Articles By Steven Lassan

Path: /college-football/eastern-michigan-unveils-new-gray-turf-2014
Body:

Eastern Michigan is arguably the toughest job in college football. Located in Ypsilanti, EMU is less than 10 miles from the University of Michigan, and the Eagles’ last winning season was in 1995. Eastern Michigan has just one bowl appearance in its history (1987).

New coach Chris Creighton was a good hire for Eastern Michigan, and the program is doing everything it can to raise its profile by announcing plans to use a gray field in 2014.

Much like Boise State’s blue field and Eastern Washington’s red turf, Eastern Michigan hopes to create some buzz about its program by adding a different look to its field.

Here’s a picture from the school’s instagram account:

 

Teaser:
Eastern Michigan Unveils New Gray Turf for 2014
Post date: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 13:27
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second and third All-MAC teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: MAC 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 MAC Team Previews
 


Athlon's 2014 All-MAC Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team Offense
QBMatt Johnson
Bowling Green 
Kyle Pohl
Akron 
Joe Licata
Buffalo 
RBTravis Greene
Bowling Green 
Jahwan Edwards
Ball State 
Akeem Daniels
Northern Illinois 
RBKareem Hunt
Toledo 
Jawon Chisholm
Akron 
Bronson Hill
Eastern Michigan 
WRTitus Davis
Central Michigan 
Corey Davis
Western Michigan 
Zach D'Orazio
Akron 
WRAlonzo Russell
Toledo 
Tommylee Lewis
Northern Illinois 
Tajae Sharpe
UMass 
TETyreese Russell
Eastern Michigan 
Jordan Williams (WR)
Ball State 
Alex Welch
Miami (Ohio) 
CJacob Richard
Ball State 
Alex Huettel
Bowling Green 
Andrew Ness
Northern Illinois 
GGreg Mancz
Toledo 
Andre Davis
Buffalo 
Aidan Conlon
Northern Illinois 
GAndy Phillips
Central Michigan 
Jeff Myers
Toledo 
Jake Hurcombe
Eastern Michigan 
TTyler Loos
Northern Illinois 
Willie Beavers
Western Michigan 
Steven Bell
Ball State 
TLincoln Hansen
Eastern Michigan 
Josh Hendershot
Toledo 
Jacob Bennett
Bowling Green 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team Defense
DETarell Basham
Ohio 
Bryson Albright
Miami (Ohio) 
Nordly Capi
Akron 
DEJason Meehan
Northern Illinois 
Nick Miles 
Ball State 
Bryan Thomas
Bowling Green 
DTAntwan Crutcher
Ohio 
Nate Terhune
Kent State 
Pat O'Connor
Eastern Michigan 
DTTreyvon Hester
Toledo 
Leterrius Walton
Central Michigan 
Kristjan Sokoli
Buffalo 
LBJamaal Bass
Northern Illinois 
Ben Ingle
Ball State 
Justin Cherocci
Central Michigan 
LBJunior Sylvestre
Toledo 
Kent Kern
Miami (Ohio) 
D.J. Lynch
Bowling Green 
LBJatavis Brown
Akron 
Gabe Martin
Bowling Green 
Adam Redden
Buffalo 
CBDevin Bass
Ohio 
Heath Harding
Miami (Ohio) 
Cortney Lester
Buffalo  
CBDonald Celiscar
Western Michigan 
Cheatham Norrils
Toledo 
Marlon Moore
Northern Illinois 
SRyland Ward
Bowling Green 
Jordan Italiano
Kent State 
Brian Jones
Ball State 
SDechane Durante
Northern Illinois 
Justin Currie
Western Michigan 
Josh Kristoff
Ohio 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team Specialists
KJeremiah Detmer
Toledo 
Scott Secor
Ball State 
Tyler Tate
Bowling Green 
PZach Paul
Akron 
Anthony Melchiori
Kent State 
Tyler Grassman
Buffalo 
KRDevin Campbell
Buffalo 
Trey Dudley-Giles
UMass 
Paris Logan
Northern Illinois 
PRRyan Burbrink
Bowling Green 
Trey Dudley-Giles
UMass 
Titus Davis
Central Michigan 
 FirstSecondThird
Akron
Offense: 0
Defense: 1 
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Ball State
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Bowling Green
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Buffalo
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Central Michigan
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Eastern Michigan
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Kent State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Miami (Ohio)
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Northern Illinois
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Ohio
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Toledo
Offense: 3
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
UMass
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 2 
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Western Michigan
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
MAC Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/american-athletic-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second and third American Athletic All-Conference teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: American Athletic 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 American Athletic Team Previews
 

 

2014 American Athletic All-Conference Team
 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team Offense
QBShane Carden
East Carolina 
________________
John O'Korn
Houston 
________________
P.J. Walker
Temple 
________________
RBWilliam Stanback
UCF 
Ralph David Abernathy IV
Cincinnati 
Kenneth Farrow
Houston 
RBHosey Williams
Cincinnati 
________________
Breon Allen
East Carolina 
________________
Kenneth Harper
Temple 
________________
WRDeontay Greenberry
Houston
Geremy Davis
UConn 
Andre Davis
USF 
WRJustin Hardy
East Carolina 
J.J. Worton
UCF 
Chris Moore
Cincinnati 
TESean McQuillan
UConn 
________________
Mike McFarland
USF 
________________
Darius Joseph
SMU 
________________
CAustin Reiter
USF 
Taylor Lasecki
SMU 
Bryce Redman
Houston
GParker Ehinger
Cincinnati 
Quinterrius Eatmon
USF 
Thor Jozwiak
USF 
GTorrian Wilson
UCF 
Rowdy Harper
Houston

Deyshawn Bond (C)
Cincinnati 

TIke Harris
East Carolina 
Garrett Stafford
Tulsa 
Sean Donnelly
Tulane 
TEric Lefeld
Cincinnati 
Darrell Williams
USF 
Kris Weeks
SMU 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team Defense
DEMartin Ifedi
Memphis 
Derrick Alexander
Tulsa 
Beau Barnes
SMU 
DE

Silverberry Mouhon
Cincinnati 

Royce LaFrance
Tulane 
Thomas Niles
UCF 
DTJoey Mbu
Houston 
Julian Campenni
UConn 
Derrick Calloway
USF 
DTTerry Williams
East Carolina 
________________
Derrick Luetjen
Tulsa 
________________
Matt Ioannidis
Temple 
________________
LBTyler Matakevich
Temple 
Zeek Bigger
East Carolina 
Jeff Luc
Cincinnati 
LBDerrick Mathews
Houston 
Efrem Oliphant
Houston 
Nico Marley
Tulane 
LBTerrance Plummer
UCF 
________________
Nick Temple
Cincinnati 
________________
Stephon Sanders
SMU 
________________
CBLorenzo Doss
Tulane 
Byron Jones
UConn 
Bobby McCain
Memphis 
CBJacoby Glenn
UCF 
Darion Monroe
Tulane 
Obi Melifonwu (S)
UConn 
SClayton Geathers
UCF 
Demarco Nelson
Tulsa 
Adrian McDonald
Houston 
STrevon Stewart
Houston 
Sam Scofield
Tulane 
Michael Mudoh
Tulsa 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team Specialists
KMarvin Kloss
USF 
Shawn Moffitt
UCF 
Jake Elliott
Memphis 
PMattias Ciabatti
USF 
Peter Picerelli
Tulane 
Caleb Houston
UCF 
KRDemarcus Ayers
Houston 
Joe Craig
Memphis 
Chris Dunkley
USF 
PRJustin Hardy
East Carolina 
Chris Dunkley
USF 
Keiwone Malone
Memphis 

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 American All-Conference Team
 FirstSecondThird
Cincinnati
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Connecticut
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
East Carolina
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Houston
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2 
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Memphis
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 2
SMU
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
South Florida
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Temple
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Tulane
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Tulsa
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
UCF
Offense: 2
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
American Athletic 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/pac-12-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second, third and fourth All-Pac-12 teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: Pac-12 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 Pac-12 Team Previews
 
National
Rank:
4516767165312714542456


Athlon's 2014 All-Pac-12 Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team OffenseFourth-Team Offense
QBMarcus Mariota
Oregon 
________________
Brett Hundley
UCLA 
________________
Taylor Kelly
Arizona State 
________________
Sean Mannion
Oregon State 
________________
RBJavorius Allen
USC 
D.J. Foster
Arizona State 
Jordon James
UCLA 
Barry Sanders
Stanford 
RBByron Marshall
Oregon 
________________
Thomas Tyner
Oregon 
________________
Tre Madden
USC 

________________
Storm Woods
Oregon State 
________________
WRNelson Agholor
USC 
Austin Hill
Arizona 
Dres Anderson
Utah 
Vince Mayle
Washington State 
WRJaelen Strong
Arizona State 
Ty Montgomery
Stanford 
Chris Harper
California 
Kasen Williams
Washington 
TEConnor Hamlett
Oregon State 
________________
Thomas Duarte
UCLA 
________________
Pharaoh Brown
Oregon 
________________
Randall Telfer
USC 
________________
CHroniss Grasu
Oregon 
Isaac Seumalo
Oregon State 

Max Tuerk
USC 

Jake Brendel
UCLA 
GJosh Garnett
Stanford 
Dexter Charles
Washington 

Malcolm Bunche
UCLA 

Cayman Bundage
Arizona 
GAlex Redmond
UCLA 
Daniel Munyer
Colorado 
Vi Teofilo
Arizona State 
Christian Westerman
Arizona State 
TMickey Baucus
Arizona 
Jamil Douglas
Arizona State 
Micah Hatchie
Washington 
Fabbians Ebbele
Arizona 
TAndrus Peat
Stanford 
Tyler Johnstone
Oregon 
Kyle Murphy
Stanford 
Jake Fisher
Oregon 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team DefenseFourth-Team Defense
DEHenry Anderson
Stanford 

