRGINIA 
BAYLOR-17
  
TCU-29
IOWA ST. 
  
OKLAHOMA-3
KANSAS ST. 
  
MICHIGAN ST.-4½
MICHIGAN 
  
PENN ST. 
OHIO ST.-19
  
October 24 
UTAH 
USC-7
  
KANSAS ST. 
TEXAS-2
  
TENNESSEE 
ALABAMA-10
  
AUBURN 
ARKANSAS-6½
  
TEXAS A&M 
OLE MISS-4
  
CLEMSON-4½
MIAMI (FL) 
  
FLORIDA ST. 
GEORGIA TECHPICK
  
October 29 
  
OREGON-5
ARIZONA ST. 
  
W. VIRGINIA 
TCU-20
  
October 31 
  
BOISE ST.-28½
UNLV 
  
C. FLORIDA 
CINCINNATI-6
  
GEORGIA TECH-10
VIRGINIA 
  
OLE MISS 
AUBURN-4
  
FLORIDA (Jacksonville)JACKSONVILLE
GEORGIA-12
  
S. CAROLINA 
TEXAS A&M-10
  
OREGON ST. 
UTAH-16
  
November 3 
  
N. ILLINOIS 
TOLEDO-3
  
November 5 
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
MISSOURI-6
  
BAYLOR-12
KANSAS ST. 
  
November 7 
LSU 
ALABAMA-9
  
ARKANSAS 
OLE MISS-1
  
AUBURN-1½
TEXAS A&M 
  
TCU-11
OKLAHOMA ST. 
  
MICHIGAN ST.-6
NEBRASKA 
  
FLORIDA ST. 
CLEMSON-2
  
VIRGINIA 
MIAMI (FL)-6½
  
NOTRE DAME-3
PITTSBURGH 
  
ARIZONA 
USC-7½
  
November 12 
VIRGINIA TECH 
GEORGIA TECH-9½
  
November 13 
  
USC-12
COLORADO 
  
November 14 
ARKANSAS 
LSU-1½
  
UTAH 
ARIZONA-3
  
OREGON 
STANFORDPICK
  
GEORGIA 
AUBURNPICK
  
ALABAMA-9
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
  
FLORIDA 
S. CAROLINA-2½
  
OKLAHOMA 
BAYLOR-13
  
BYU (Kansas City)KANSAS CITY
MISSOURI-12
  
November 21 
  
SAN DIEGO ST.-16
UNLV 
  
LSU 
OLE MISSPICK
  
FRESNO ST. 
BYU-18
  
TCU-5
OKLAHOMA 
  
BAYLOR-10
OKLAHOMA ST. 
  
MICHIGAN ST. 
OHIO ST.-14
  
MICHIGAN 
PENN ST.-3½
  
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
ARKANSAS-10
  
TENNESSEE 
MISSOURI-2½
  
GEORGIA TECH-6
MIAMI (FL) 
  
ARIZONA 
ARIZONA ST.-3
  
USC 
OREGON-6½
  
UCLA-1
UTAH 
  
CALIFORNIA 
STANFORD-13
  
November 27 
  
BAYLOR 
TCU-6
  
OREGON ST. 
OREGON-22½
  
WASHINGTON ST. 
WASHINGTON-4½
  
IOWA 
NEBRASKA-7
  
November 28 
  
TEXAS A&M 
LSU-7½
  
KANSAS ST.-24
KANSAS 
  
OKLAHOMA-3
OKLAHOMA ST. 
  
BYU 
UTAH ST.PICK
  
OHIO ST.-16
MICHIGAN 
  
PENN ST. 
MICHIGAN ST.-12
  
UCLA 
USC-3
  
COLORADO 
UTAH-13½
  
NOTRE DAME 
STANFORD-3
  
N. CAROLINA 
NC STATE-6
  
VIRGINIA TECH-4
VIRGINIA 
  
MISSOURI 
ARKANSAS-7
  
ALABAMA-3½
AUBURN 
  
FLORIDA ST.-4
FLORIDA 
  
GEORGIA-1
GEORGIA TECH 
  
LOUISVILLE-2½
KENTUCKY 
  
OLE MISS-2
MISSISSIPPI ST. 
  
CLEMSON-3
S. CAROLINA 
  
VANDERBILT 
TENNESSEE-17
  
December 5 
  
TEXAS 
BAYLOR-18
  
W. VIRGINIA 
KANSAS ST.-5
  
December 12 
  
NAVY (Philadelphia)-13
ARMY 
Teaser:
Golden Nugget Releases Lines for 2015 College Football Games of Year
Post date: Friday, June 26, 2015 - 15:36
Path: /college-football/tommy-armstrong-must-deliver-nebraska-win-big-ten-west
Body:

The Big Ten West Division is considered Wisconsin’s to lose in 2015. But just how big is the gap between the Badgers and Nebraska?

 

Last season, the Cornhuskers finished two games behind Wisconsin in the Big Ten West standings and were defeated 59-24 by the Badgers in mid-November.

 

What will it take for Nebraska to close the gap in 2015? Quarterback play.

 

Adjusting to a new scheme or coaching staff is never an easy task for a quarterback. New coach Mike Riley plans on shifting Nebraska’s offense to more of a pro-style attack in this season, and the first-year coach inherits some talented pieces to work with.

 

Related: Can Mike Riley Make Nebraska Football Great Again?

 

The receiving corps could be among the best in the Big Ten, and the offensive line returns two seniors at the tackle positions. At running back, Terrell Newby and Imani Cross should anchor a productive ground game.

 

Considering the strength of Nebraska’s supporting cast, returning starting quarterback Tommy Armstrong will be under the microscope in 2015.

 

The junior has showed plenty of promise in his career, but there’s work for coordinator Danny Langsdorf and Riley to do this offseason.

 

Here’s a quick snapshot of Armstrong’s numbers in 2014 (all games):

 GCompAttComp %Pass YdsTDsINTsQB RatingYPCYPG
Tommy Armstrong1318434553.32,6952212133.0314.6207.3

In Big Ten-only games:

 GCompAttComp %Pass YdsTDsINTsQB RatingYPCYPG
Tommy Armstrong810020050.01,428109117.4814.3178.5

Against Ranked Opponents:

 GCompAttComp %Pass YdsTDsINTsQB RatingYPCYPG
Tommy Armstrong35811251.871644110.112.3238.7

Armstrong has showed the ability to make plays on the ground, as he ranked second among Big Ten quarterbacks with 705 yards rushing. Although Armstrong's playmaking ability on the ground will be utilized, Langsdorf needs Armstrong to develop as a passer. A 53.3 completion percentage in all games needs to go up, and the interceptions — especially in conference play — need to be cut. 

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

To get a look at how critical Armstrong's development is to Nebraska's 2015 season, let's take a look at Oregon State's offenses under Danny Langsdorf from 2005-13. 

 

 Points Per GameYards Per PlayPass Att. Per GamePassing Yards Per Game
200526.65.341.7296.5
200627.85.630.4242.4
200727.94.933.7196.7
200830.55.734.5249.0
200931.55.836.8270.8
201024.45.231.1205.4
201121.85.541.9286.8
201232.55.938.8307.1
201334.86.248.1372.6

For comparison, since 2008 the Cornhuskers have averaged less than 30 passing attempts per game. Under Riley and Langsdorf at Oregon State from 2005-13, the Beavers never dipped below 30 per game.  

 

There’s no doubt Riley and Langsdorf will adapt to the personnel in place to win games in 2015. However, there’s definitely a shift coming for Nebraska’s offense. How quickly will Armstrong develop in this offense? The career trajectory of quarterbacks shows rushing attempts and yards decrease as the player becomes more comfortable as a passer.

 

Entering his junior season, Armstrong has 21 career starts. Increasing the efficiency and reducing the turnovers are two areas to watch in 2015. If Armstrong accomplishes both of those goals and adjusts to the new scheme, Nebraska could close the gap on Wisconsin in the West. 

Teaser:
Tommy Armstrong is Nebraska's Key Player for the 2015 Season
Post date: Friday, June 26, 2015 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: Auburn Tigers, College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/auburns-2015-football-seniors-sign-beam-college-footballs-biggest-scoreboard
Body:

Auburn is planning to have a massive scoreboard in place by the start of the 2015 season. The video scoreboard measures 190 x 57 feet and is going to be the biggest in the nation.

 

And the program is celebrating the new scoreboard by having the 2015 football seniors sign the top beam for the frame.

 

Needless to say, this is a neat way to commemorate the new video board, along with a hat tip to the seniors that helped the program over the last few seasons. (Photos from (@AuburnPix and @FootballAU)

 

 

 

 

Teaser:
Auburn's 2015 Football Seniors Sign Beam for College Football's Biggest Scoreboard
Post date: Friday, June 26, 2015 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Clemson Tigers, College Football, News
Path: /college-football/inexperience-clemsons-offensive-line-could-derail-acc-title-hopes
Body:

Offensive lines are often one of the most overlooked groups during the season or with preseason predictions. While the five players in the trenches aren’t going to be on many highlight reels, offensive lines are the key to any team's offensive attack.

 

Clemson’s offensive line was already far from settled by the end of spring practice. The Tigers had only two returning starters and depth was a concern. And the uncertainty surrounding this unit was increased on Thursday, as left tackle Isaiah Battle entered the NFL’s supplemental draft.

 

Although Battle had his share of inconsistencies at Clemson, the New York native entered 2014 with 15 starts and was considered a top 10 prospect at tackle for the 2016 NFL Draft.  

 

Without Battle, center Ryan Norton is the only returning starter for coach Dabo Swinney.

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

A returning starter count isn’t necessarily the best way to judge any position, but it’s no secret Clemson’s offensive line is going to hold the key to the 2015 season. Much of the offseason focus at Clemson has been on new offensive co-coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott, who are tasked with replacing Chad Morris.

 

However, even if the offense takes a small step back without Morris calling the plays, this group won’t get on track without productive play up front. And adding to Swinney’s concerns: quarterback Deshaun Watson is coming off of a torn ACL.

 

And it's not as if the offensive line didn't have its own issues in 2014 either. Clemson allowed 27 sacks, and rushers averaged only 3.3 yards per carry in ACC games. The Tigers also ranked No. 101 in Football Outsiders' adjusted line yards measure and No. 126 in power success rate. 

 

On the positive side for Swinney, Clemson’s offensive line has talent ready to emerge in the form of freshmen Mitch Hyatt and Jake Fruhmorgen. Hyatt was a five-star recruit by 247Sports Composite and was the No. 22 overall recruit in the 2015 signing class. Fruhmorgen was graded as a four-star prospect and the No. 119 recruit.

 

How long will it take for this group to mesh? As fast as possible will be the hope for Swinney. The schedule won’t do the Tigers any favors. Louisville, which has one of the ACC’s top defensive fronts, hosts Clemson in Week 3. And the Tigers play Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Boston College in the first three weeks of October. All three defenses have enough talent to disrupt Clemson’s offense if the line struggles.

 

Improvement from the offensive line was needed in order for Clemson to win 10 games for the fifth consecutive season. With the uncertainty up front and new play-callers in place, there’s even more pressure on the shoulders of Watson, who is just a sophomore himself.

 

Talent certainly isn’t an issue for Swinney. But the question marks for the 2015 team are significant. With Florida State also dealing with similar concerns, Louisville reloading on its offensive line and at quarterback, the ACC Atlantic is going to be an interesting race to watch this fall. 

 

Here’s a look at the projected starting offensive line, with the career starts and recruiting rank:

 

Position/PlayerCareer StartsRecruiting Rank
LT Mitch Hyatt (True Freshman)05 Stars, No. 22 Overall
LG Eric Mac Lain (Senior)14 Stars, No. 182 Overall
C Ryan Norton (Senior)243 Stars, No. 690 Overall
RG Tyrone Crowder (Sophomore)14 Stars, No. 117 Overall
RT Joe Gore (Senior)33 Stars, No. 408 Overall

 

Teaser:
Inexperience on Clemson's Offensive Line Could Derail ACC Title Hopes
Post date: Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 13:21
Path: /college-football/12-position-groups-under-pressure-pac-12-2015
Body:

The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

Related: Pac-12 Predictions for 2015

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

12 Pac-12 Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Arizona Offensive Line

Yes, Arizona’s defense also deserves a mention here, but the Wildcats’ best shot at winning the South once again hinges on an explosive offense. With quarterback Anu Solomon, running back Nick Wilson and receiver Cayleb Jones returning, Arizona features one of the top offensive trios in the nation. But there’s concern up front entering fall practice. The Wildcats lost three starters, with Cayman Bundage and Jacob Alsadek back as proven options. Cal transfer Freddie Tagaloa is expected to anchor the left tackle position, leaving two jobs up for grabs. There is experience in place – seniors Carter Wood and Lene Maiava – to step into the vacant jobs. But how quickly can this group mesh in 2015?

 

Related: All-America Team for 2015

 

Arizona State Wide Receivers

Jaelen Strong’s physical presence and big-play ability will be missed. To help alleviate the departure of Strong, along with Cameron Smith’s knee injury in the spring, the Sun Devils plan to shift D.J. Foster from running back to receiver on a full-time basis. Foster caught 62 passes in 2014 and should be the leading receiver for quarterback Mike Bercovici. Coordinator Mike Norvell is also counting on contributions from Gary Chambers, Eric Lauderdale and Ellis Jefferson. UCLA transfer Devin Lucien was a key pickup on the recruiting trail and should push for immediate playing time this fall.

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers to Watch for 2015

 

California Defensive Backs

Any unit on California’s defense is worth a mention in this space. The Golden Bears allowed 39.8 points per game in 2014 and surrendered 42 touchdown passes. Coordinator Art Kaufman returns five starters, but the overall depth and talent level is improving. Sophomore – and converted quarterback – Luke Rubenzer shifted to safety to earn playing time in 2015. Rubenzer is just part of the hope for improvement in pass defense, as junior college recruit Antoine Albert is also expected to push for snaps. Experience certainly isn’t an issue among the potential starters. Seniors Stefan McClure (safety) and Darius White (cornerback) have to elevate their performance for California to take a step forward in pass defense this year.

 

Related: College Football's Most Improved Teams for 2015

 

Colorado Defensive Line

The Buffaloes enter coach Mike MacIntyre’s third season poised to make a jump in the win column. Making a bowl won’t be easy, but Colorado could push for five victories this year. The offense averaged 28.5 points per game in 2014 and is the strength of the team once again. But for the Buffaloes to push for a postseason bid, the defense must improve. This unit allowed 39 points per game last year and is under the direction of new coordinator Jim Leavitt. There is proven depth with eight starters returning, but standout nose tackle Josh Tupou was suspended for the 2015 season. How much improvement can Leavitt get out of a defensive line that allowed 204.8 rushing yards per game last year?

 

Oregon Defensive Line

There’s no question quarterback play will be under the microscope with Marcus Mariota off to the NFL. But the Ducks are loaded with skill talent and may not drop too much in terms of offensive production with Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams under center. The defense is a bigger concern for coach Mark Helfrich. Oregon allowed 21 rushing plays of 20 yards or more, which tied for 10th among Pac-12 defenses. DeForest Buckner opted to return to Eugene for his senior year, but Arik Armstead left for the NFL and Sam Kamp retired at the end of 2014. Buckner and fellow seniors Alex Balducci and Tui Talia is a good core to build around. And it certainly doesn’t hurt the coaching staff reeled in top recruit Canton Kaumatule in the offseason.

 

Related: Pac-12 Predictions for 2015

 

Oregon State Linebackers

New coach Gary Andersen has plenty of work to do this offseason. The Beavers return just nine starters and only two of those are back on defense. With the switch to a 3-4 scheme, Andersen and coordinator Kalani Sitake need to find the right pieces for this group to fit the new gameplan. This is a big offseason for players like Rommel Mageo and Kyle Haley, along with sophomore Darrell Songy, who returns to the team after missing 2014 due to a suspension.

 

Related: Gary Andersen Faces Tough Task Against Best of the Best

 

Stanford Defensive Line

Even though the Cardinal loses a handful of key contributors from last year’s defense, coordinator Lance Anderson could keep this unit among the best in the Pac-12. Reaching that level will require a quick rebuild up front. All three starters from a productive 2014 group are gone and depth is an issue. Senior Aziz Shittu and sophomore Harrison Phillips will be counted on for major contributions, while Cal transfer Brennan Scarlett is likely to push for a starting job at end. Redshirt freshman Solomon Thomas is also a name to remember.

 

Related: Quarterback Kevin Hogan Rides Momentum into Senior Year

 

UCLA Offensive Line

This unit was under attack last year, as the Bruins gave up 40 sacks in 13 contests. While the sack total was high, this unit played better in the second half of the season, and there’s optimism for 2015. With all five starters returning, the offensive line could be a strength for UCLA. Left tackle Conor McDermott stabilized this unit after he started the last eight games of 2014 and is expected to anchor the blindside for quarterback Josh Rosen. Center Jake Brendel is also one of the best in the nation. With a true freshman taking over at quarterback, UCLA needs its supporting cast to step up in a big way with key games against Arizona, Arizona State and BYU early in the year.

 

USC Defensive Line

With Leonard Williams off to the NFL, USC has to reload in the trenches and find a new player to disrupt opposing offenses. In Pac-12-only matchups last year, the Trojans allowed the fewest yards per game (97.4) but also faced the fewest attempts (298). Additionally, Williams and departed senior J.R. Tavai accounted for 14 of the team’s 33 sacks last season. It’s up to seniors Delvon Simmons, Antwaun Woods and Claude Pelon to keep this unit performing at a high level. Depth is a concern for coordinator Justin Wilcox.

 

Related: Pac-12 Predictions for 2015

 

Utah Wide Receivers

The quick synopsis of Utah for 2015 is very similar to the 2014 version: Great defense and rushing attack but a questionable passing game. Quarterback Travis Wilson returns after throwing for 2,170 yards and 18 scores last season, and he will have a new co-coordinator setup with Jim Harding and Aaron Roderick taking over for Dave Christensen. The Utes connected on 19 passing plays of 30 yards or more last season, which ranked No. 8 among Pac-12 teams. Adding to the uncertainty for Wilson is a receiving corps that lost Kaelin Clay, tight end Westlee Tonga and Dres Anderson. Kenneth Scott is a good No. 1 option. But the Utes need to find capable No. 2 and No. 3 targets in fall camp.

 

Washington Defensive Line

Chris Petersen has some major roster remodeling to do in his second year in Seattle. The Huskies return only nine starters, with quarterback play a huge question mark entering this fall. But the defense also needs attention, as five key members of last year’s front seven are gone: Linebackers Shaq Thompson and John Timu and defensive linemen Andrew Hudson, Danny Shelton and Hau’oli Kikaha. Coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski and Petersen will feature a young defensive line in 2015, as a handful of freshmen could be counted on for significant snaps. Sophomore Elijah Qualls is a breakout candidate after recording 13 tackles in limited action last year.

 

Washington State Defensive Backs

All three defensive units deserve a mention here, but new coordinator Alex Grinch plans on implementing a 4-2-5 approach, adding extra pressure to a secondary that allowed 33 passing scores last season. The Cougars finished the spring with uncertainty surrounding this group, as help is on the way in the form of junior college recruits Treshon Broughton and Shalom Luani and freshman Sean Harper. All three newcomers could play a huge role in filling out the depth chart, while the coaching staff is counting on increased contributions from sophomores Charleston White, Darius Lemora and Isaac Dotson.

Teaser:
12 Position Groups Under Pressure in the Pac-12 for 2015
Post date: Thursday, June 25, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/big-12-expansion-isnt-necessary
Body:

Big 12 expansion is the story that won’t go away. On Wednesday, Oklahoma president David Boren said, “I’m advocate of a 12-member Big 12.” And previously this summer, West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons also mentioned he was in favor of expansion.

 

It’s only two athletic directors out of 10, but it’s no secret expansion has been and will continue to be an ongoing source of debate for the Big 12.

 

But here’s the million-dollar question. Does it actually make sense for the conference to expand?

 

Currently, the Big 12 splits its television revenue among 10 teams. If the conference expands, does the available money pie get bigger or stay the same? Adding additional revenue is always a priority for conference commissioners, athletic directors and school presidents. Losing money is not something that appeals to any school in this case.

 

Expanding to 12 or 14 teams would certainly help with a conference championship game, which is another stream of revenue for the Big 12. But as we mentioned before, a championship game also comes with its own share of problems. Just because a team is ranked in the top four for the College Football Playoff doesn’t mean that a league championship game will help its case. A loss or close win could hurt its case.

 

If the Big 12 decides the money works out and wants to expand, it has to believe there are enough candidates to add value. But is that the case?

 

Let’s propose a few possible additions and decide for yourself:

 

Revamped 12-Team Big 12 - Proposal 1
Division 1Division 2
Cincinnati Baylor 
Kansas BYU 
Kansas State Iowa State 
Oklahoma TCU 
Oklahoma State Texas 
West Virginia Texas Tech 

This 12-team league definitely has some intrigue. Cincinnati and BYU are good additions and each team would be competitive right away. UCF, Memphis, Boise State or Tulane also make sense. The divisions are a bit imbalanced. The power is clearly in Division 2 right now, with TCU, Texas and Baylor. But college football is cyclical and that will change.

 

Or, let’s split the teams up a bit to balance out the divisions

 

Revamped 12-Team Big 12 - Proposal 2
Division 1Division 2
Baylor BYU 
Cincinnati Kansas State 
Iowa State Oklahoma State 
Kansas TCU  
Oklahoma Texas 
Texas Tech West Virginia 

How about a 14-team proposal?

 

Revamped 14-Team Big 12 
Division 1Division 2
Baylor BYU 
Cincinnati Kansas State 
Iowa State Memphis 
Kansas Oklahoma State 
Oklahoma TCU 
Texas Tech Texas 
UCF West Virginia 

While the Big 12 would prefer to have new teams from Power 5 leagues, the options are small. The rumor mill churned a few years ago about Clemson, Florida State or other ACC teams leaving to join the Big 12. Barring a complete shift or change of heart, it’s unlikely any team will choose to leave the ACC any time soon.

 

Without Power 5 teams willing to leave, the Big 12’s candidates to expand would seem to be these schools:

  
Air Force  Northern Illinois  
Boise State  San Diego State 
BYU SMU 
Cincinnati  Tulane  
Colorado State  UCF 
Houston  UConn  
Memphis   

While none of those options are Florida State and Clemson, there are some quality programs available. BYU is the best option on the board, but programs in fertile recruiting areas (Cincinnati, Memphis and UCF) are intriguing.

 

The Big 12 doesn’t need to expand to remain viable or make the playoffs on a consistent basis. But it does seem expansion is inevitable at some point.

 

While getting to 12 and bringing back a conference title game is critical to some, the Big 12 should be in no rush. Let programs like UCF, Memphis and Cincinnati continue to develop and monitor in a few years (after giving the conference more data on the playoff).

 

There’s potential in a 12- or 14-team Big 12. But expansion anytime soon just doesn’t make sense.