Kenneth Clark (DT)
UCLA 

DeForest Buckner
Oregon 
Arik Armstead
Oregon 
DELeonard Williams
USC 
Eddie Vanderdoes
UCLA 
Owa Odighizuwa
UCLA 
Nate Orchard
Utah 
DTHau'oli Kikaha (DE)
Washington 
David Parry
Stanford 
________________
Xavier Cooper
Washington State 
Alex Balducci
Oregon 
DTDanny Shelton
Washington 
________________
Addison Gillam (LB)
Colorado 
 
Josh Tupou
Colorado 
________________
Antwaun Woods
USC 
________________
LBMyles Jack
UCLA 
Hayes Pullard
USC 
Michael Doctor
Oregon State 
Salamo Fiso
Arizona State 
LBEric Kendricks
UCLA 
A.J. Tarpley
Stanford 
Derrick Malone
Oregon 
Jalen Jefferson
California 
LBShaq Thompson
Washington 
________________
Tony Washington
Oregon 
________________
Darryl Monroe
Washington State 
________________
Scooby Wright
Arizona 
________________
CBIfo Ekpre-Olomu
Oregon 
Alex Carter
Stanford 
Fabian Moreau
UCLA 
Greg Henderson
Colorado 
CBMarcus Peters
Washington 
Josh Shaw
USC 
Steven Nelson
Oregon State 
Jonathan McKnight
Arizona 
SSu'a Cravens
USC 
Randall Goforth
UCLA 
Ryan Murphy
Oregon State 
Brian Blechen
Utah 
SJordan Richards
Stanford 
Eric Rowe
Utah 
Damarious Randall
Arizona State 
Jared Tevis
Arizona 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team SpecialistsFourth-Team Specialists
KAndy Phillips
Utah 
Zane Gonzalez
Arizona State 
Jordan Williamson
Stanford 
Will Oliver
Colorado 
PTom Hackett
Utah 
Darragh O'Neill
Colorado 
Sean Covington*
UCLA 
Ben Rhyne
Stanford 
KRTy Montgomery
Stanford 
John Ross
Washington 
Ishmael Adams
UCLA 
Khalfani Muhammad
California 
PRNelson Agholor
USC 
Barry Sanders
Stanford 
Geoffrey Norwood
Utah 
Marvin Hall
Washington 
*Covington left UCLA in late July.
Related Content: 2014 Pac-12 Predictions

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-Pac-12 Team
 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Arizona
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Arizona State
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
California
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Colorado
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Oregon
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Oregon State
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Stanford
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
UCLA
 
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
USC
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Utah
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Washington
Offense: 0
Defense: 4
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Washington State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense:  2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/mountain-west-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second and third All-Mountain West teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: Mountain West 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 Mountain West Team Previews
 
National
Rank:
10546746211882106831031014994


Athlon's 2014 All-Mountain West Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team Offense
QBChuckie Keeton
Utah State 
Cody Fajardo
Nevada 
Garrett Grayson
Colorado State 
RBJay Ajayi
Boise State 
Jarrod Lawson
San Jose State 
Joe Hill
Utah State 
RBDonnel Pumphrey
San Diego State 
Shaun Wick
Wyoming 
Joey Iosefa
Hawaii 
WRDevante Davis
UNLV 
Josh Harper
Fresno State 
Ezell Ruffin
San Diego State 
WRMatt Miller
Boise State 
Rashard Higgins
Colorado State 
Dominic Rufran
Wyoming 
TEKivon Cartwright
Colorado State 
Billy Freeman
San Jose State 
Richy Turner (WR)
Nevada 
CRobert Waterman
UNLV 
Matt Galas
Nevada 
Michael Husar
Air Force 
GLaMar Bratton
New Mexico 
Jake Jones
Wyoming 
Ben Clarke (OT)
Hawaii 
GCody Wichmann
Fresno State 
Rees Odhiambo (OT)
Boise State 
Jamal Price (OT)
New Mexico
TBrett Boyko
UNLV 
Terry Poole
San Diego State 
Justin Northern
Fresno State 
TTy Sambrailo
Colorado State 
Kevin Whimpey
Utah State 
Kyle Roberts
Nevada 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team Defense
DETyeler Davison
Fresno State 
B.J. Larsen
Utah State 
Joe Kawulok
Colorado State 
DEBrock Hekking
Nevada 
Brett Bowers
New Mexico 
Gabe Perez
Boise State 
DTEddie Yarbrough (DE)
Wyoming 
Beau Yap (DE)
Hawaii 
Patrick Mertens
Wyoming 
DTTravis Raciti
San Jose State 
Sam Meredith
San Diego State 
Armand Nance
Boise State 
LBEjiro Ederaine
Fresno State 
Jake Fely
San Diego State 
Max Morgan
Colorado State 
LBKyler Fackrell
Utah State 
Cory James
Colorado State 
Christian Tago
San Jose State 
LBZach Vigil
Utah State 
Ben Weaver
Boise State 
Kyrie Wilson
Fresno State 
CBDonte Deayon
Boise State 
Charles Garrett
Nevada 
Blair Burns
Wyoming 
CBJ.J. Whittaker
San Diego State 
Tajh Hasson
UNLV 
Ne'Quan Phillips
Hawaii 
SJeremy Ioane
Boise State 
Brian Suite
Utah State 
Christian Spears
Air Force 
SDerron Smith
Fresno State 
Peni Vea
UNLV 
Darian Thompson
Boise State 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team Specialists
KJared Roberts
Colorado State 
Austin Lopez
San Jose State 
Will Conant
Air Force 
PGarrett Swanson
Fresno State 
Ethan Wood
Wyoming 
Hayden Hunt
Colorado State 
KRCarlos Wiggins
New Mexico 
Marcus Sullivan
UNLV 
Bryan Douglas
Boise State 
PRShane Williams-Rhodes
Boise State 
JoJo Natson
Utah State 
Tyree Simmons
Colorado State 
Related Content: 2014 Mountain West Predictions

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-MW Team
 FirstSecondThird
Air Force
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense:  1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Boise State
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Colorado State
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 2
Fresno State
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Hawaii
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Nevada
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
New Mexico
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
San Diego State
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
San Jose State
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
UNLV
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Utah State
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Wyoming
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Teaser:
Mountain West Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - 07:15
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Miami Hurricanes, News
Path: /college-football/kansas-qb-jake-heaps-transfers-miami
Body:

Miami’s quarterback situation is one of the biggest mysteries in the ACC for 2014, and coach Al Golden has added another option to start in Kansas transfer Jake Heaps. The addition of Heaps was announced through Miami’s official site.

Heaps was regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the 2010 signing class and played two seasons at BYU. In 2010, Heaps started 10 games with the Cougars and finished with 2,316 yards and 15 touchdowns. After a solid freshman season, Heaps failed to build on that momentum as a sophomore and did not finish 2011 as the starter.

Heaps transferred to Kansas and sat out the 2012 season due to NCAA rules. And after a year to learn under Charlie Weis and the Jayhawks’ coaching staff, Heaps was expected to showcase some of the talent that earned him a spot among the nation’s top quarterback recruits. However, Heaps struggled in 2013 and finished with just 1,414 passing yards and a 49 percent completion percentage.

Once Montell Cozart was named Kansas’ starter in the spring, the writing was on the wall for Heaps’ future in Lawrence.

Since Heaps will have his degree from Kansas in June, he is eligible to participate at Miami in 2014. Although Heaps has struggled in recent years, this is a key pickup for Golden and his staff in terms of overall quarterback depth.

Ryan Williams was expected to start, but he suffered a torn ACL in spring practice and is out indefinitely. Williams is expected to return during the 2014 season. However, an official timetable or target date has not been set for his return.

If Williams doesn’t return until late in the season and Olsen struggles, Heaps would provide another option if true freshman Brad Kaaya isn’t ready.

Heaps certainly hasn’t played up to his recruiting hype, and it’s unlikely he will make a huge impact with Miami in 2014.

Considering the Hurricanes’ top quarterbacks (Olsen and Kaaya) are freshmen, adding an experienced arm like Heaps doesn’t hurt. However, does the decision to bring in Heaps signal anything about how the coaching staff feels about their quarterback options going into fall practice?

Although quarterback play is a huge concern for Miami, the offense has one of the top running backs in the nation in Duke Johnson, along with a solid offensive line. Expect to see Johnson and incoming freshman Joseph Yearby have a heavy workload early in the 2014 season.

When you combine a tough crossover with the Atlantic Division (Louisville and Florida State) and the uncertainty at quarterback, it’s just a small showcase of why Miami's spot in the Coastal Division is tough to pick. The Hurricanes have talent at the skill positions and on the offensive line, but this team still has major concerns at quarterback and on offense. 

2014 is shaping up to be a critical year for Al Golden. By no means is Golden on the hot seat, but Miami is still looking for its first appearance in the ACC Championship. With the rest of the Coastal also saddled with personnel concerns, the Hurricanes should be in the mix to win the division.

Of course, that all depends on quarterback play. And that brings us back to the addition of Heaps. Is this a move for depth? Or a reason to be concerned about Olsen or Kaaya?

Only time will tell.