Teaser:
Big 12 Expansion Isn't Necessary
Post date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 17:51
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big Ten, News
Path: /college-football/14-position-groups-under-pressure-big-ten-2015
Body:

The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

Related: Big Ten Football 2015 Predictions

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

14 Big Ten Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Illinois Offensive Line

Keeping quarterback Wes Lunt healthy is priority No. 1 for Illinois in 2015. With Lunt in the lineup, the Fighting Illini can push for a bowl appearance. Without Lunt, Illinois could struggle just to reach two wins in Big Ten play. The offensive line had its share of issues last year, giving up 37 sacks and only clearing the way for rushers to average 3.6 yards per carry (Big Ten-only games). Three starters are back in 2015, including standout senior Ted Karras. Will all of the pieces mesh up front for Illinois this year?

 

Indiana Defensive Backs

Scoring points shouldn’t be a problem for coach Kevin Wilson’s team in 2015. Even though running back Tevin Coleman left for the NFL, the Hoosiers landed UAB transfer Jordan Howard, and quarterback Nate Sudfeld is back from a season-ending shoulder injury. Defense has been an issue for Indiana in recent years, ranking near the bottom of the Big Ten in points allowed in each of the last seven seasons. The Hoosiers gave up 18 passing plays of 30 yards or more in 2014 and will have four new starters in the secondary with the dismissal of safety Antonio Allen.

 

Related: Big Ten 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Iowa Linebackers

Reloading at linebacker usually doesn’t present much trouble for coach Kirk Ferentz. But the Hawkeyes head into 2015 with uncertainty at this position, as Iowa needs to replace Quinton Alston and Reggie Spearman. The projected starting trio at the end of spring featured all sophomores, including Josey Jewell (51 stops in 2014) and Bo Bower (38 tackles, two sacks last year). With two defensive tackles stepping into the lineup, the linebackers will have to take on a bigger role in stopping the run and an overall presence in the front seven.

 

Maryland Wide Receivers

A couple of positions – defensive line, linebacker or offensive line – are worth a mention for Maryland here. But the receiving corps is the pick, as the Terrapins have been hit hard by player departures since 2014. Stefon Diggs left for the NFL, Deon Long expired his eligibility, while Marcus Leak and Juwann Winfree departed the team over the summer. The Terrapins need big contributions from senior Levern Jacobs, junior Amba Etta-Tawo and sophomore Taivon Jacobs.

 

Michigan Offensive Line

In addition to quarterback play, this unit is the biggest concern for new coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines have struggled to get steady play from this group over the last two years and allowed 17 sacks in Big Ten play last season. Not only are tweaks and improvements coming to the offense under Harbaugh, the offensive line also has a new coach in Tim Drevno. With four starters back, Harbaugh and Drevno should be able to squeeze some improvement out of this group. Left tackle Mason Cole is a name to watch in 2015.

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers for 2015

 

Michigan State Defensive Backs

Michigan State’s “No Fly Zone” is looking a little vulnerable headed into fall camp. The Spartans lost safety Kurtis Drummond and cornerback Trae Waynes from a unit that allowed only six passing scores in Big Ten play in 2014. Junior Darian Hicks is a returning starter in the secondary, but both cornerback spots are up for grabs. Senior Arjen Colquhoun and freshman Vayante Copeland will compete with Hicks, one starting job at safety is in good hands with senior RJ Williamson, while sophomore Montae Nicholson is a breakout candidate in the secondary. The Spartans have one of the best defensive fronts in college football. Will the secondary quickly reload under new co-defensive coordinators Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel?

 

Minnesota Wide Receivers

Quarterback Mitch Leidner has to play better, but the Golden Gophers also have to get more production out of their receiving corps to upgrade the passing attack. Minnesota’s receiving corps featured only one player with more than 18 catches last year (tight end Maxx Williams). With Williams off to the NFL, which receivers will step up to give Leidner a big-play threat or consistent possession option? Senior KJ Maye is the veteran of the receiving corps, while freshmen Isaiah Gentry, Desmond Gant, Melvin Holland and Jeff Jones are expected to play a large role.

 

Nebraska Linebackers

New coordinator Mark Banker will spend a lot of time watching over this group in the fall. The Cornhuskers are thin on depth and proven options, and the overall outlook for the linebacking corps changed even more when David Santos left the team in June. Junior Michael Rose-Ivey is projected to start but is also coming off a knee injury that forced him to miss all of 2014. Josh Banderas has to be the anchor for this unit in 2015, and the junior is back after recording 50 tackles in 12 games last year. This fall will be a critical one for sophomore Marcus Newby and freshmen Dedrick Young and Luke Gifford.

 

Related: Can Mike Riley Make Nebraska Football Great Again?

 

Northwestern Wide Receivers

Northwestern is looking to generate more production out of its passing attack after connecting only six plays of 30 yards or more. Quarterback play is still a concern after three players were locked into a tight battle at the end of spring practice. But who steps up as big-play targets for the quarterbacks? Christian Jones is back after missing 2014 due to a knee injury, and fellow seniors Miles Shuler and Cameron Dickerson combined for 47 catches last year. The senior trio needs to step up in 2015, while getting help from the next group of receivers to help the passing game grow behind the new starting quarterback.

 

Ohio State Defensive Line

As the defending national champs, combined with 14 returning starters, there’s very little in the way of personnel concerns that should concern coach Urban Meyer. Considering the overall depth and roster talent, it seems odd to even list a position here. However, the Buckeyes lost a couple of key contributors up front, including standout tackle Michael Bennett. While Joey Bosa (DE) and Adolphus Washington (DT) are All-Americans, who will step up at the other spots and develop as key contributors for depth?

 

Related: 2015 All-America Team

 

Penn State Offensive Line

Much has been made of the performance of Penn State’s offensive line last year. The Nittany Lions couldn’t generate much of a push in the rushing attack and allowed 44 sacks. And headed into the 2015 season, this unit is still the team’s biggest question mark. Line coach Herb Hand is one of the best in the nation, and there’s reason to believe improvement will be noticeable with four starters back. Junior college recruit Paris Palmer could be a huge addition on the left side of the line, as this group has to do a better job of giving quarterback Christian Hackenberg time to throw.

 

Purdue Running Backs

The Boilermakers head into coach Darrell Hazell’s third season looking to take a significant step forward after a 4-20 record over the last two years. Improving the quarterback play is a priority for Hazell, but the rushing attack is also under the spotlight after the departures of Akeem Hunt and Raheem Mostert. That duo rushed for 1,478 yards of Purdue’s 1,886 yards on the ground last season, leaving sophomore Keyante Green and freshman Markell Jones as the top options for Hazell. Will this duo match or exceed the production from Mostert and Hunt?

 

Rutgers Offensive Line

The Scarlet Knights have more concerns than just the offensive line, but this unit is replacing three starters off a group that allowed only 19 sacks in 2014. Senior left tackle Keith Lumpkin and junior guard Chris Muller are two solid building blocks for new coordinator Ben McDaniels and line coach Mitch Browning. But filling the other three spots up front will be critical with a new quarterback stepping in, as well as the talent returning at running back.

 

Wisconsin Wide Receivers

New coach Paul Chryst has to get better play from his quarterback Joel Stave, but the supporting cast at receiver also has to provide more help. Last year, no Badger receiver with at least 10 catches averaged more than 14 yards per reception. More big plays are needed from this group, along with a second option to help Alex Erickson (55 catches in 2014).  

 

Related: Ranking the Big Ten's Running Backs for 2015

Teaser:
14 Position Groups Under Pressure in the Big Ten for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-most-improved-teams-2015
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The overall unpredictability of a college football season is one of the main reasons to tune in each Saturday during the fall. While preseason predictions and rankings are often accurate and correctly project the amount of wins for specific teams, each season always brings a surprise or two in the top 25.

 

2015 will be no different, as there will be a handful of teams that jump into the top 25 that weren’t ranked there in the preseason. And who knows, maybe there is a program poised to emerge as a national title contender.

 

So whether it’s a team finishing in the top 10 that no one expected in the preseason or another program struggling to reach .500 after a successful stretch, each year presents many different case studies when trying to project teams for the upcoming season. And some teams quickly rebound after a disappointing year to contend for a conference title or crack the top 25 once again.

 

When it comes to judging improvement in college football, it doesn’t always come in the form of wins and losses. Improvement can simply come as a result of a team being more competitive within its conference and reducing the margin of defeat.

 

Kickoff for college football’s 2015 season is just over 70 days away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about which teams will be some of the most improved in the nation.

 

College Football's Most Improved Teams for 2015

 

Power 5 Teams

 

Auburn

 

Auburn could go from a .500 team in SEC play to a playoff contender. The Tigers are explosive on offense and feature rising star Jeremy Johnson at quarterback to replace Nick Marshall. The defense has to improve after giving up 6.4 yards per play in SEC games last season. With six starters back, Will Muschamp calling the signals and end Carl Lawson back from injury, this group should show marked improvement. And it certainly doesn’t hurt Auburn’s national title hopes that Georgia and Alabama must visit Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2015.

 

Related: SEC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

California

 

Thanks to a brutal schedule, major improvement in the win column seems unlikely for California. However, a one or two-game jump in victories is certainly within reach. The Golden Bears improved from 1-11 in 2013 to 5-7 last year and return 13 starters for 2015. The offense averaged 38.3 points per game last season, and there’s little reason to expect this unit to slow its performance. Quarterback Jared Goff continues to develop entering his junior campaign, running back Daniel Lasco quietly rushed for 1,115 yards last year, and the receiving corps is deep with proven options. The defense was the biggest concern for coach Sonny Dykes last year and is an issue once again. But with Washington taking a step back and question marks at Stanford and Oregon, California could pull an upset (or two) and should reach the postseason for the first time since 2011.

 

Related: Pac-12 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Indiana

 

Indiana’s bowl hopes ended shortly after quarterback Nate Sudfeld suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last year. The Hoosiers were never able to find consistent production at quarterback the rest of the year, as the offense never eclipsed more than 179 passing yards over the final seven games. With Sudfeld back in the mix, Indiana has a good shot at getting to a bowl in 2015. Of course, replacing running back Tevin Coleman and finding receivers for Sudfeld are two key question marks to address, but the Hoosiers have a favorable non-conference slate and play three key swing games at home. UAB transfer Jordan Howard should be a capable replacement for Coleman, and talented sophomore J-Shun Harris is a breakout candidates at receiver. Improving the defense is another priority for coach Kevin Wilson, as this unit gave up 32.8 points per game and allowed too many big plays. Making matters worse, star safety Antonio Allen was dismissed after an offseason arrest.

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers for 2015

 

Michigan

 

Jim Harbaugh is one of the nation’s top coaches, and it won’t be long before Michigan is back in contention for the Big Ten title. The Wolverines may not have elite talent right now, but there’s more in place than the recent on-field performance would suggest. Defense is the strength of Harbaugh’s first team, as six starters return from a unit that limited opponents to 4.8 yards per play in 2014. Offense is Harbaugh’s specialty, and this unit needs a lot of attention after averaging 20.9 points per game last year. Iowa transfer Jake Rudock could start at quarterback but expect to see plenty of running backs Derrick Green and Ty Isaac in the gameplan.