Teaser:
Miami's Uncertainty at QB Continues with Addition of Jake Heaps
Post date: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second, third and fourth All-Big 12 teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: Big 12 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 Big 12 Team Previews

 
National
Rank:
1066782043739174167


Athlon's 2014 All-Big 12 Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team OffenseFourth-Team Offense
QBBryce Petty
Baylor 
________________
Trevor Knight
Oklahoma 
________________

Jake Waters
Kansas State 
________________

Davis Webb
Texas Tech 
________________
RBMalcolm Brown
Texas 
Desmond Roland
Oklahoma State 
Keith Ford
Oklahoma 
Johnathan Gray
Texas 
RBShock Linwood
Baylor 
________________
Aaron Wimberly
Iowa State 
________________
B.J. Catalon
TCU 
________________
Rushel Shell
West Virginia 
________________
WRAntwan Goodley
Baylor 
Quenton Bundrage
Iowa State 
Jakeem Grant
Texas Tech 
Nick Harwell
Kansas 
WRTyler Lockett
Kansas State 
Sterling Shepard
Oklahoma 
Bradley Marquez
Texas Tech 
Levi Norwood
Baylor 
TEE.J. Bibbs
Iowa State 
________________
Jaxon Shipley
Texas (WR) 
________________
Jhajuan Seales (WR)
Oklahoma State 
________________
Kevin White (WR)
West Virginia 
________________
CB.J. Finney
Kansas State 
Tom Farniok
Iowa State 
Dominic Espinosa
Texas 
Ty Darlington
Oklahoma 
GQuinton Spain
West Virginia 
Desmine Hilliard
Baylor 
Mark Glowinski
West Virginia 
Sedrick Flowers
Texas 
T/GLe'Raven Clark
Texas Tech (OT) 
Daniel Koenig
Oklahoma State (OG) 
Ngalu Fusimalohi
Kansas (OG)
Boston Stiverson
Kansas State (OG) 
TSpencer Drango
Baylor 

Troy Baker
Baylor 

Devin Davis
Oklahoma State 
Jacob Gannon
Iowa State 
TCody Whitehair
Kansas State 
Daryl Williams
Oklahoma 
Tyrus Thompson
Oklahoma 
Desmond Harrison
Texas 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team DefenseFourth-Team Defense
DERyan Mueller
Kansas State 
Devonte Fields
TCU 
Shawn Oakman
Baylor 
Jimmy Bean
Oklahoma State 
DECedric Reed
Texas 
Charles Tapper
Oklahoma 
Jamal Palmer
Baylor 
Branden Jackson
Texas Tech 
DTMalcom Brown
Texas 
Andrew Billings
Baylor 
Jordan Phillips
Oklahoma 
Travis Britz
Kansas State 
DTChucky Hunter
TCU  
________________
James Castleman
Oklahoma State 
________________
Davion Pierson
TCU 
________________
Desmond Jackson
Texas 
________________
LBBryce Hager
Baylor 
Dominique Alexander
Oklahoma 
Jordan Hicks
Texas 
Sam Eguavoen
Texas Tech 
LBBen Heeney
Kansas 
Nick Kwiatkoski
West Virginia 
Pete Robertson
Texas Tech 
Brandon Golson
West Virginia 
LBEric Striker
Oklahoma 
________________
Jonathan Truman
Kansas State 
________________
Ryan Simmons
Oklahoma State 
________________
Michael Reynolds
Kansas 
________________
CBQuandre Diggs
Texas 
Kevin Peterson
Oklahoma State 
Randall Evans
Kansas State 
Dexter McDonald
Kansas 
CB

Zack Sanchez
Oklahoma 

Kevin White
TCU 
Daryl Worley
West Virginia 
Xavien Howard
Baylor 
SKarl Joseph
West Virginia 
Dante Barnett
Kansas State 
Quentin Hayes
Oklahoma 
Mykkele Thompson
Texas 
SSam Carter
TCU 
Chris Hackett
TCU 
Isaiah Johnson
Kansas 
Derrick Kindred
TCU 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team SpecialistsFourth-Team Specialists
KMichael Hunnicutt
Oklahoma 
Jaden Oberkrom
TCU 
Ryan Bustin
Texas Tech 
Josh Lambert
West Virginia 
PSpencer Roth
Baylor 
Nick O'Toole
West Virginia 
Trevor Pardula
Kansas 
Ethan Perry
TCU 
KRTyler Lockett
Kansas State 
B.J. Catalon
TCU 
Tyreek Hill
Oklahoma State 
JaCorey Shepherd
Kansas 
PRDaje Johnson
Texas 
Cameron Echols-Luper
TCU 
Levi Norwood
Baylor 
Jarvis West
Iowa State 

Related Content: 2014 Big 12 Predictions

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-Big 12 Team
 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Baylor
Offense: 4
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Iowa State
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Kansas
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Kansas State
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Oklahoma
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 3
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Oklahoma State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
TCU
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 3
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Texas
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Texas Tech
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
West Virginia
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Teaser:
Big 12 Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Monday, June 16, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/conference-usa-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second and third All-Conference USA teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: Conference USA 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 C-USA Team Previews

 
National
Rank:
91127112409086116871151091178992


Athlon's 2014 All-Conference USA Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team Offense
QBRakeem Cato
Marshall 
________________
Taylor Heinicke
Old Dominion 
________________
Jaquez Johnson
FAU 
________________
RBKenneth Dixon
Louisiana Tech 
Aaron Jones
UTEP 
Leon Allen
WKU 
RBJordan Howard
UAB 
________________
Jordan Parker
MTSU 
________________
Antoinne Jimmerson
North Texas 
________________
WRTommy Shuler
Marshall 
William Dukes
FAU 
Kam Jones
UTSA 
WRJordan Taylor
Rice 
Jamarcus Nelson
UAB 
Antonio Vaughan
Old Dominion 
TEJonnu Smith
FIU 
________________
Eric Tomlinson
UTEP 
________________
Mitchell Henry
WKU 
________________
CChris Jasperse
Marshall 
Nate Leonard
UTSA 
Josh Mann
Old Dominion 
GScott Inskeep
UTSA 
Nico Carlson
Rice 
Jordan Budwig
FIU 
GCyril Lemon
North Texas 
Mason Y'Barbo
North Texas 
Sebastian Johansson
Marshall 
TCameron Clemmons
WKU 
Darius Johnson
MTSU 
Antonio Johnson
North Texas 
TCody Harris
UTSA 
Caleb Williams
Rice 
Clint Van Horn
Marshall 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team Defense
DEHouston Bates
Louisiana Tech 
Ra'Shawde Myers
Marshall 
Vontarrius Dora
Louisiana Tech 
DERobert Singletary
UTSA 
Diaheem Watkins
UAB 
Gavin Rocker
WKU 
DTChristian Covington
Rice 
Brandin Bryant
FAU 
Trevon Coley
FAU 
DTJames Rouse
Marshall 
________________
Ashaad Mabry
UTSA 
________________
Rakeem Nunez-Roches
Southern Miss 
________________
LBDerek Akunne
North Texas 
Alan Howze
Southern Miss 
Stefan Houston
Marshall 
LBT.T. Barber
MTSU 
Andrae Kirk
FAU 
Jake Ganus
UAB 
LBJermaine Holmes
Marshall 
________________
Evan McKelvey
Marshall 
________________
James Radcliffe
Rice 
________________
CBD'Joun Smith
FAU 
Bryce Callahan
Rice 
Le'Vander Liggins
Louisiana Tech 
CBCam Thomas
WKU 
Bennett Okotcha
UTSA 
Daryl Roberts
Marshall 
SKevin Byard
MTSU 
Lairamie Lee
North Texas 
A.J. Leggett
Marshall 
STriston Wade
UTSA 
Damian Parms
FAU 
Xavier Woods
Louisiana Tech 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team Specialists
KTy Long
UAB 
Kyle Fischer
Louisiana Tech 
Garrett Schwettman
WKU 
PHunter Mullins
UAB 
Tyler Williams
Marshall 
James Farrimond
Rice 
KRAutrey Golden
UTEP 
Deandre Reaves
Marshall 
Reggie Whatley
MTSU 
PRDeandre Reaves
Marshall 
Bryce Callahan
Rice 
Jalen Richard
Southern Miss 
Related Content: 2014 Conference USA Predictions

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All C-USA Team
 FirstSecondThird
FAU
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
FIU
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Louisiana Tech
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Marshall
Offense: 3
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 2
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
MTSU
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
North Texas
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Old Dominion
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Rice
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Southern Miss
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
UAB
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
UTEP
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
UTSA
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
WKU
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
Conference USA Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 13, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports continues its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second and third All-Sun Belt teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: Sun Belt 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

 

2014 Sun Belt Team Previews

 
National
Rank:
123931221261251288411310860110


Athlon's 2014 All-Sun Belt Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team Offense
QBTerrance Broadway
UL Lafayette 
________________
Fredi Knighten
Arkansas State 
________________
Tyler Jones 
Texas State 
________________
RBMichael Gordon
Arkansas State 
Marcus Cox
Appalachian State 
Jay Jones
South Alabama 
RBAlonzo Harris
UL Lafayette 
________________
Elijah McGuire
UL Lafayette 
________________
Robert Lowe
Texas State 
________________
WRDezmon Epps*
Idaho 
Rashon Ceaser
ULM 
Bryan Holmes
Troy 
WRJamal Robinson
UL Lafayette 
J.D. McKissic
Arkansas State 
Shavarez Smith
South Alabama 
TEWes Saxton
South Alabama 
________________
Darion Griswold
Arkansas State 
________________
Keith Rucker
Georgia State 
________________
CMike Marboe
Idaho 
Bryce Giddens
Arkansas State 
Valerian Ume-Ezoke
New Mexico State 
GDrew Dearman
South Alabama 
Isaiah Folasa-Lutui
New Mexico State 
Tommy Stephens
Troy 
GDaniel Quave
UL Lafayette 
Ben Risenhoover
ULM 
Terry Johnson
UL Lafayette 
TTerrence Jones
Troy 
Joseph Treadwell
ULM 
Kendall Lamm
Appalachian State 
TChris May
South Alabama 
Ucambre Williams
South Alabama 
Mykhael Quave
UL Lafayette 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team Defense
DETyler Roberts
Troy 
Maxx Forde
Idaho 
Ronald Blair
Appalachian State 
DEChris Stone
Arkansas State 
Joey Gautney
ULM 
Shawayne Lawrence
Georgia State 
DTQuayshawne Buckley
Idaho 
Gerrand Johnson
ULM 
Dexter Blackmon
Arkansas State 
DTJustin Hamilton
UL Lafayette 
________________
Jerome McClain
South Alabama 
________________
Lonnie Gosha
Troy 
________________
LBQushaun Lee
Arkansas State 
Maleki Harris
South Alabama 
Edwin Jackson
Georgia Southern 
LBDavid Mayo
Texas State 
Joseph Peterson
Georgia State 
Ray Stovall
ULM 
LBMichael Orakpo
Texas State 
________________
Dominique Tovell
UL Lafayette 
________________
Mark Wilson
Troy 
________________
CBRocky Hayes
Arkansas State 
Montell Garner
South Alabama 
Artez Brown
Arkansas State 
CBCraig Mager
Texas State 
Corey Trim
UL Lafayette 
Qudarius Ford
South Alabama 
SSean Thomas
UL Lafayette 
Terrell Brigham
South Alabama 
Cordero Smith
ULM 
SSterling Young
Arkansas State 
Mitch Lane
ULM 
Trevence Patt
South Alabama 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team Specialists
KAleem Sunanon
South Alabama 
Jason Dann
Texas State 
Maxwell Johnson
New Mexico State 
P