 

Related: College Football's Top Impact Quarterback Transfers for 2015

 

Notre Dame

 

The Fighting Irish’s 2014 season took a huge hit before the first game was played. Defensive standouts in cornerback KeiVarae Russell and defensive end Ishaq Williams were suspended for the entire year, leaving a massive void on a defense breaking in a new scheme under coordinator Brian VanGorder. Russell is slated to return in 2015, and Williams appears to be on track as well. In addition to suspensions, Notre Dame was hit hard by the injury bug and struggled on defense in the second half of 2014. With Everett Golson transferring to Florida State, the starting quarterback job clearly belongs to Malik Zaire. The sophomore showcased his talents in the Music City Bowl win over LSU and will have plenty of help from a standout receiving corps and offensive line. The schedule isn’t easy, but Notre Dame also has enough talent to push for a 10-2 record. 

 

Related: All-America Team for 2015

 

Oklahoma State

 

A projected one-game jump in the win column isn’t necessarily the best indicator of how Oklahoma State should improve in 2015. The Cowboys were headed to a 5-7 finish last year, until a late punt return by Tyreek Hill against Oklahoma gave Oklahoma State an opportunity to score a win over its in-state rival in overtime. Hill’s punt return propelled the Cowboys to a bowl game, which coach Mike Gundy’s team responded with a solid 30-22 win over Washington in the Cactus Bowl. Oklahoma State should go from a fringe bowl team to a contender for a spot in the top 25 in 2015. Quarterback Mason Rudolph is a rising star, and the sophomore is anchored by an improving offensive line and deep receiving corps. The defense is also expected to improve with seven starters returning. And how’s this for scheduling: Oklahoma State plays three home games in November – TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma. That’s a good recipe for a team on the rebound as the Cowboys will be peaking in the second half of 2015.

 

Pittsburgh

 

There’s not much separating the teams in the Coastal Division. While Georgia Tech is the favorite, the Panthers could surprise in coach Pat Narduzzi’s first year. The offense scored at least 30 points in each of the last five games of 2014, and eight starters are back for 2015. Running back James Conner and receiver Tyler Boyd are two of the top skill players in the nation, and the offensive line could be the best in the ACC. Narduzzi and new coordinator Josh Conklin should make a big impact on defense, as this unit has to play better after giving up 26.3 points per game in 2014. With a favorable schedule – no Florida State, Clemson or NC State in crossover play – Pittsburgh could push for a finish among the top three in the Coastal.

 

Tennessee

 

The SEC East is Georgia’s division to lose in 2015. But what happens if the Bulldogs struggle to find a quarterback? Tennessee is positioned for a run at the division title if that happens, and the Volunteers should post their best record under coach Butch Jones. Tennessee returns 17 starters and additional help is on the way in the form of another stellar recruiting class. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs is poised to push for All-SEC honors after an impressive second half of 2014. The junior has help in the form of a talented duo at running back, an experienced receiving corps and four returning starters on the offensive line. Tennessee should take a big step forward in Jones’ third year on Rocky Top.

 

Related: SEC 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Texas Tech

 

Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure at Texas Tech started fast. The Red Raiders opened 7-0 in 2013 but lost their final five regular season games. However, since the 7-0 start in 2013, Texas Tech is just 5-13 and is coming off a disappointing 2-7 mark in Big 12 play last year. While this team underachieved in 2014, a rebound is in store for 2015. As usual, the offense will be explosive. Running back DeAndre Washington is an underrated player, and quarterback Patrick Mahomes showed promise in a late-season stint. But for the Red Raiders to get back to the postseason, improving the defense is a must. Hiring David Gibbs as coordinator will pay immediate dividends for this unit, and there’s only one way to go after giving up 41.3 points per game last year. After posting a -13 in the turnover margin in 2014, Texas Tech is due for better luck in this department in 2015.

 

Virginia Tech

 

Virginia Tech recorded eight consecutive seasons with at least 10 wins from 2004-11, but the Hokies have not won more than eight in each of the last three years. Can coach Frank Beamer return this program to national prominence? The pieces are in place for improvement in 2015. The defense is one of the best in college football with the return of eight starters, along with two players – cornerback Brandon Facyson and tackle Luther Maddy – back from injury. While the defense will be salty, the offense has to improve for the Hokies to win the Coastal. There’s optimism on that side of the ball, as quarterback Michael Brewer has a full offseason to work as the No. 1 signal-caller, and there’s good skill talent in place at running back and receiver. The offensive line remains a concern after giving up 34 sacks in 2014. With no Florida State, Clemson or Louisville on the schedule, Virginia Tech has a favorable path to the Coastal title. Is this the year Beamer gets the Hokies back to being a top 25 team?

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

Others to Watch

 

Colorado

Mike MacIntyre has Colorado trending in the right direction. However, it’s going to take some time before the Buffaloes are ready to move up in the South Division.

 

Northwestern

Since a 10-3 mark in 2012, the Wildcats are just 10-14 in their last two years. This team has experienced some bad luck in close games in that two-year window, but 15 returning starters should give coach Pat Fitzgerald reason to expect improvement. If the Wildcats find a quarterback, a bowl game should be within reach.

 

Penn State

The Nittany Lions will be better in coach James Franklin's second season. How much? That depends on an offensive line that struggled last season. 

 

Stanford

The Cardinal is coming off its first season of fewer than 11 wins under coach David Shaw. The defense loses several key contributors from 2014, but the offense is poised to take a step forward in quarterback Kevin Hogan’s senior year. Can Stanford push Oregon in the North?

 

Texas A&M

Offense certainly isn’t a concern for the Aggies. How much will the defense improve under new coordinator John Chavis? 

 

Group of 5 Teams

 

Akron

 

Akron is still looking for a breakthrough year under coach Terry Bowden. The Zips have won five games in back-to-back seasons and just missed a .500 mark in league play for the second consecutive year after a three-point loss to Kent State in late November. Akron needs more from Kyle Pohl or Pittsburgh transfer Tra’Von Chapman at quarterback, but the defense should be among the best in the MAC. With no Northern Illinois, Toledo or Western Michigan on the schedule in crossover play, Akron has one of the MAC’s most favorable slates. Getting to six wins is a very reasonable goal for the Zips.

 

Related: MAC Predictions for 2015

 

Appalachian State

 

Scott Satterfield’s squad finished 2014 as one of the hottest teams in the Sun Belt. The Mountaineers won six in a row to close out last year, including victories over bowl teams UL Lafayette and Arkansas State. With 20 starters back, Appalachian State should push for the Sun Belt title. Quarterback Taylor Lamb and running back Marcus Cox will be two of the league’s best players, and the defense will show improvement after allowing 27.3 points per game in 2014.

 

Related: Sun Belt Predictions for 2015

 

Ball State

 

Last season's 5-7 mark was only the second losing record of Pete Lembo’s coaching career. With 17 returning starters, don’t expect a repeat of last year’s record. The Cardinals found their quarterback late last season in Jack Milas, and the sophomore has a solid group of receivers to lean on and all five starters up front. The defense has room to improve after giving up 27.2 points per game in 2014. The front seven is solid, but the secondary will have three new starters. Expect to see Ball State back in the mix for a spot in college football’s postseason in 2015.

 

Related: MAC Predictions for 2015

 

Buffalo

 

New coach Lance Leipold was one of the offseason’s top hires, and the Bulls return nine starters from a team that won five games in 2014. While the defense and offensive line have plenty of holes to plug, the offense should be explosive behind quarterback Joe Licata and running back Anthone Taylor. Buffalo has three winnable games in September, and a 3-1 start would give Leipold’s team a chance to reach bowl eligibility. Leipold went 109-6 in eight years at Wisconsin-Whitewater, and it won’t be long before the Wisconsin native has Buffalo in contention for the MAC East title.

 

Related: MAC Predictions for 2015

 

Houston

 

It seems odd to suggest a team that has won eight games in back-to-back years could be on the most-improved list. However, the Cougars are a team on the rise headed into 2015. New coach Tom Herman is a rising star, and the former Ohio State play-caller should transform Greg Ward Jr. into one of the American Athletic’s top quarterbacks. With Cincinnati, Navy and Memphis all visiting TDECU Stadium in 2015, Houston has a chance to push for double-digit wins in 2015.

 

Related: American Athletic 2015 Predictions

 

New Mexico

 

The Lobos have won 11 games in coach Bob Davie’s three years, but progress has been noticeable. New Mexico won two games in Mountain West play last season and was competitive in losses against Boise State (11 points) and Utah State (seven). With 11 starters back, combined with a favorable schedule, the Lobos may have enough to push for bowl eligibility. Getting to six wins will largely depend on the development of Lamar Jordan or Austin Apodaca at quarterback, along with a defense that has struggled mightily in recent years.

 

Related: Mountain West Predictions for 2015

 

SMU

 

The Mustangs made one of the offseason’s top hires by bringing in Chad Morris as the program’s new head coach. Morris has strong recruiting ties to the state of Texas from his experience as a high school coach, and his offense should have no trouble attracting talent to Dallas. Junior quarterback Matt Davis is a breakout candidate and a good fit for Morris’ spread attack. Despite last year’s 1-11 record, SMU has talent in the program. An immediate boost in the win column is coming for the Mustangs in 2015.

 

Related: American Athletic 2015 Predictions

 

Temple

 

Cincinnati is the heavy favorite to win the American Athletic’s East Division in 2015, but keep a close watch on the development of Temple. The Owls return 17 starters from a team that made a four-game improvement in the win column last year. Quarterback P.J. Walker needs more help from the supporting cast for the offense to improve off last year’s totals. The good news for Walker: Running back Zaire Williams is healthy, and receiver Robby Anderson (17.9 ypc average in 2013) are expected to return to the team. The defense could be the best in the American Athletic this season, as linebacker Tyler Matakevich anchors a unit that held opponents to 17.5 points per game last year.

 

Related: American Athletic 2015 Predictions

 

UMass

 

The Minutemen showed significant progress in Mark Whipple’s return to Amherst. UMass won three games, which was more than it won in two years (2012-13) under Charley Molnar. But the Minutemen were much closer to .500 than some may realize, as this team lost by three points to Colorado and Vanderbilt and fell by a touchdown or less in MAC games against Bowling Green, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo. With 18 starters back, Whipple should have UMass in the mix to play in a bowl in 2015. Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel is one of the best in the Group of 5 ranks, and receiver Tajae Sharpe (85 catches) is back as his top target.

 

Related: MAC Predictions for 2015

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College Football's Most Improved Teams for 2015
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The 2015 college football season is just around the corner, and it’s time to honor the best of the best for the upcoming year. Several of the nation’s top players from 2014 are in the NFL ranks, but there’s no shortage of talent returning to the FBS level.

 

Athlon Sports released its 2015 all-conference teams earlier this offseason, and now the focus shifts to the All-America team. Whether it’s quarterback, defensive end or a spot on the special teams, picking the best of the best is no easy task.

 

And it should be no surprise Ohio State - the defending national champion and Athlon's pick to win it all in 2015 - leads the All-America team with 11 selections. Alabama is second with seven selections, followed by USC (six) and then four teams tied with five (full table of team selections at the bottom of page). The SEC leads the way with 27 overall selections, and the BIg Ten checks in at No. 2 with 24 picks. 

 

An important note on the All-America teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2015. Career statistics and previous awards matter in player evaluation, but choosing players for the 2015 All-America team and all-conference teams are largely based on predicting and projecting the upcoming year.

 

2015 Athlon Sports All-Conference Teams

 

Power 5: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

Group of 5: American | C-USA | MAC | Mountain West | Sun Belt

 

Athlon Sports 2015 All-America Team

 First-Team
Offense
Second-Team
Offense
Third-Team
Offense
Fourth-Team
Offense
QBTrevone Boykin
TCU 
Dak Prescott
Miss. State 
Cody Kessler
USC 
Cardale Jones
Ohio State 
RBNick Chubb
Georgia 
James Conner
Pittsburgh 
Dalvin Cook
Florida State 
Samaje Perine
Oklahoma 
RBEzekiel Elliott
Ohio State 
Leonard Fournette
LSU 
Derrick Henry
Alabama 
Devontae Booker
Utah 
APPharoh Cooper
South Carolina 
Adoree' Jackson
USC 
D.J. Foster
Arizona State 
De'Mornay Pierson-El
Nebraska  
WRTyler Boyd
Pittsburgh 
JuJu Smith
USC 
Corey Coleman
Baylor 
Will Fuller
Notre Dame 
WRLaquon Treadwell
Ole Miss 
D'haquille Williams
Auburn 
Rashard Higgins
Colorado State 
Sterling Shepard
Oklahoma 
TEHunter Henry
Arkansas 
Evan Engram
Ole Miss 

O.J. Howard

Alabama 

Bucky Hodges
Virginia Tech 
CMax Tuerk 
USC 
Ryan Kelly
Alabama 
Jack Allen
Michigan State 

Jake Brendel
UCLA 

GPat Elflein 
Ohio State 
Sebastian Tretola
Arkansas 
Greg Pyke
Georgia 
Joshua Garnett
Stanford  
GTaylor Decker (OT)
Ohio State 
Landon Turner
North Carolina 
Le'Raven Clark (OT)
Texas Tech 
Denver Kirkland (OT)
Arkansas 
TLaremy Tunsil
Ole Miss 
Cam Robinson
Alabama  
Ronnie Stanley
Notre Dame 
Kyle Murphy
Stanford 
TSpencer Drango
Baylor 
Jack Conklin
Michigan State 
Cody Whitehair
Kansas State 
John Theus
Georgia 
 First-Team
Defense
Second-Team
Defense
Third-Team
Defense
Fourth-Team
Defense
DEJoey Bosa
Ohio State 
Derek Barnett
Tennessee 
Myles Garrett
Texas A&M 
DeForest Buckner
Oregon 
DEShilique Calhoun
Michigan State 
Shawn Oakman
Baylor 
Emmanuel Ogbah
Oklahoma State 
Dadi Nicolas
Virginia Tech 
DTRobert Nkemdiche
Ole Miss 
Andrew Billings
Baylor 
Maliek Collins
Nebraska 

Kenny Clark
UCLA  

DTA'Shawn Robinson
Alabama 
Anthony Zettel
Penn State 
Adolphus Washington
Ohio State 
Sheldon Day
Notre Dame  
LBMyles Jack
UCLA 
Darron Lee
Ohio State 

Su'a Cravens
USC 

Tyler Matakevich
Temple 
LBReggie Ragland
Alabama 
Jaylon Smith
Notre Dame 
Joshua Perry
Ohio State 
Vince Biegel
Wisconsin 
LBScooby Wright
Arizona 
Eric Striker
Oklahoma 
Jordan Jenkins
Georgia 
Darian Thompson (S)
Boise State 
CBKendall Fuller
Virginia Tech 
Eli Apple
Ohio State 
Mackensie Alexander
Clemson 
B. Boddy-Calhoun
Minnesota 
CBVernon Hargreaves III
Florida 
Zack Sanchez
Oklahoma 
William Likely
Maryland 
KeiVarae Russell
Notre Dame 
SJalen Ramsey (CB)
Florida State 
Jeremy Cash
Duke 
Karl Joseph
West Virginia 
Dante Barnett
Kansas State 
STony Conner
Ole Miss 
Vonn Bell
Ohio State 
Quin Blanding
Virginia 
Budda Baker
Washington  
 First-Team
Specialists
Second-Team
Specialists
Third-Team
Specialists
Fourth-Team
Specialists
KRoberto Aguayo
Florida State 
Brad Craddock
Maryland 
Andy Phillips
Utah 
Josh Lambert
West Virginia 
PTom Hackett
Utah 
JK Scott
Alabama 
Austin Rehkow
Idaho 
Peter Mortell
Minnesota 
KRAlex Ross
Oklahoma 
Adoree' Jackson
USC 
Myles Willis
Boston College 
Janarion Grant
Rutgers 
PR

De'Mornay Pierson-El

Nebraska 

Charles Nelson
Oregon 
Jalin Marshall
Ohio State 
Isaiah McKenzie
Georgia 

 

Conference Breakdown of All-America Selections
 FirstSecondThirdFourthTotal
ACC434213
Big 12345416
Big Ten666624
Pac-12444719
SEC1095327
Independents01135
American Athletic00011
Mountain West00112
Sun Belt00101

 

Team Breakdown of All-America Selections
TeamNumber of Selections
Ohio State11
Alabama7
USC6
Oklahoma5
Georgia5
Ole Miss5
Notre Dame5
Baylor4
Florida State3
Virginia Tech3
Michigan State3
Nebraska3
UCLA3
Utah3
Arkansas3
Pittsburgh2
Kansas State2
West Virginia2
Maryland2
Minnesota2
Oregon2
Stanford2
Boston College1
Clemson1
Duke1
North Carolina1
Virginia1
Oklahoma State1
TCU1
Texas Tech1
Penn State1
Rutgers1
Wisconsin1
Arizona1
Arizona State1
Washington1
Florida1
LSU1
Mississippi State1
South Carolina1
Texas A&M1
Tennessee1
Auburn1
Boise State1
Temple1
Idaho1
Colorado State1
Teaser:
College Football 2015 All-America Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/10-position-groups-under-pressure-big-12-2015
Body:

The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

10 Big 12 Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Baylor Defensive Backs

The Bears return four starters from a secondary ranked 70th nationally in pass efficiency defense. Junior corner Xavien Howard and safety Orion Stewart are the group’s headliners and should perform at an All-Big 12 level in 2015. But coordinator Phil Bennett needs better overall play from this unit, with Howard and Stewart elevating their performance even higher. The Bears allowed 17 passing plays of 40 yards or more last season and 24 scores through the air. Those numbers have to decrease if Baylor is to earn a spot in the four-team playoff.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

Iowa State Defensive Line

The Cyclones have several position groups in need of attention after a 2-10 campaign in 2014. While running back is a position with plenty of inexperience, the defensive line is an even bigger concern for coach Paul Rhoads. Iowa State allowed 246.3 rushing yards per game last year and generated only 15 sacks – the fewest in the Big 12. That’s the bad news. The good news? This group has experienced bodies returning, and two junior college recruits – Demond Tucker and Bobby Leath – should contribute in 2015.

 

Kansas Wide Receivers

Improving one unit isn’t going to be enough for Kansas to reach a bowl in 2015. There’s just too many holes for coach David Beaty to address in his first year in Lawrence. With the status of quarterback Michael Cummings uncertain after a spring game knee injury, the supporting cast on offense is even more critical to the development of this group. Senior Rodriguez Coleman was dismissed from the team in June, which leaves only two out of last year’s top 10 statistical receivers. Senior Tre’ Parmalee, sophomores Bobby Hartzog and Derrick Neal will be pressed to emerge as targets for Cummings, Montell Cozart or true freshman Carter Stanley or Ryan Willis in 2015.

 

Kansas State Wide Receivers

Kansas State returns six starters on offense, but this unit lost its top players from last year in quarterback Jake Waters and receiver Tyler Lockett. In addition to Lockett, the receiving corps also has to replace Curry Sexton and Zach Trujillo. There’s experience returning in the way of Kody Cook (20 catches last year), Deante Burton and Kyle Klein. But is one of these players capable of replacing the big-play ability that Lockett brought to the offense?

 

Oklahoma Defensive Backs

A couple of position groups could be listed here for Oklahoma, including the offensive or defensive lines or the receiving corps. But the secondary deserves a mention in this space, as the Sooners fell from 29th nationally in pass efficiency defense (2013) to 55th last year. Oklahoma also allowed 24 passing plays of 30 yards or more (tied for sixth in the conference). Junior Zack Sanchez should be a candidate for All-America honors, but who will step up around him? Sophomores Jordan Thomas (CB) and Steven Parker (S) are two names to watch.

 

Related: Ranking the Big 12's Coaches for 2015

 

Oklahoma State Offensive Line

Flip a coin between running backs and offensive line here. Considering it’s easier to reload at running back than in the trenches, we’ll go with the five guys up front in this space. Oklahoma State’s offensive line struggled last year, allowing 40 sacks in 13 contests. But there’s hope for quick improvement in 2015. UAB transfer Victor Salako is penciled in at left tackle, and sophomore Zachary Crabtree is a rising star on the right side. This group should be better with a full offseason to mesh, and will have plenty of time during the regular season to grow before three critical games in November.

 

Related: College Football's Top Transfers to Watch in 2015

 

TCU Linebackers

There are few areas of concern for coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs finished 2014 at 12-1 overall, and Patterson’s team is in good shape to push for a playoff bid once again. Although defense is usually a strength for TCU, this unit does have a few critical areas of concern. The secondary loses three All-Big 12 performers, and the linebacking corps must replace standouts Marcus Mallet and first-team All-Big 12 selection in Pawl Dawson. Proven experience is thin here, and true freshman Mike Freeze and junior Sammy Douglas finished spring as the favorites to start.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Texas Wide Receivers

It’s no secret quarterback play is still the biggest concern for Texas headed into its second year under Charlie Strong. But quarterbacks also need a good supporting cast to succeed. Running back Johnathan Gray is a good place to start the ground attack, and the offensive line should improve with four starters back and better depth. But the receiving corps is a concern for Strong, as John Harris and Jaxon Shipley both expired their eligibility. Senior Marcus Johnson (27 catches) is the top returning target, and there’s promising youngsters in the mix, including sophomore Lorenzo Joe, junior Jacorey Warrick and true freshman John Burt.

 

Texas Tech Defensive Line

Fixing the defense was the top priority for coach Kliff Kingsbury this offseason. The first step was hiring David Gibbs to work as the team’s coordinator. Now, Gibbs has to find the right pieces to run his scheme and improve a defense that allowed a whopping 41.3 points per game in 2014. Winning the defensive battle starts up front, and the Red Raiders have a key senior returning in standout Pete Robertson. But outside of Robertson, who will step up? Seniors Rika Levi and Keland McElrath need to plug the interior better, while Branden Jackson should anchor the other end spot. Developing depth and better overall play is a must.

 

Related: College Football's Top Coordinators on the Rise for 2015

 

West Virginia Wide Receivers

It’s safe to assume a Dana Holgorsen-coached offense will continue to rank among the Big 12’s best even with a few personnel question marks. But in order for Holgorsen to elevate West Virginia in the conference standings, the play of the receiving corps will be under the spotlight. No. 1 target Kevin White (109 catches) and Mario Alford (65) have expired their eligibility, leaving Jordan Thompson, Daikiel Shorts and Shelton Gibson as the top returning options at wide receiver. Running back Wendell Smallwood may also see time on the outside to help alleviate the losses of Alford and White. Incoming freshmen Gary Jennings and Jovon Durante, along with junior college recruit Ka’Raun White (Kevin’s brother) may also crack the rotation. 

Teaser:
10 Position Groups Under Pressure in the Big 12 for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/florida-state-makes-slight-change-helmets-2015
Body:

Florida State unveiled new uniforms, an updated logo and helmet design last season. And after one year, the Seminoles are making a slight tweak to the helmets for 2015.

 

Last year’s helmets featured crossing spears at the back. However, the Seminoles plan on altering the helmets to not have the spears cross paths.