Justin Manton
ULM 

Austin Rehkow
Idaho 
Matt Hubbard
Georgia State 
KRJ.D. McKissic
Arkansas State 
Brandon Smith
Texas State 
Adam Shapiro
New Mexico State 
PRBryan Holmes
Troy 
J.D. McKissic
Arkansas State 
Rashon Ceaser
ULM 
 * Epps was dismissed from Idaho in July.
Related Content: 2014 Sun Belt Conference Predictions

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-SBC Team
 FirstSecondThird
Appalachian State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Arkansas State
Offense: 1
Defense: 4
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 4
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Georgia Southern
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Georgia State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Idaho
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
New Mexico State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 2
South Alabama
Offense: 3 
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 4
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Texas State
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Troy
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
UL Lafayette
Offense: 4
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 0 
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 0
ULM
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
​Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 3
Defense: 3
​Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
​Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
Sun Belt Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Friday, June 13, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports kicks off its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second, third and fourth All-Big Ten teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: Big Ten 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 Big Ten Team Previews
     
 
National Rank:685826483211522951322807315


Athlon's 2014 All-Big Ten Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team OffenseFourth-Team Offense
QBBraxton Miller
Ohio State 
________________
Christian Hackenberg
Penn State 
________________
Connor Cook
Michigan State 
________________
Devin Gardner
Michigan 
________________
RBAmeer Abdullah
Nebraska 
Jeremy Langford
Michigan State 
Tevin Coleman
Indiana 
David Cobb
Minnesota 
RBMelvin Gordon
Wisconsin 
________________
Venric Mark
Northwestern 
________________
Ezekiel Elliott
Ohio State 
________________
Mark Weisman
Iowa 
________________
WRStefon Diggs
Maryland 
Kenny Bell
Nebraska 
Tony Lippett
Michigan State 

Christian Jones
Northwestern 

WRDevin Funchess
Michigan 
Shane Wynn
Indiana 
Devin Smith
Ohio State 
Kevonte Martin-Manley 
Iowa 
TEJeff Heuerman
Ohio State 
________________
Tyler Kroft
Rutgers 
________________
Maxx Williams
Minnesota 
________________
Dan Vitale
Northwestern 
________________
CJack Allen
Michigan State 
Brandon Vitabile
Northwestern 
Austin Blythe
Iowa 
Dan Voltz
Wisconsin 
GJake Cotton
Nebraska 
Zac Epping
Minnesota 
Kyle Costigan
Wisconsin 
Ted Karras
Illinois 
GPat Elflein
Ohio State 
Kaleb Johnson
Rutgers 
Dan Feeney
Indiana 
Jordan Walsh
Iowa 
TRob Havenstein
Wisconsin 
Taylor Decker
Ohio State 
Jack Conklin
Michigan State 
Alex Lewis
Nebraska 
TBrandon Scherff
Iowa 
Donovan Smith
Penn State 
Jason Spriggs
Indiana 
Tyler Marz
Wisconsin 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team DefenseFourth-Team Defense
DEShilique Calhoun
Michigan State 
Joey Bosa
Ohio State 
Theiren Cockran
Minnesota 
Frank Clark
Michigan 
DERandy Gregory
Nebraska 
Noah Spence
Ohio State 

Andre Monroe
Maryland 

C.J. Olaniyan
Penn State 
DTMichael Bennett
Ohio State 
Louis Trinca-Pasat
Iowa 
Darius Hamilton
Rutgers 
Austin Johnson
Penn State 
DTCarl Davis
Iowa 
________________
Adolphus Washington
Ohio State 
________________
Warren Herring
Wisconsin 
________________
Vincent Valentine
Nebraska 
________________
LBChi Chi Ariguzo
Northwestern 

Taiwan Jones
Michigan State 

Cole Farrand
Maryland 
Derek Landisch
Wisconsin 
LBMike Hull
Penn State 
Steve Longa
Rutgers 
Josh Perry
Ohio State 
Mason Monheim
Illinois 
LBJake Ryan
Michigan 
________________
James Ross III
Michigan 
________________
David Santos
Nebraska 
________________
Michael Rose
Nebraska 
________________
CBBlake Countess
Michigan 
Doran Grant
Ohio State 
Desmond King
Iowa 
Eric Murray
Minnesota 
CBTrae Waynes
Michigan State 
Jordan Lucas
Penn State 
Sojourn Shelton
Wisconsin 
Nick VanHoose
Northwestern 
SIbraheim Campbell
Northwestern 
Adrian Amos
Penn State 
John Lowdermilk
Iowa 
Michael Caputo
Wisconsin 
SKurtis Drummond
Michigan State 
Corey Cooper
Nebraska 
Tyvis Powell
Ohio State 
Cedric Thompson
Minnesota 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team SpecialistsFourth-Team Specialists
KMichael Geiger
Michigan State 
Brad Craddock
Maryland 
Sam Ficken
Penn State 
Kyle Federico
Rutgers 
PMike Sadler
Michigan State 
Cameron Johnston
Ohio State 
Will Hagerup
Michigan 
Peter Mortell
Minnesota 
KR

William Likely
Maryland 

Kenny Bell
Nebraska 
Raheem Mostert
Purdue 

Dontre Wilson
Ohio State 

PRVenric Mark
Northwestern 
Kevonte Martin-Manley
Iowa 
V'Angelo Bentley
Illinois 
Macgarrett Kings Jr.
Michigan State 


Related Content: 2014 Big Ten Conference Predictions


Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-Big Ten Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Illinois
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Indiana
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Iowa
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Maryland
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Michigan
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Michigan State
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Minnesota
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Nebraska
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Northwestern
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Ohio State
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 4
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Penn State
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Purdue
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Rutgers
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Wisconsin
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
Big Ten Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/sec-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

 

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

 

Athlon Sports kicks off its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second, third and fourth All-SEC teams for 2014.

 

Related Content: SEC 2014 Conference Predictions

 

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

2014 SEC Team Previews
 
National
Rank:
263523870193325189423444


Athlon's 2014 All-SEC Team

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team OffenseFourth-Team Offense
QBNick Marshall
Auburn 
________________
Bo Wallace
Ole Miss 
________________
Maty Mauk
Missouri 
________________
Dak Prescott
Miss. State 
________________
RBTodd Gurley
Georgia 
Alex Collins
Arkansas 
Derrick Henry
Alabama 
Leonard Fournette
LSU
RBT.J. Yeldon
Alabama 
________________
Mike Davis
South Carolina 
________________
Kelvin Taylor
Florida 
________________
Jonathan Williams
Arkansas 
________________
WRAmari Cooper
Alabama 
Sammie Coates
Auburn 
Jameon Lewis
Miss. State 
Malcome Kennedy
Texas A&M 
WRLaquon Treadwell
Ole Miss 
Malcolm Mitchell
Georgia 
Marquez North
Tennessee 
Shaq Roland
South Carolina 
TEO.J. Howard
Alabama 
________________
Hunter Henry
Arkansas 
________________
Evan Engram
Ole Miss 
________________
Malcolm Johnson
Miss. State 
________________
CReese Dismukes
Auburn 
David Andrews
Georgia 
Evan Boehm
Missouri 
Ryan Kelly
Alabama 
GA.J. Cann
South Carolina 
Jarvis Harrison
Texas A&M 
Vadal Alexander
LSU 
Denver Kirkland
Arkansas 
GAlex Kozan
Auburn 
Aaron Morris
Ole Miss 
Chad Slade
Auburn 
Arie Kouandjio
Alabama 
TCedric Ogbuehi
Texas A&M 
La'El Collins
LSU 
Corey Robinson
South Carolina 
Mitch Morse
Missouri
TLaremy Tunsil
Ole Miss 
Austin Shepherd
Alabama 
John Theus
Georgia 
Dan Skipper
Arkansas 
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team DefenseFourth-Team Defense
DEDante Fowler
Florida 
Trey Flowers
Arkansas 
Alvin Dupree
Kentucky 
Ray Drew
Georgia 
DEA'Shawn Robinson
Alabama 