 

Check out last year’s helmets, followed by the 2015 update: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaser:
Florida State Makes Slight Change to Helmets for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/14-position-groups-under-pressure-sec-2015
Body:

The terms “on the hot seat” or “under pressure” usually apply to quarterbacks and head coaches. After all, there’s an enormous amount of pressure on quarterbacks and coaches for any college football team. And needless to say, it’s difficult to challenge for a conference championship or national title if the quarterback play is an issue all year or if the coaching staff’s status is uncertain after a slow start.

 

Despite most of the preseason focus on other positions, the battles in the trenches, at linebacker, cornerback or in the receiving corps are just as important to any team’s success in 2015.

 

With that in mind, let’s set aside the quarterbacks and head coaches for a moment and examine some of the other positions that must produce in 2015.

 

14 SEC Position Groups Under Pressure in 2015

 

Alabama Defensive Backs

The receiving corps also deserves a mention here, but Alabama’s defense has to do a better job against the pass if this team wants to win the national title in 2015. Two starters return in the secondary in senior Cyrus Jones and junior Eddie Jackson. However, there’s a glaring void at safety with Landon Collins off to the NFL. Replacing Collins is expected to be senior Geno Smith or sophomore Hootie Jones, while sophomore Tony Brown and redshirt freshman Marlon Humphrey need to step up in the battle to start opposite of Cyrus Jones at cornerback. True freshmen Kendall Sheffield or Minkah Fitzpatrick may also factor in the mix. After giving up 19 pass plays of 30 yards or more last year, the Crimson Tide need better play from this unit.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

Arkansas Wide Receivers

It’s a tossup between wide receiver or defensive end for Arkansas. The Razorbacks may not have a standout end like Trey Flowers, but the overall depth has improved to alleviate some of the pass rush concerns. At receiver, Keon Hatcher is back after catching 43 passes for 558 yards and six scores last year. And tight end Hunter Henry is poised for another solid season after grabbing 37 passes for 513 yards in 2014. But who will emerge as consistent No. 3 or No. 4 options for quarterback Brandon Allen? Is it sophomore Jared Cornelius? Or will juniors Cody Hollister or Drew Morgan fill that void?

 

Related: Ranking College Football's Best Running Back Tandems

 

Auburn Defensive Backs

With Will Muschamp calling the defensive signals, and end Carl Lawson back from injury, Auburn should show improvement after giving up 26.7 points per game in 2014. Getting Lawson and the performance of the defensive line on track is a key priority for Muschamp, but the secondary also needs attention after giving up 22 passing scores last year. Senior corner Jonathan Jones and junior safety Johnathan Ford are candidates for All-SEC honors, while additional help is expected to come in the form of transfers Tray Matthews (Georgia) and Blake Countess (Michigan). Depth is a concern here.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

Florida Offensive Line

While the uncertainty at quarterback is a concern for Jim McElwain, the offensive line is probably the group keeping the first-year coach up at night. The Gators return only one starter (Trip Thurman), and depth is a major issue. This unit showed improvement under the direction of Mike Summers last season, and the veteran coach was retained by McElwain. Summers does have talent to build around, including sophomore David Sharpe at left tackle and five-star recruit Martez Ivey. Fordham graduate transfer Mason Halter is also expected to factor in the mix.

 

Georgia Wide Receivers

As we mentioned above, there’s no doubt quarterback play is the No. 1 concern on any roster. Georgia enters fall camp with uncertainty under center, as Brice Ramsey and Faton Bauta are locked into a tight battle for the top spot. But regardless of which player starts, the Bulldogs will be looking for improved play at receiver. Chris Conley and Michael Bennett expired their eligibility, leaving tight end Jeb Blazevich and receiver Malcolm Mitchell as the top targets. Will Mitchell stay healthy? And who steps up outside of Mitchell this year? Those are two key questions to watch in Athens.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

Kentucky Defensive End/Rush Linebackers

There’s no doubt Kentucky will miss Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith as the defense’s top edge rushers. Dupree played the hybrid rush end position under coach Mark Stoops, while Smith was the Wildcats’ top defensive end. This duo combined for 12 of Kentucky’s 27 sacks last year. Who will replace that production off a defense that struggled (31.3 points per game) in 2014? Junior Jason Hatcher is one answer at edge rusher, while seniors Farrington Huguenin and Cory Johnson will be tasked with replacing Smith’s production.

 

LSU Defensive Ends

Make no mistake: Talent is not an issue for LSU in the trenches. The Tigers are anchored on the interior by junior Christian LaCouture and rising star in sophomore Davon Godchaux. But the pass rush is a concern for new coordinator Kevin Steele. Since LSU led the SEC with 38 sacks in 2011, the Tigers have watched their sack total decline for three consecutive seasons. Last year, LSU managed only 19 sacks in 13 games, with Jermauria Rasco and Danielle Hunter (combined for 5.5 sacks) off to the NFL. Steele plans on incorporating more 3-4 looks, which adds to the uncertainty of the end/linebacker position. Juniors Tashawn Bower and Lewis Neal and sophomore Deondre Clark are three names to watch off the edge, along with true freshman Arden Key (assuming he makes it to campus).

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 All-Conference Team

 

Mississippi State Offensive Line

A number of positions could be listed here for the Bulldogs. But on the bright side, coach Dan Mullen has upgraded the talent through recruiting in recent years. Only two starters return up front for Mississippi State, with left tackle Blaine Clausell, center Dillon Day and guard Ben Beckwith expiring their eligibility. Junior Justin Senior may switch to left tackle to replace Clausell or that job could fall to senior Rufus Warren. Guard Justin Malone should be among the best in the SEC. How quickly will the Bulldogs find the right mix at the other three spots? Will junior college recruit Martinas Rankin claim a starting job this fall?

 

Missouri Wide Receivers

Defensive end also deserves a mention in this space after Missouri loses Shane Ray and Markus Golden, but the Tigers have reloaded there in recent years without much trouble. The same could be said for Missouri’s recent history at receiver, and there is talent to work with for quarterback Maty Mauk. However, the Tigers must replace their top four leading receivers from last season, with Nate Brown (five) and Wesley Leftwich (three) returning as the top options on the outside. 

 

Ole Miss Offensive Line

There are few areas of concern for coach Hugh Freeze in 2015. However, the two biggest problem spots – quarterback and offensive line – are enough to prevent this team from winning the SEC West. In 13 games last season, the Rebels allowed 31 sacks and generated just 3.9 yards per carry in conference play. With all five starters back in the trenches, Freeze should expect better play up front. The anchor is junior Laremy Tunsil, but he is recovering from a leg injury suffered in the Peach Bowl loss against TCU. Depth and overall talent in this group has improved. Will the performance and improvement show on the field this year?

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

South Carolina Defensive Line

After giving up 30.4 points per game last year, it’s fair to say every unit on South Carolina’s defense must improve. Getting the defense back on track has to start up front. The Gamecocks addressed this unit through recruiting, adding junior college recruit Marquavius Lewis and talented freshman Dexter Wideman. Both players, along with Gerald Dixon and Gerald Dixon Jr. are critical pieces for a unit that generated only 14 sacks and gave up 212.2 rushing yards per game in 2014.

 

Tennessee Offensive Line

The Volunteers had to replace all five starters from its 2013 unit last season. And it was no surprise this group had its share of struggles, allowing 43 sacks in 13 games and generating only 3.6 yards per carry. The inconsistency and development of this group last year should pay dividends for 2015. Tennessee returns four starters this season, and the depth has improved with the addition of talented freshmen Drew Richmond and Jack Jones. If this group takes a step forward in its development, the Volunteers should have one of the SEC’s top offenses.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

Texas A&M Linebackers

With John Chavis calling the defensive signals for Texas A&M, improvement should be noticeable in 2015. Personnel concerns still exist at each level, including linebacker where the Aggies struggled with injuries and overall performance last year. But there’s hope for quick improvement in 2015, as sophomore Otaro Alaka is one of the SEC’s breakout players this year, and junior A.J. Hilliard is back from a leg injury that sidelined him nearly all of 2014. Junior college recruit Claude George is also pushing for snaps, while the Aggies expect sophomore (and former four-star prospect) Josh Walker to take a step forward this season.

 

Related: Stop Arguing: The SEC West is College Football's Best Division

 

Vanderbilt Offensive Line

Quarterback play is easily the biggest concern for new coordinator Andy Ludwig. But regardless of which player takes the first snap, the offensive line has to improve its protection and run blocking. The Commodores featured four returning starters last season, yet this unit allowed 21 sacks and rushers averaged only 3.4 yards per carry. A year later, the same storyline is set to unfold. Four starters are back, and the starting group is expected to feature three juniors and one senior. That’s the type of experience that usually translates to improved production. 

Teaser:
14 Position Groups Under Pressure in the SEC for 2015
Post date: Monday, June 22, 2015 - 11:00
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Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-transfers-watch-2015
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Transfers are a huge part of any college football season. Whether it’s a graduate transfer eligible right away or a player that sat out the previous year due to NCAA rules, impact players are available in the transfer ranks every year.

 

Quarterbacks are always under the microscope in the transfer ranks, and there’s no shortage of intriguing moves for 2015. Everett Golson left Notre Dame for Florida State, and Vernon Adams is transferring from Eastern Washington to Oregon.

 

Related: Impact Quarterback Transfers for 2015

 

Every position has an impact transfer for 2015, including running back with Indiana’s Jordan Howard, Louisville safety Josh Harvey-Clemons and Auburn center Austin Golson.

 

Here’s a look at 25 key transfers to watch this year:

 

25 Impact College Football Transfers for 2015

 

1. The Quarterbacks

Several quarterbacks are slated to make an impact at a new program in 2015. Vernon Adams (Oregon), Everett Golson (Florida State), Jake Rudock (Michigan), Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma), Jeff Driskel (Louisiana Tech) and Max Wittek (Hawaii) are just a few of the key quarterback transfers to watch this year.

 

Here’s the complete breakdown of QB transfers for 2015.

 

2. Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana (from UAB)

Howard is eligible immediately after UAB disbanded its football program in December. The junior rushed for 2,468 yards and 15 scores in two years with the Blazers. Tevin Coleman leaves big shoes to fill, but Howard is capable of being an All-Big Ten running back.

 

Related: Big Ten 2015 Predictions

 

3. Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville (from Georgia)

Even though Louisville’s secondary must replace all four starters from last season, the pass defense won’t suffer too big of a drop with two Georgia transfers stepping into the lineup. Harvey-Clemons was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and made 11 starts for the Bulldogs in 2013.

 

Related: ACC 2015 Predictions

 

4. Blake Countess, CB, Auburn (from Michigan)

Auburn’s secondary has to improve after giving up 44 pass plays of 20 yards or more last year. The Tigers have lost a few players here via transfer, but the addition of Countess should help at corner. The Maryland native played in 38 games for the Wolverines, recorded 114 tackles and six interceptions. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2013.

 

Related: SEC 2015 Predictions

 

5. Austin Golson, C, Auburn (from Ole Miss)

Golson is making the rare move of transferring within the SEC West, as the Alabama native left Ole Miss after playing in 12 games with the Rebels in 2013. Golson is considered the frontrunner to start at center and replace Reese Dismukes for a talented Auburn offensive line.

 

6. Matt Hegarty, OL, Oregon (from Notre Dame)

Oregon’s offensive line loses stalwarts in left tackle Jake Fisher and center Hroniss Grasu, but a solid foundation remains intact with three other returning starters. Hegarty started 11 games for the Fighting Irish last season and will push for starting spot at guard or center.

 

Related: Pac-12 2015 Predictions

 

7. Devin Lucien, WR, Arizona State (from UCLA)

With the departure of Jaelen Strong to the NFL, Arizona State’s offense is in need of a receiver (or two) to emerge. But the answers are falling into place for coach Todd Graham, as running back D.J. Foster is shifting to receiver, and Lucien is eligible immediately after transferring from UCLA. The California native averaged 12.9 yards per catch in three years with the Bruins.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

8. Wayne Lyons, CB, Michigan (from Stanford)

Michigan lost cornerback Blake Countess in a transfer to Auburn but gained a starter in Lyons. The Florida native is a good fit for the Wolverines’ defensive scheme in press coverage and was recruited to Stanford by Jim Harbaugh. Lyons recorded 30 tackles in 13 games with the Cardinal in 2014.

 

9. Tray Matthews, S, Auburn (from Georgia)

Auburn’s defense should be among the most improved groups in the SEC this season. The addition of Will Muschamp at coordinator will help to turn around a unit that allowed 26.7 points per game in 2014. Matthews is the second defensive back transfer for Auburn to make this list, as the sophomore is likely to start at safety after transferring from Georgia. The sophomore played in eight games for the Bulldogs in 2013 and recorded 36 tackles.

 

10. Ty Isaac, RB, Michigan (from USC)

Jim Harbaugh loves to establish the run, and the Wolverines are due for improvement in this area after generating only 162.8 yards per game in 2014. Getting junior Derrick Green back to full strength after a broken clavicle last year will help, and Isaac is ready to contribute after sitting out a season due to transfer rules. Isaac was a five-star recruit out of high school and rushed for 236 yards and two scores in 14 games with the Trojans in 2013.

 

11. Freddie Tagaloa, OT, Arizona (from California)

Rich Rodriguez’s high-powered Arizona offense will be breaking in three new starters on the line this season. Tagaloa should help to ease some of the transition up front, as the California native has starting experience from his two-year stint in Berkeley. The junior is expected to start at left tackle in 2015.

 

Related: Ranking the Pac-12 Quarterbacks for 2015

 

12. Victor Salako, OT, Oklahoma State (from UAB)

Oklahoma State’s offensive line struggled last season, but this unit showed improvement late in the year. Salako transferred to Stillwater after UAB disbanded its football program in December, and the Alabama native is expected to start at left tackle after making 23 starts with the Blazers.

 

Related: Ranking the Big 12's Coaches for 2015

 

13. Mike Mitchell, LB, Texas Tech (from Ohio State)

It’s no secret Texas Tech’s defense is in need of repair. Coach Kliff Kingsbury took a major step forward in addressing the defensive woes by hiring David Gibbs away from Houston, while the talent on the field is bolstered by the addition of Mitchell. The five-star recruit never played at Ohio State and redshirted in his only season with the Buckeyes.

 

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

 

14. Shaq Wiggins, CB, Louisville (from Georgia)

Wiggins is the second Georgia transfer to Louisville in this article. Safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is expected to join Wiggins as starters in the secondary for coordinator Todd Grantham. Wiggins started eight games for the Bulldogs in 2013, recording 19 tackles and two interceptions. 

 

15. Brennan Scarlett, DE, Stanford (from California)

Scarlett’s decision to transfer from California to Stanford certainly raised some eyebrows around the Pac-12, but the senior is a solid pickup for the Cardinal defense. Injuries marred Scarlett’s tenure at California, as he never played in a full season and was limited to 17 appearances in four years. Stanford is thin on depth up front, which should allow Scarlett to carve out a role in the trenches this season.

 

16. Ja’Quay Savage, WR, Louisville (from Texas A&M)

Louisville has some big shoes to fill in the receiving corps with the departure of receivers DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers and tight end Gerald Christian. But the Cardinals aren’t hurting for talent on the outside, as UAB transfer Jamari Staples, junior James Quick and Savage will be a trio of capable targets. Savage (formerly Ja’Quay Williams) transferred to Louisville after one year at Texas A&M. The Georgia native caught four passes with the Aggies in 2013.

 

17. Isaiah Johnson, S, South Carolina (from Kansas)

South Carolina’s defense struggled mightily last year, giving up 30.4 points per game and 6.2 yards per play. Coach Steve Spurrier hopes the addition of new co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke helps to turn around this unit, along with addition of a few new faces and more experience from the underclassmen. Johnson was one of the few bright spots on a struggling Kansas team last year, recording 75 tackles and one interception. Johnson should push for a starting spot at safety.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

18. Richard Mullaney, WR, Alabama (from Oregon State)

Amari Cooper leaves big shoes to fill after catching 124 of Alabama’s 290 passes last year. And Cooper isn’t the only loss for coordinator Lane Kiffin as No. 2 target DeAndrew White and No. 3 receiver Christion Jones have expired their eligibility. Mullaney is a post-spring pickup for coach Nick Saban, and the Oregon State graduate transfer should be a valuable pickup for an inexperienced receiving corps. Mullaney caught 52 passes in 2013 but was limited by injury in 2014.

 

19. Rodney Coe, DT, Akron (from Iowa State)

Akron’s starting defense could feature five transfers from Power 5 programs. Linebacker Darryl Monroe is a name to watch, but Coe could be the biggest impact transfer for coach Terry Bowden. The 305-pound tackle recorded 37 tackles at Iowa State in 2013 and will anchor the interior of Akron’s defensive front this year.

 

Related: College Football's Top Coordinators on the Rise

 

20. Kelsey Young, RB, Boise State (from Stanford)

With Jay Ajayi moving onto the NFL, uncertainty surrounds the Boise State backfield. Jeremy McNichols and Cory Young are the favorites to replace Ajayi’s production, but Kelsey Young (Cory’s brother) adds to the competition after transferring to Boise for his final year. He rushed for 331 yards on 66 attempts with Stanford in 2014.

 

21. Kaiwan Lewis, LB, Rutgers (from South Carolina)

Rutgers’ Big Ten debut was a success, but coach Kyle Flood has some work to do in order to get the Scarlet Knights back in the postseason in 2015. Upgrading the performance on defense is a must, and Lewis – a graduate transfer from South Carolina – is slated to compete for the starting job at middle linebacker. Lewis regarded 20 tackles for the Gamecocks last year but made 10 starts in 2013.

 

22. Mason Halter, OL, Florida (from Fordham)

Florida taking a graduate transfer from Fordham isn’t going to be a common occurrence, but the Gators desperately need offensive line help, and Halter is a good pickup to bolster the available talent. The senior started 33 games at Fordham and was one of the top linemen at the FCS level. With the Gators short on talent and depth, Halter figures to make an impact in his only year in Gainesville.

 

23. Damore’ea Stringfellow, WR, Ole Miss (from Washington)

Stringfellow certainly has the talent to be an impact receiver for Ole Miss, but coach Hugh Freeze indicated the Washington transfer needs to show more consistency to earn playing time in 2015. In his only season with the Huskies, Stringfellow caught 20 passes for 259 yards and one score.

 

24. Jake Ganus, LB, Georgia (from UAB)

The Bulldogs are loaded with talent on the outside in the linebacking corps, featuring All-SEC candidates in Lorenzo Carter, Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd. The interior spots in this group are up for grabs, and Ganus could push Reggie Carter or Tim Kimbrough for a starting job. Ganus led UAB in tackles in 2013-14 and was a second-team All-Conference USA selection last year.

 

25. Kyle Bosch, OL, West Virginia (from Michigan)

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen received good news in late May when Bosch was declared eligible for the 2015 season. The Illinois native played in one game for Michigan in 2014 but started three in 2013. He should push for time at guard in 2015.

 

Other Transfers to Watch

 

Quarterback Transfers for 2015

 

RB Ralph David Abernathy IV, Cincinnati to Tennessee

RB Andrew Buie, West Virginia to Charlotte

RB Donnell Alexander, Colorado State to Akron

RB Dalyn Dawkins, Purdue to Colorado State

RB Justice Hayes, Michigan to Southern Miss

RB Malin Jones, Northwestern to Louisville

RB Demarcus Kirk, UAB to Georgia State

RB Albert Reid, Maryland to Virginia

RB Patrick Skov, Stanford to Georgia Tech
RB Donovan Wilson, Georgia Tech to Bowling Green

RB/WR D.J. Vinson, UAB to South Alabama

 

WR Chance Allen, Oregon to Houston

WR K.J. Brent, South Carolina to Wake Forest

WR Dylan Collie, BYU to Hawaii

WR Kenny Golladay, North Dakota to Northern ILlinois

WR Marqui Hawkins, UAB to Indiana

WR Nyiakki Height, UAB to Georgia State

WR A.J. Legree, Kentucky to South Florida

WR Uriah Lemay, Georgia to Charlotte

WR Collin Lisa, UAB to Buffalo

WR Quincy Perdue, UAB to Kansas

WR Robbie Rhodes, Baylor to Bowling Green

WR Jamari Staples, UAB to Louisville

WR T.J. Thorpe, North Carolina to Virginia

WR Andrew Rodriguez, Houston to Utah State

 

TE Gerald Everett, UAB to South Alabama

TE M.J. McFarland, Texas to UTEP

TE Taylor McNamara, Oklahoma to USC

TE Mitch Parsons, Vanderbilt to Colorado State

TE Kent Taylor, Florida to Kansas

 

OL Cameron Blankenship, UAB to South Alabama

OL Roscoe Byrd, UAB to Georgia Southern

OL Ruben Carter, Florida State to Toledo

OL Lee Dufour, UAB to South Alabama

OL Derek Edinburgh Jr., LSU to Louisiana Tech

OL Kelepi Folau, UAB to Georgia State

OL Tim Gardner, Ohio State to Indiana

OL Reilly Gibbons, Stanford to USF

OL Rami Hammad, Texas to Baylor

OL Taylor Hindy, Washington to Syracuse

OL Ryan Mack, Louisville to Memphis

OL Kyle Marrs, Oklahoma to Houston

OL T.J. McCoy, NC State to Florida

OL Emeka Okafor, Houston to Texas Tech

OL Kevin Reihner, Stanford to Penn State

OL Sam Rice, SMU to North Texas

OL Ben Wysocki, UCLA to Utah State

 

DL Justin Akins, Georgia Tech to MTSU

DL Aaron Curry, Nebraska to TCU

DL Kylie Fitts, UCLA to Utah

DL Nick Internicola, Rutgers to FAU

DT Mickey Johnson, LSU to Louisiana Tech

DL Evan Kelly, Richmond to Boston College

DL James Looney, Wake Forest to California

DE Jamal Marcus, Ohio State to Akron

DT Suleiman Masumbuko, Baylor to Tulsa

DL Kevin McReynolds, UCLA to Nevada

DL Robert Mondie, UAB to Arkansas State

DT Jontavious Morris, UAB to WKU

DL Joshua Posley, Cincinnati to Ball State

DL Mark Scarpinto, Michigan State to Pittsburgh

 

LB Jefferson Ashiru, UConn to Maryland

LB Blake Dees, Texas Tech to South Alabama

LB Samson Faifili, Kansas to Utah State

LB Anthony Harrell, Georgia Tech to Florida

LB Davonte James, West Virginia to Kent State

LB Makani Kema-Kaleiwahe, Arizona to Hawaii

LB TJ McCollum, UAB to WKU

LB Alonzo McGee, UAB to Georgia State

LB Daryl Monroe, Washington State to Akron

LB Otha Peters, Arkansas to UL Lafayette

LB Shawn Petty, Maryland to Marshall

LB Marquise Roberts, South Carolina to Kansas

LB Chad Whitener, California to Oklahoma State

 

CB Derek Babiash, Arizona to San Diego State

DB Bobby Baker, UAB to Georgia State

DB Kelton Brackett, UAB to UMass

CB Ahmad Christian, South Carolina to Utah

DB Jordan Collier, UAB to Buffalo

DB Zach Dancel, Maryland to Wake Forest

CB Demarco Davis, UAB to Georgia State

CB Lamarcus Farmer, UAB to Troy

DB Travis Green, Kansas State to New Mexico

DB Bryant Gross-Armiento, Rutgers to Wake Forest

DB Eilar Hardy, Notre Dame to Bowling Green

DB Kiy Hester, Miami to Rutgers

CB Larry Hope, Miami to Akron

CB Michael Hunter, Indiana to Oklahoma State

DB Kalen Jackson, UAB to South Alabama

DB Rashad Jackson, New Mexico to North Texas

DB Vershad Jackson, New Mexico to North Texas

DB Rolan Milligan, UAB to Toledo

CB Chris Murphy, Arkansas to Cincinnati

S Avery Sebastian, California to Notre Dame

CB Trenton Trammell, BYU to UTEP

 

P Blake O’Neill, Weber State to Michigan

P Nathan Renfro, Maryland to Tennessee

Teaser:
College Football's Top Transfers to Watch in 2015
Post date: Monday, June 22, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/what-if-nfl-logos-were-canadian
Body:

Logos for any sports franchise or league are a critical part of identification and merchandise. And tweaking a logo is one way to drive up a little revenue.