Markus Golden
Missouri 

Carl Lawson
Auburn 
Danielle Hunter
LSU 
DTChris Jones
Miss. State 
Jonathan Bullard
Florida 
Darius Philon
Arkansas 
Christian LaCouture
LSU 
DTRobert Nkemdiche
Ole Miss 
________________
Gabe Wright
Auburn 
________________
Vince Taylor
Vanderbilt 
________________
Brandon Ivory
Alabama 
________________
LBTrey DePriest
Alabama 
Leonard Floyd
Georgia 
Serderius Bryant
Ole Miss 
Caleb Azubike
Vanderbilt 
LBA.J. Johnson
Tennessee 
Jordan Jenkins
Georgia 
Benardrick McKinney
Miss. State 
Denzel Devall
Alabama 
LBRamik Wilson
Georgia 
________________
Skai Moore
South Carolina 
________________
Cassanova McKinzy
Auburn 
________________
Amarlo Herrera
Georgia 
________________
CBVernon Hargreaves III
Florida 
Deshazor Everett
Texas A&M 
Taveze Calhoun
Miss. State 
Cam Sutton
Tennessee 
CBTre'Davious White
LSU 
Rashard Robinson
LSU 
Damian Swann
Georgia 
Jonathan Mincy
Auburn 
SLandon Collins
Alabama 
Tony Conner
Ole Miss 
Braylon Webb
Missouri 
Brian Randolph
Tennessee 
SCody Prewitt
Ole Miss 
Robenson Therezie
Auburn 
Jermaine Whitehead
Auburn 
Kwon Alexander (LB)
LSU 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team SpecialistsFourth-Team Specialists
KMarshall Morgan
Georgia 
Colby Delahoussaye
LSU 
Elliott Fry
South Carolina 
Andrew Baggett
Missouri 
PDrew Kaser
Texas A&M 
Sam Irwin-Hill
Arkansas 
Landon Foster
Kentucky 
Jamie Keehn
LSU 
KRChristion Jones
Alabama 
Trey Williams
Texas A&M 
Andre Debose
Florida 
Darrius Sims
Vanderbilt 
PRChristion Jones
Alabama 
Marcus Murphy
Missouri 
Speedy Noil
Texas A&M 
DeMarco Robinson
Kentucky 

Related Content: SEC 2014 Conference Predictions

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-SEC Team
 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Alabama
Offense: 3
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Arkansas
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Auburn
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Florida
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Georgia
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Kentucky
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
LSU
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 1
Mississippi State
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Missouri
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Ole Miss
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
South Carolina
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Tennessee
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Texas A&M
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Vanderbilt
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1

 

Teaser:
SEC Football 2014 All-Conference Team
Post date: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/acc-football-2014-all-conference-team
Body:

The 2014 college football season kicks off on Aug. 27 and concludes in Dallas with the first four-team playoff in the FBS ranks on January 12, 2015. Since it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming college football season, Athlon Sports has already released its projected rankings for 2014, as well as conference predictions.

With the predictions released, it’s time to take a look at the best players by conference.

Athlon Sports kicks off its release of preseason all-conference teams with a look at our first, second, third and fourth All-ACC teams for 2014.

Related Content: ACC 2014 Conference Predictions

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2014. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2014 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.
 

 
2014 ACC Team Previews
   
 
National
Rank:
642138147283031653661722785

                                                  
Athlon's All-ACC Team for 2014

 First-Team OffenseSecond-Team OffenseThird-Team OffenseFourth-Team Offense
QB
 
Jameis Winston
Florida State
________________
Marquise Williams
North Carolina
________________
Anthony Boone
Duke
________________
Cole Stoudt
Clemson
________________
RBDuke Johnson
Miami
Kevin Parks
Virginia
James Conner
Pittsburgh
T.J. Logan
North Carolina
RBKarlos Williams
Florida State
________________
Shadrach Thornton
NC State
________________
Michael Dyer
Louisville
________________
Myles Willis
Boston College 
________________
WRTyler Boyd
Pittsburgh
Jamison Crowder
Duke
Stacy Coley
Miami
Phillip Dorsett
Miami 
WRRashad Greene
Florida State
DeVante Parker
Louisville
Quinshad Davis
North Carolina
Charone Peake
Clemson 
TENick O'Leary
Florida State
________________
Braxton Deaver
Duke
________________
Gerald Christian
Louisville
________________
Clive Walford
Miami 
________________
CAndy Gallik
Boston College
Jake Smith
Louisville
Shane McDermott
Miami
Ryan Norton
Clemson
GTre' Jackson
Florida State
Josue Matias
Florida State
Jon Feliciano
Miami
Matt Rotheram
Pittsburgh
GLaken Tomlinson
Duke
Shaquille Mason
Georgia Tech
Bobby Vardaro
Boston College
Landon Turner
North Carolina
TCameron Erving
Florida State
Ereck Flowers
Miami
Jamon Brown
Louisville
Isaiah Battle
Clemson
TBobby Hart
Florida State
Sean Hickey
Syracuse
Rob Crisp
NC State
Jonathan McLaughlin
Virginia Tech
 First-Team DefenseSecond-Team DefenseThird-Team DefenseFourth-Team Defense
DEVic Beasley
Clemson
Eli Harold
Virginia
Corey Crawford
Clemson
Anthony Chickillo
Miami 
DEMario Edwards Jr.
Florida State
Lorenzo Mauldin
Louisville
Dadi Nicolas
Virginia Tech
Norkeithus Otis
North Carolina 
DTGrady Jarrett
Clemson
Eddie Goldman
Florida State
Mehdi Abdesmad
Boston College
N. Lawrence-Stample
Florida State 
DTLuther Maddy
Virginia Tech
________________
Adam Gotsis
Georgia Tech
________________
T.Y. McGill
NC State
________________
Darryl Render
Pittsburgh 
________________
LBStephone Anthony
Clemson
Kelby Brown
Duke
Steven Daniels
Boston College
James Burgess
Louisville 
LBDenzel Perryman
Miami
Dyshawn Davis
Syracuse
Cameron Lynch
Syracuse
Brandon Chubb
Wake Forest 
LBTerrance Smith
Florida State
________________
Quayshawn Nealy
Georgia Tech
________________
Matthew Thomas
Florida State
________________
David Helton
Duke 
________________
CBKendall Fuller
Virginia Tech
Ronald Darby
Florida State
Tracy Howard
Miami
Charles Gaines
Louisville 
CBP.J. Williams
Florida State
Brandon Facyson
Virginia Tech
Demetrious Nicholson
Virginia
Kevin Johnson
Wake Forest 
SAnthony Harris
Virginia
Jeremy Cash
Duke
Kyshoen Jarrett
Virginia Tech
Deon Bush
Miami 
SJalen Ramsey
Florida State
Durell Eskridge
Syracuse
Isaiah Johnson
Georgia Tech
DeVon Edwards
Duke 
 First-Team SpecialistsSecond-Team SpecialistsThird-Team SpecialistsFourth-Team Specialists
KRoberto Aguayo
Florida State
Niklas Sade
NC State
John Wallace
Louisville
Ross Martin
Duke 
PA.J. Hughes
Virginia Tech
Thomas Hibbard
North Carolina
Will Monday
Duke
Alec Vozenilek
Virginia 
KRKermit Whitfield
Florida State
DeVon Edwards
Duke
Duke Johnson
Miami
T.J. Logan
North Carolina 
PRRyan Switzer
North Carolina 
Jamison Crowder
Duke
Jamal Golden
Georgia Tech
Stacy Coley
Miami 


Related Content: ACC 2014 Conference Predictions

 

Team-by-Team Breakdown of Athlon's 2014 All-ACC Team

 FirstSecondThirdFourth
Boston College
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams:
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Clemson
Offense: 0
Defense: 3
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 4
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Duke
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Florida State
Offense: 7
Defense: 4
Sp. Teams: 2
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Georgia Tech
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Louisville
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Miami
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 3
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 2
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
North Carolina
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 2
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 1
NC State
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Pittsburgh
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Syracuse
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Virginia
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 1
Virginia Tech
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 1
Offense: 0
Defense: 1
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 1
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Wake Forest
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 0
Sp. Teams: 0
Offense: 0
Defense: 2
Sp. Teams: 0

 

Teaser:
ACC Football 2014 All-Conference Team
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2014 Big 12 Predictions

 Big 12Overall
1. Oklahoma (No. 4)8-111-1
2. Baylor (No. 10)7-210-2
3. Texas (No. 17)7-29-3
4. Kansas State (No. 20)6-38-4
5.  Oklahoma State (No. 37)5-47-5 
6. TCU (No. 39)4-57-5
7. Texas Tech (No. 41)4-57-5
8. Iowa State (No. 66)2-74-8
9. West Virginia (No. 67)2-73-9
10. Kansas (No. 78)0-92-10

With Oklahoma coming off a huge Sugar Bowl win against Alabama, Baylor emerging as a national title contender under Art Briles, and Texas trending in the right direction under new coach Charlie Strong, the Big 12 appears poised to take a step forward as a conference. With Texas struggling to compete for league titles in recent years, the Big 12 was struggling to find its place among the SEC, Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten for conference supremacy. While the Big 12 still has a ways to go, the conference is moving in the right direction.

Oklahoma is Athlon’s projected Big 12 champion for 2014. However, there doesn’t appear to be much separation between the Sooners and Baylor. 

Oklahoma finished 11-2 in 2013, in a year largely considered a rebuilding effort by most in the Big 12. The Sooners return 13 starters, and quarterback Trevor Knight is expected to take a step forward in his development after a standout performance in the Sugar Bowl. Nine returning starters lead a stout defense, and Oklahoma hosts Baylor in what could be a de facto Big 12 championship game.
 

The Bears are loaded on offense, but the defense – a key part of last year’s Big 12 title team – needs to reload with just four returning starters. Quarterback Bryce Petty is Athlon’s projected first-team all-conference quarterback, and Baylor has depth, speed and talent at the skill positions. If the defense plays up to last year’s totals, the Bears will be a playoff contender.
 