 

But the internet has succeeded in creating awesome redesigned or tweaked logos. At Uproxx, the question was posed: What if NFL logos were Canadian.

 

As you can imagine, the results were terrific.

 

A few of our favorites are below. Click here to view all of the redesigned logos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaser:
What if NFL Logos Were Canadian?
Post date: Friday, June 19, 2015 - 12:27
Path: /college-football/alabama-unveils-2014-sec-championship-rings
Body:

Alabama has won plenty of hardware since Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide missed out on an opportunity to play for the national championship last year after a loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, but the 2014 team recorded an impressive 42-13 win over Missouri for the SEC title.

 

And it should be no surprise that Alabama is celebrating the SEC Championship with some fancy hardware.

 

Check out the Crimson Tide’s 2014 SEC title rings:

 

 

A photo posted by reggieragland (@reggieragland) on

Teaser:
Alabama Unveils 2014 SEC Championship Rings
Post date: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 15:09
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-running-back-tandems-2015
Body:

Having two running backs is almost essential for every college football team. While some teams have workhorse options that can handle 275 or 300 carries, most programs want to have at least two (and sometimes three) running backs to split up the workload. The thought process is pretty simple: Take the workload off one player and spread it around to keep everyone fresh.

 

Arkansas has mastered that philosophy under coach Bret Bielema, as the Razorbacks boast the nation’s best tandem in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams. Both players eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2014 and should reach that level in 2015.

 

But Arkansas isn’t the only program with two solid running backs, as Georgia, Oklahoma, Oregon and Alabama are the next teams in the mix.

 

Which teams have the best No. 1 and No. 2 running backs? Here’s the top 20 in college football, with an emphasis on talent, production so far in their career and projection for 2015. 

 

College Football's Top 20 Running Back Tandems for 2015

 

1. Arkansas

 

The Razorbacks have the best one-two punch at running back for 2015. Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins return after each eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark last season and combined for 24 rushing scores. This duo will also have one of the nation’s top offensive lines at their disposal, which includes three All-America candidates in guard Sebastian Tretola and tackles Dan Skipper and Denver Kirkland.

 

Related: Ranking the SEC's Offensive Lines for 2015

 

2. Georgia

 

Georgia’s rushing attack didn’t skip a beat despite losing Todd Gurley to a suspension, then a torn ACL in the win over Auburn. Nick Chubb emerged as one of the SEC’s top running backs in the second half of 2014, averaging 165.4 rushing yards per game over the final eight contests. Sony Michel – a five-star recruit in 2014 – is the No. 2 back after averaging 6.4 yards per carry last year.

 

Related: SEC Football 2015 Predictions

 

3. Oklahoma

 

Even though Oklahoma has a new play-caller (Lincoln Riley) and a few tweaks to its offensive scheme, the rushing attack is still going to be a huge part of the gameplan. Samaje Perine headlines the backfield after rushing for 1,713 yards and 21 scores as a true freshman, while the No. 2 spot is up for grabs between Joe Mixon and Alex Ross.

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

4. Oregon

 

Having a deep stable of running backs and receivers should help to ease the transition of Eastern Washington transfer quarterback Vernon Adams into the starting lineup. Royce Freeman had a huge freshman campaign in 2014, rushing for 1,365 yards and 18 scores. Thomas Tyner missed four games due to injury, but the junior has rushed for 1,284 yards over the last two years.

 

Related: Pac-12 Football Predictions for 2015

 

5. Alabama

 

In every season since 2008, Alabama has posted two running backs to reach the 600-yard mark. That streak should extend to eight consecutive years in 2015, as the Crimson Tide can lean on Derrick Henry as the No. 1 option, with Kenyan Drake the No. 2 rusher after returning from a leg injury. Henry shared carries with T.J. Yeldon last season and rushed for 990 yards and 11 scores. 

 

Related: Ranking All 128 College Football Coaches for 2015

 

6. Ohio State

 

Ezekiel Elliott opens 2015 as one of the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and the junior closed 2014 playing as well as any running back in the nation. In Ohio State’s run to the national championship, Elliott rushed for 220 yards against Wisconsin, 230 versus Alabama and 246 in the 42-20 win over Oregon. Curtis Samuel (6.6 ypc in 2014) should see a bigger role in 2015.

 

7. Florida State

 

With the departure of quarterback Jameis Winston to the NFL, the focus in the Florida State offense shifts to Dalvin Cook and the rushing attack. The Miami native rushed for 1,008 yards and eight scores as a true freshman in 2014 and should push for All-America honors in 2015. Cook won’t have to carry the entire workload, as Florida State also has Mario Pender and four-star recruit Jacques Patrick.

 

Related: College Football's Top Impact Transfer Quarterbacks for 2015

 

8. Pittsburgh

 

Pittsburgh has the ACC’s No. 1 running back in James Conner, and sophomore Chris James is a solid No. 2 option for new coach Pat Narduzzi. Conner rushed for 1,765 yards and 26 scores last year, while James averaged five yards a carry on 87 attempts. 

 

9. Tennessee

 

Since we are projecting ahead to 2015, this backfield is one on the rise for 2015. Jalen Hurd led the team with 899 yards as a true freshman in 2014, and he will have help from junior college recruit (and former Alabama back) Alvin Kamara. The stats don’t back up this ranking in June. But the Volunteers are primed to take a step forward on the ground in 2015.

 

10. West Virginia

 

Although coach Dana Holgorsen likes to throw the ball around, don’t overlook the Mountaineers’ rushing attack. Rushel Shell recorded 788 yards and seven scores in his first season of playing time at West Virginia, while Wendell Smallwood is one of the Big 12’s top all-around backs after recording 1,057 total yards last year. Redshirt freshman Donte Thomas-Williams is a name to remember.

 

11. Baylor

 

Art Briles’ high-powered offense isn’t limited to only the aerial assault. The Bears averaged 215.5 rushing yards per game last year, headlined by Shock Linwood (1,252 yards) and Devin Chafin (4.8 ypc on 80 attempts).

 

12. Toledo

 

The Rockets must replace all five starters on the offensive line, but coach Matt Campbell can still rely on his ground attack with the return of Kareem Hunt (1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns). Hunt’s 1,631 yards and 16 scores is even more impressive when you consider he only played in 10 games last year. The Rockets are overflowing with depth at running back, starting with Terry Swanson (6.5 ypc in 2014), Damion Jones-Moore and Marc Remy.

 

13. San Diego State

 

Behind running back Donnel Pumphrey, the Aztecs are the favorite to win the Mountain West’s West Division in 2015. Pumphrey finished fourth nationally with 1,873 yards in 2014. Chase Price should be the top backup after recording 674 yards and five touchdowns last year.

 

Related: Mountain West 2015 Predictions

 

14. Marshall

 

With quarterback Rakeem Cato expiring his eligibility, the Thundering Herd may lean more on its rushing attack in 2015. That’s no problem for Marshall, as Devon Johnson (1,767 yards) and Remi Watson (546 yards) return.

 

15. Arizona State

 

D.J. Foster is moving to receiver, which means Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage will handle the bulk of the carries for coach Todd Graham. Both players are due for a breakout season after combining for 604 yards and seven touchdowns in 2014.

 

16. Western Kentucky

 

The Hilltoppers have one of the nation’s top offenses for the 2015 season. Quarterback Brandon Doughty returns, and the ground attack is bolstered by Leon Allen (1,542 yards in 2014). Allen is among the top running backs in Conference USA. Anthony Wales (518 yards last year) is Allen’s primary backup.

 

Related: Conference USA 2015 Predictions

 

17. Miami

 

Potential. That’s the word to remember when examining Miami’s backfield for 2015. Sophomore Joseph Yearby is a breakout candidate after rushing for 509 yards and one score in a backup role to Duke Johnson last year. Gus Edwards is the No. 2 back but could earn a split of the carries (349 yards, six touchdowns in 2014).

 

18. Georgia Southern

 

Georgia Southern had a successful debut on the FBS level by finishing 9-3 overall and a perfect 8-0 mark in conference play. The offense led the way for coach Willie Fritz, as two players – running back Matt Breida and quarterback Kevin Ellison – each eclipsed 1,000 yards. Breida averaged 8.7 yards per carry and recorded 14 rushing plays of 30 yards or more. Alfred Ramsby (4.5 yards per carry and 12 scores in 2014) is Georgia Southern’s No. 2 back.

 

Related: Sun Belt 2015 Predictions

 

19. Texas Tech

 

Texas Tech had the fewest rushing attempts of any Big 12 team in 2014, but the Red Raiders maximized their opportunities by averaging 5.2 yards per carry. DeAndre Washington is one of the Big 12’s most underrated players after leading the team with 1,103 yards last year. Justin Stockton is a big-play threat, averaging 8.3 yards per carry in 2014.

 

20. Appalachian State

 

Similar to its conference comrade Georgia Southern, Appalachian State made a splash in its first year of FBS play. The Mountaineers finished 2014 on a six-game winning streak and enter 2015 as one of the favorites. Marcus Cox is the headliner at running back (1,415 yards), and coach Scott Satterfield plans on utilizing Terrence Upshaw (573 yards) more in 2015.

 

Other Backfield Tandems to Watch in 2015

 

Power 5

 

Auburn: Jovon Robinson and Roc Thomas/Peyton Barber

 

Boston College: Jon Hilliman and Myles Willis

 

California: Daniel Lasco and Vic Enwere/Khalfani Muhammad

 

LSU: Leonard Fournette and Darrel Williams

 

Michigan: Derrick Green and Ty Isaac

 

NC State: Shadrach Thornton and Matt Dayes

 

Nebraska: Terrell Newby and Imani Cross

 

Notre Dame: Tarean Folston and Greg Bryant

 

Rutgers: Paul James and Josh Hicks/Robert Martin

 

TCU: Aaron Green and Shaun Nixon

 

UCLA: Paul Perkins and Nate Starks

 

Group of 5

 

Buffalo: Anthone Taylor and Devin Campbell

 

Cincinnati: Hosey Williams and Mike Boone

 

Houston: Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson

 

Louisiana Tech: Kenneth Dixon and Jarred Craft

 

New Mexico: Teriyon Gipson and Jhurell Pressley

 

Nevada: Don Jackson and James Butler

 

Wyoming: Brian Hill and Shaun Wick

Teaser:
College Football's Top 20 Running Back Tandems for 2015
Post date: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 10:30

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