There’s a gap between Oklahoma and Baylor to Texas and Kansas State, but the Longhorns and Wildcats both rank inside of Athlon’s projected final top 25 for 2014. The Longhorns have loads of talent for new coach Charlie Strong and should be among the Big 12’s best on defense with the return of seven starters. Quarterback play is Strong’s biggest concern, especially since David Ash missed most 2013 due to a concussion. The Wildcats always seem to be underrated under Bill Snyder, and this will be a dangerous team once again in 2014. Kansas State returns quarterback Jake Waters, and standout defensive end Ryan Mueller anchors a defense that returns five starters.
 

After Texas and Kansas State, there’s a bit of a drop until the projected No. 5 team in Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have been a reliable pick for a spot among the top-25 teams in the nation in recent years under Mike Gundy. However, there’s a significant rebuilding effort underway in Stillwater for 2014. 
 

TCU and Texas Tech could both surprise this year, but both teams also have question marks. The Horned Frogs need to take a step forward on offense, while the Red Raiders have concerns on defense. 


It’s a close call for No. 8 between Iowa State and West Virginia, but the Cyclones had a small edge over the Mountaineers in Athlon’s prediction meeting. Iowa State made a huge staff upgrade by hiring Mark Mangino to coordinate the offense, and the Cyclones have a scheduling advantage by hosting West Virginia.

Kansas should show improvement in Charlie Weis’ third season, but the Jayhawks are still projected to finish in the cellar.
 

Prep for the 2014 season, follow Athlon Sports and its college football editors on Twitter: @AthlonSports, Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), David Fox (@DavidFox615) and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

Inside the War Room: Key Questions That Shaped Athlon's 2014 Predictions
 

How close was the pick for No. 1 between Oklahoma and Baylor?

It was very close. There is a lot to like about Baylor. The offense returns only four starters — and there are some concerns on the offensive line — but there is no doubt that the Bears will again roll up a ton of yards and score a bunch of points. That’s a given. There are some concerns on a defense that loses three first-team All-Big 12 performers. This group has come a long way under Phil Bennett in recent years, but the Bears gave up 34 points or more in four of their final five games, including 52 to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl. Baylor’s schedule is also a concern; the Bears play both Oklahoma and Texas — two of their chief competitors in the league — on the road. The last time we saw Oklahoma, the Sooners were putting the finishing touches on a shockingly easy 45–31 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. We don’t want to put too much stock in a bowl game, but the Sooners were very, very impressive against an elite Alabama team. OU welcomes back 16 starters from that team, most notably nine on a defense that figures to be the best in the league. Offensively, we need to see more consistency from quarterback Trevor Knight, but he showed — on a big stage — what he is capable of in the Sugar Bowl. Oklahoma, unlike Baylor, has a favorable league schedule. The Sooners host Baylor and Kansas State and play Texas, as usual, on a neutral site. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)

 

How close are Texas and Kansas State to the “Big Two” in the Big 12?

Texas is always tough to evaluate. The Longhorns are never short on talent but have underachieved in recent years due in large part to problems at quarterback. If David Ash can stay healthy — a big if — Texas could compete for a league title. The Longhorns should be strong on the offensive line and have a nice stable of running backs. With seven starters back, the defense should be improved despite some key losses on the line. The biggest difference in Austin, however, will be the coaching. The arrival of Charlie Strong and his staff has re-energized the program and should allow the Longhorns to play to their potential. Strong engineered a quick turnaround at Louisville, and we expect the same at Texas. We also like Kansas State in 2014 — a lot. The Wildcats closed the ’13 season with six wins in their last seven games, highlighted by a dominant performance against Michigan in the bowl game. They lost to the top four teams in the Big 12, but all four games were competitive. With Jake Waters firmly entrenched as the starting quarterback and two All-Big 12 offensive linemen back, the offense should be improved this fall. If the defense can remain among the best in the league, Kansas State could emerge as a dark horse contender in the Big 12. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)

 

Why is West Virginia picked ninth when most expect the Mountaineers to improve?

We have West Virginia at No. 9 and projected to have only three wins, which would be a huge disappointment in Morgantown. Admittedly, three wins could be low for this team. But even if the Mountaineers improve, the schedule is one of the toughest in the nation. West Virginia is staring at two non-conference losses against Alabama and Maryland and swing conference games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Iowa State are on the road. Also, the Mountaineers have a significant question mark at quarterback, and the defense is under the direction of new coordinator Tony Gibson. Make no mistake: West Virginia has talent. The backfield and receivers will give quarterback Clint Trickett plenty of options. However, if the defense allows 33.3 points a game once again, and Trickett is unable to solidify the quarterback position, a tough schedule will keep the Mountaineers out of the bowl picture once again. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)

 

Oklahoma State has emerged as one of the most consistent programs in the league. Why don’t the Cowboys get the benefit of the doubt?

The Pokes have been very good of late and have recruited well under Mike Gundy. Still, this team figures to take a small step back in 2014. The losses on defense — including four All-Big-12 players on the front seven and a first-team all-conference cornerback — are too great to ignore. There is still some firepower on offense, but the Cowboys no longer have the type of depth at quarterback that made them so strong in recent years. J.W. Walsh is the last man standing from the three-headed monster that began the 2012 season. Junior Daxx Garman will be given a look in the fall, and true freshman Mason Rudolph is highly touted, but this position is not as strong as in recent years. The Pokes will still be good — we are forecasting a 5–4 Big 12 record — but we just don’t see this team as a legitimate contender in 2014. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)

 

Texas Tech or TCU: Which is more likely to surprise in 2014?

TCU. Despite missing out on the postseason with a 4-8 mark last year, the Horned Frogs were much closer to a winning record in Big 12 play than some may realize. TCU lost four games by a touchdown, including a three-point defeat to Baylor and a three-point loss at Oklahoma. Coach Gary Patterson will always have one of the Big 12’s top defenses, but the offense has to improve for TCU to take the next step. Hiring Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham as co-offensive coordinators should help the offense improve, while senior transfer Matt Joeckel will push Trevone Boykin for the starting job. With an improved offense, the Horned Frogs should be able to turn a couple of close losses into wins in 2014. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
 

2014 Big 12 Team Previews

BaylorOklahoma State
Iowa StateTCU
KansasTexas
Kansas StateTexas Tech
OklahomaWest Virginia

 

 

 

Big 12 Notebook

by John Helsley (@jjhelsley)


Parity on Parade

The Big 12 is developing a roll call of champions for football. And hands are rising outside the usual places. Over the past five seasons, five different programs have claimed the conference championship: Baylor (2013), Kansas State (2012), Oklahoma State (2011), Oklahoma (2010) and Texas (2009).

 

So when league coaches talk about parity, it’s not just babble. It’s real. The five different champions, representing half the Big 12’s membership, are the most among the power conferences. Since 2009, here’s how many teams have won league titles elsewhere: four of 14 in the ACC; three of 12 in the Big Ten; three of 14 in the SEC; and two of 12 in the Pac-12.

 

A year ago, the Big 12 was one of only three leagues — and the only one among the power conferences — to have every team win at least one league game.

 

Upon his arrival at Texas, new coach Charlie Strong acknowledged the challenges ahead, complimenting Oklahoma and coach Bob Stoops and recognizing the league’s reputation for high-powered offenses.

 

“There are some great offenses (in the Big 12),” Strong says. “You look at what Coach (Mike) Gundy has there at Oklahoma State. You look at Coach (Art) Briles at Baylor… It’s a track meet out there. Guys are up and down the field, touchdown after touchdown, so it will be a big challenge for us.”
 

Non-Conference Notice

So much for soft starts in the Big 12. The non-conference schedule features a combined 11 bowl teams from a year ago, highlighted by programs responsible for the past three national championships and both participants from last year’s BCS title game.

 

Oklahoma State takes on defending national champ Florida State in Arlington, Texas, at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Kansas State hosts last year’s runner-up, Auburn, in one of the biggest non-conference games ever in Manhattan. West Virginia and Alabama meet in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff.

 

For all three, it means they’ll each face three teams that appeared in BCS games last winter, since Baylor played in the Fiesta and Oklahoma played in the Sugar.

 

For the Cowboys, who are rebuilding on defense, getting FSU in the season opener represents an immediate wake-up call.

 

“We can debate scheduling that game,” says OSU coach Mike Gundy, who saw athletic director Mike Holder sign off on the matchup. “We have to go play that game.”



Athlon's Cover 2 Podcast Previews the College Football Playoff:
 

 

 

Quarterback Quotient

Once snapped, the ball should be in good hands this fall. Every Big 12 team returns at least one quarterback with starting experience, led by Baylor’s Bryce Petty, the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and a Heisman Trophy candidate.

 

A year ago, several schools were in transition at the position, with quarterback competitions and even controversies carrying throughout preseason and the season in some cases. That does not mean all jobs are closed entering this season, but most league coaches have reason to feel good about the position.

 

Eight of the top 10 league leaders in passing efficiency return from last season. One of those — Oklahoma’s Blake Bell — has moved to tight end, but he has been replaced by exciting sophomore Trevor Knight, coming off a breakout performance against Alabama in the Sooners’ Sugar Bowl victory.
 

Star Power

Until Oklahoma delivered a statement win over Bama, the Big 12’s national appeal had taken a hit in 2013, with the conference far removed from national title talk. The slip was at least partly due to a lack of star power in a year of transition across the league. The conference should be trending back up.

 

The Big 12 returns its Offensive Player of the Year (Petty), Defensive Lineman of the Year (Ryan Mueller, Kansas State), Special Teams Player of the Year (Tyler Lockett, Kansas State) and a long list of underclassmen who have already made an impact on the league and are now poised for greater breakthroughs.

 

Big 12 Coordinator Carousel 

by Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
 

Iowa State: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Courtney Messingham;

New: Mark Mangino

Messingham was fired after five seasons at Iowa State, the final two as the offensive coordinator. Mangino, the former head coach at Kansas, was the tight ends coach at Youngstown State last year.
 

Kansas: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Charlie Weis; 

New: John Reagan

Weis, the head coach at Kansas, no longer has the title of offensive coordinator. Reagan, an assistant at KU from 2005-09, had been the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Rice. Reagan will call the plays.
 

TCU: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Jarrett Anderson, Rusty Burns;

New: Sonny Cumbie, Doug Meacham

Anderson and Burns are still on the TCU staff, though their roles have yet to be determined. Meacham was the offensive coordinator at Houston last season. Cumbie was the quarterbacks coach and offensive co-coordinator at Texas Tech, his alma mater. Meacham will call the plays.
 

Texas: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Major Applewhite, Darrell Wyatt;

New: Shawn Watson, Joe Wickline

Applewhite and Wyatt, both members of Mack Brown’s staff, were not retained by Charlie Strong. Watson, who has the title of Assistant Head Coach for Offense, made the move from Louisville with Strong. Wickline was the offensive line coach at Oklahoma State. Watson will call the plays.
 

Texas: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Greg Robinson;

New: Vance Bedford

Robinson rejoined the Texas coaching staff in September as the defensive coordinator. He was not retained by the new staff and accepted a position as the coordinator at San Jose State. Bedford was the defensive coordinator at Louisville under Charlie Strong.
 

Texas Tech: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Sonny Cumbie, Eric Morris;

New: Eric Morris

Cumbie left his alma mater to accept a similar position at TCU. Morris has the title of offensive coordinator, but head coach Kliff Kingsbury calls the plays.
 

West Virginia: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Keith Patterson;

New: Tony Gibson

Patterson left to take a similar position at Arizona State. Gibson was promoted from his position as the safeties coach after Patterson departed. He was the defensive coordinator at West Virginia Tech from 1999-2000 and then served as West Virginia’s defensive backs coach under Rich Rodriguez from 2000-07. 

Teaser:
Big 12 Football 2014 Predictions
Post date: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/american-athletic-conference-football-2014-predictions
Body:
2014 American Athletic Predictions
 American AthleticOverall
1. Cincinnati7-19-3
2. East Carolina7-18-4
3. UCF6-28-4
4. Houston5-38-4
5. South Florida5-36-6
6. UConn3-55-7
7. SMU3-54-8
8. Memphis3-55-7
9. Tulane2-63-9
10. Temple2-63-9
11. Tulsa1-72-10

After a few years of instability and changes, the American Athletic Conference seems to be on solid footing entering the 2014 season. Although the league has been bumped from the power conference designation, the American Athletic Conference still boasts a handful of top-50 programs and teams like Cincinnati, Houston, East Carolina and UCF are each capable of winning their way into a spot in one of college football’s top bowl games in 2014.
 

The race to win the American Athletic Conference is a wide-open battle in 2014. Four teams – Cincinnati, UCF, East Carolina and Houston – all received consideration for the No. 1 spot in Athlon’s prediction meeting.


Cincinnati is Athlon’s favorite to win the league, as the Bearcats have won at least eight games in seven out of the last eight seasons. Tommy Tuberville made a few changes to his defensive staff in the offseason, and with seven starters back, this should be one of the American Athletic Conference’s top defenses. The offense is guided by Notre Dame transfer Gunner Kiel at quarterback, the skill positions are loaded with the return of running back Ralph David Abernathy IV and receiver Chris Moore. Three starters headline an offensive line that should be the best in the conference.

A huge reason to like Cincinnati as the preseason favorite is the schedule. The Bearcats host East Carolina and Houston and won’t have to play UCF this year.
 

The Knights will take a small step back without quarterback Blake Bortles, two all-conference linemen and running back Storm Johnson, but George O’Leary’s team is still loaded with enough talent to win the league. With eight starters back, expect UCF’s defense to improve in 2014. One potential pitfall: UCF went 7-1 in one-score games last season – a number not easy to repeat.
 

2014 American Team Previews
CincinnatiTemple
East CarolinaTulane
HoustonTulsa
MemphisUConn
SMUUCF
South FloridaNavy (2015)

East Carolina makes the switch from Conference USA to the American Athletic Conference and is picked No. 2 in the league behind Cincinnati. The Pirates are explosive on offense, but the defense returns only four starters. Quarterback Shane Carden threw for over 4,000 yards last season, and he will have the services of Justin Hardy (114 catches, 1,284 yards in 2013) at receiver. The Dec. 4 date at home against UCF could decide which team finishes higher in the conference standings.
 

Houston went 5-7 in Tony Levine’s debut in 2012, but the Cougars made a nice rebound to 8-5 and held their own against Louisville, UCF and Cincinnati. The departure of offensive coordinator Doug Meacham to TCU was a big loss, but new play-caller Travis Bush should provide an easy transition. Quarterback John O’Korn needs to play better against the league’s top teams, and he should have plenty of help from a deep receiving corps, including potential All-American Deontay Greenberry. The Cougars had a +25 turnover margin last season, which won’t be easy to repeat. However, there’s plenty of talent returning to expect a run at the conference title.
 

South Florida should be the most improved team in the American Athletic Conference in 2014. The Bulls are a team on the rise under the direction of Willie Taggart and inked the league’s No. 1 recruiting class. Sophomore quarterback Mike White showed promise in limited action last year, and South Florida as a team played better down the stretch. Look for the Bulls to take a step forward in 2014.
 

First-year coach Bob Diaco inherits a UConn team that won its final three games in 2013. The Huskies have a promising quarterback in Casey Cochran, and five starters return from a defense that should develop under Diaco’s watch. UConn has talent, but how much of a difference will the new coaching staff make in 2014? The biggest concern is an offensive line that returns only one starter.
 

SMU and Memphis are two teams with sleeper potential in 2014. The Mustangs need to replace quarterback Garrett Gilbert, but Neal Burcham and Matt Davis are intriguing options. And as usual under June Jones, there is talent at the skill positions. A brutal schedule awaits SMU, and there’s very little margin for error to get to a bowl.

American Athletic
Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014

 

Military Bowl: 
American vs. ACC


Miami Beach Bowl:
American vs. BYU

Birmingham:
American vs. SEC

Armed Forces Bowl:
American vs. Army/Big 12

St. Petersburg:
American vs. ACC



Memphis is making steady progress under Justin Fuente, and the Tigers could surprise in 2014. Quarterback Paxton Lynch needs to take a step forward for Memphis to reach the postseason, but the defense will be among the best in the league.
 

Tulane is coming off a bowl appearance in Curtis Johnson’s second season, but the Green Wave will have trouble repeating last year’s seven wins. The schedule is tougher, and Tulane needs to find a quarterback, replace standout receiver Ryan Grant and nose guard tackle Chris Davenport. Johnson has the program on the right track, but Tulane may have to take a step back to take a step forward in 2015.
 

Temple and Tulsa are projected to be the No. 10 and No. 11 teams in the American Athletic Conference. However, both teams should be better than they were in 2013. The Owls have a rising star at quarterback in P.J. Walker and had several close losses last year. If Temple can address its defense and give Walker time to throw, the Owls should easily exceed the three-win projection.
 

Tulsa will have to rely on its defense to exceed last year’s three-win mark. The Golden Hurricane lost running back Trey Watts, and quarterback Dane Evans struggled last season.

Teaser:
American Athletic Conference Football 2014 Predictions
Post date: Monday, June 9, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/conference-usa-2014-football-predictions
Body:
2014 C-USA Predictions 
East DivisionC-USAOverall 
1. Marshall (No. 40)8-013-0 
2. MTSU (No. 90)6-27-5 
3. FAU (No. 91)5-36-6 
4. WKU (No. 92)4-45-7 
5. UAB (No. 109)2-64-8 
6. Old Dominion (No. 116)2-64-8 
7. FIU (No. 127)0-82-10 
West DivisionC-USAOverall 
1. North Texas (No. 86)6-27-6 
2. Rice (No. 87)6-27-5 
3. UTSA (No. 89)6-27-5 
4. Louisiana Tech (No. 112)3-54-8 
5. Southern Miss (No. 115)2-64-8 
6. UTEP (No. 117)2-63-9 
C-USA Championship   
Marshall over North Texas 

Conference USA enters 2014 with more changes in its league roster, adding WKU and Old Dominion to replace East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa to have a 13-team format for one season. UNC Charlotte will join the league in 2015 to give Conference USA 14 teams and seven teams in each division.
 

While the future of the league appears to be stable, could 2014 be a special season for Marshall? The Thundering Herd will be favored in every game and return dynamic senior quarterback Rakeem Cato. With 13 overall starters returning and MTSU, FAU and Rice visiting Huntington, Marshall has a good shot at an unbeaten record, as well as the opportunity to be the No. 1 team from outside of the five power conferences. If the Thundering Herd finishes 2014 unbeaten and rank as the top team from outside of the power leagues, Marshall would play in one of college football’s top bowl games.
 

MTSU, FAU and WKU are the top challengers to Marshall in the East. The Blue Raiders return only three starters on offense, but the schedule is favorable. MTSU does not play one of the predicted top-three teams from the West.
 

New FAU coach Charlie Partridge inherits a team that won its final four games to finish 6-6. The Owls have talent, and Partridge is a noted recruiter in Florida. However, this will be Partridge’s first head coaching position, and the Owls have question marks on the offensive line. FAU’s strength should be a defense that ranked No. 1 in Conference USA against the pass and No. 1 in fewest yards allowed in 2013.
 

WKU has a tough schedule to navigate in its Conference USA debut, featuring road trips to MTSU, FAU and Marshall, along with a crossover game against UTSA. The Hilltoppers must replace standout running back Antonio Andrews, but junior Leon Allen is a capable replacement, and quarterback Brandon Doughty should improve his second year under center. WKU's biggest concern is a defense that returns only two starters.
 

UAB, Old Dominion and FIU round out the East Division predictions, with the Blazers picked at No. 5, the Monarchs at No. 6 and the Panthers at No. 7. New UAB coach Bill Clark is the right man for the job in Birmingham, but the Blazers lack experience at quarterback. Old Dominion should have no trouble scoring points behind quarterback Taylor Heinicke, but the defense is a huge issue. FIU struggled in Ron Turner’s debut and has several question marks to address before escaping the cellar of the division.
 

There’s not much separating the top three teams in the West. North Texas, Rice and UTSA are all contenders for the division title, with the Mean Green checking in as Athlon’s pick to win the West.
 

North Texas has plenty of personnel losses on offense, but the line will be a strength with four starters back. And even though the Mean Green return only four starters on defense, there’s plenty of optimism this unit will remain near the top of the conference.
 

Rice might have the most favorable schedule in the West, as North Texas and UTSA play at Rice Stadium in 2014. Of course, the Owls also have to play at Marshall in crossover play. If new quarterback Driphus Jackson picks up where he left off in a reserve role in 2012, Rice could push Marshall for the No. 1 spot in the conference.
 

UTSA is loaded with 17 starters back in 2014. The Roadrunners have a senior-laden depth chart and won’t have to play Marshall during the regular season. Coach Larry Coker and his staff built UTSA into a Conference USA title contender in just four years. Even with the talent in the San Antonio area, that’s quite an accomplishment.

Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and UTEP round out the predictions for the West Division.
 

The Bulldogs struggled in Skip Holtz’s debut, and offensive line concerns could keep Louisiana Tech out of the postseason once again. Running back Kenneth Dixon should be a 1,000-yard rusher, and the addition of Manny Diaz as coordinator should help the defense. But in addition to the concerns on the line, Louisiana Tech needs to find a quarterback.
 

Southern Miss has been on a surprising decline over the last few seasons, but it appears the program is headed on the right track. Second-year coach Todd Monken finished 2013 with a little momentum, and sophomore quarterback Nick Mullens is a promising prospect.
 

UTEP has a dangerous offense, but the Miners ranked near the bottom of the nation in scoring and total defense. With Jameill Showers back at quarterback and two solid running backs in Aaron Jones and Nathan Jeffery, UTEP has potential to average 30 points a game. However, the Miners may need to win a lot of shootouts to exceed last year’s two-win mark.


2014 Conference USA Team Previews

 Conference USA Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014


New Mexico: C-USA vs. MW

Hawaii: MW vs. C-USA

Heart of Dallas: C-USA vs. Big Ten

Boca Raton: C-USA vs. MAC

New Mexico: MW vs. C-USA


East DivisionWest Division
FAULouisiana
Tech
FIUNorth
Texas
MarshallRice
MTSUSouthern
Miss
Old
Dominion
UTEP
UABUTSA
Western
Kentucky
 

Athlon's Cover 2 Podcast Previews the College Football Playoff:

Teaser:
Conference USA 2014 Football Predictions
Post date: Friday, June 6, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/sun-belt-2014-football-predictions
Body:
2014 Sun Belt Predictions
 Sun BeltOverall
1. UL Lafayette (No. 60)8-010-2
2. South Alabama (No. 84)7-18-4
3. Arkansas State (No. 93)6-27-5
4. Troy (No. 108)5-36-6
5. ULM (No. 110)5-35-7
6. Texas State (No. 113)4-45-7
7. Georgia Southern (No. 122)3-54-8
8. Appalachian State (No. 123)2-64-8
9. Idaho (No. 125)2-62-10
10. Georgia State (No. 126)1-72-10
11. New Mexico State (No. 128)1-72-10

The Sun Belt is a conference in transition, but even with the changes around the league, the contenders remain the same. UL Lafayette has won nine games in each of the last three seasons and is Athlon’s projected champion for 2014.
 

The Ragin’ Cajuns return 15 starters and coach Mark Hudspeth is the best in the Sun Belt. Quarterback Terrance Broadway guides an offense that averaged 33.8 points per game last season and features a deep stable of running backs. Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire will both push for all-conference honors in 2014. Hudspeth’s team doesn’t have many personnel concerns, but the secondary and linebacking corps are two areas for the coaching staff to watch in the fall. UL Lafayette will also have a chance to play spoiler on the Sept. 13 date at Ole Miss.
 

UL Lafayette was a clear No. 1 in Athlon’s projected Sun Belt predictions, but it was a close battle for No. 2 with South Alabama and Arkansas State. The Red Wolves are on their fourth coach in four years, but a strong core of talent remains in Jonesboro. Running back Michael Gordon is poised for a breakout year, and receiver J.D. McKissic is back after catching 82 passes in 2013. The departure of Ryan Carrethers on the defensive line is one of Arkansas State’s biggest concerns for 2014.
 

South Alabama has made steady progress under Joey Jones, finishing 6-6 in its second year of Sun Belt play. The Jaguars return 12 starters, but quarterback Ross Metheny and a couple of key defenders must be replaced. South Alabama also has a tough November road stretch, featuring trips to Arkansas State and UL Lafayette. However, if Brandon Bridge settles in at quarterback, the Jaguars will have a chance to win both games.
 

After the top three teams, there’s a lot of uncertainty in the Sun Belt.

Troy and ULM are proven programs within the Sun Belt, and both teams should be in the mix for bowl games in 2014. The Trojans need to replace quarterback Corey Robinson, but the skill players and offensive line should be among the best in the league. For Troy to push for a spot among the top three, the defense has to improve after allowing 35.9 points a game in 2013.
 

ULM will miss quarterback Kolton Browning, and a challenging non-conference schedule doesn’t leave much margin for error for a bowl appearance. But the Warhawks should be solid on defense with the return of nine starters, and NC State transfer Pete Thomas could be the answer at quarterback.
 

Texas State is a program on the rise, but only four starters are back on defense, and there figures to be a few growing pains in Tyler Jones’ second year under center. The Bobcats own one of the league’s top linebacking corps with senior Michael Orakpo and David Mayo leading the way.
 

Georgia Southern and Appalachian State headline four newcomers into the Sun Belt for 2014. The Eagles finished the 2013 season by beating Florida in the Swamp and catch a break in scheduling by not playing UL Lafayette and Arkansas State. New coach Willie Fritz was one of the top hires of the offseason.
 

Appalachian State played better at the end of 2013, which was the first year under the direction of Scott Satterfield. The Mountaineers are a solid program and will eventually be a consistent winner in the Sun Belt. With running back Marcus Cox leading the way, Appalachian State could match last year’s win total.
 

Idaho and New Mexico State join the Sun Belt after spending 2013 as a FBS Independent. Both teams are in rebuild mode, with the Vandals in better shape in terms of personnel. However, Idaho is banned from postseason play in 2014. The Aggies return just eight starters and have uncertainty at quarterback and several holes to fill on defense.
 

Georgia State didn’t win a game in Trent Miles’ debut, but the Panthers showed progress. With Miles upgrading the roster through recruiting, as well as his track record of success at Indiana State, expect Georgia State to show more improvement in 2014. 



Sun Belt Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014

New Orleans Bowl: MW vs. Sun Belt

GoDaddy Bowl: Sun Belt vs. MAC

Camellia Bowl: Sun Belt vs. MAC


2014 Sun Belt Team Previews
Appalachian
State
Texas
State
Arkansas
State
Troy
Georgia SouthernUL Lafayette
Georgia
State
ULM
Idaho 
New Mexico State 
South Alabama 

 

Teaser:
Sun Belt 2014 Football Predictions
Post date: Friday, June 6, 2014 - 07:15
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The start of the 2014 college football season is still over 80 days away, but there is no shortage of news to fill the offseason in the Big Ten. Although there’s a long way until kickoff, the preview magazines for 2014 are already on newsstands, and Vegas isn’t far behind with its projections for the upcoming season.
 
CG Technology has released some its win total projections for 2014, and Athlon Sports examined the SEC totals on Thursday. With the early picks for the SEC in the books, it’s time to shift focus and examine the Big Ten.
With the addition of Rutgers and Maryland, the Big Ten is now a 14-team league and has shuffled the divisions once again.
 
The East is stronger than the West in 2014, as Ohio State and Michigan State are both contenders for the college football playoff. There’s also quality depth in the East with Penn State, Michigan and improving teams like Indiana and Maryland. The West Division is headlined by Wisconsin, with Iowa and Nebraska not too far behind.
There is plenty of time to refine predictions over the next few months, but with the release of the win total projections, let’s take a look at the early thoughts on the over/under projections.
 
Athlon’s Braden Gall (@BradenGall) and Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven) give their early thoughts on CG Technology’s projections for 2014.
 

Big Ten Win Total Projections for 2014: Over, Under or Push

 

Big Ten East Division

 

Indiana (Opening Number: 5)

Braden Gall: Push

The Hoosiers draw the much tougher division and non-conference games with Missouri and Bowling Green seem to indicate making a bowl game is a long shot. Push or under for Indiana.
 
Steven Lassan: Push
Indiana is on the right track under Kevin Wilson, but the schedule is brutal in 2014. Non-conference games against Bowling Green, Missouri and North Texas are challenging, and the Hoosiers get Iowa in crossover play. With an explosive offense, Indiana could sneak into an upset somewhere along the way. However, the Hoosiers need new coordinator Brian Knorr to quickly find answers on a defense that allowed 7.4 yards per play in conference games last year.
 
 

Maryland (Opening Number: 6.5)

Braden Gall: Under
Maryland is in much better shape to compete in the new league than Rutgers, but three interesting non-conference games and landing in a brutal division makes a winning season seem far-fetched. This team still gets to a bowl game but does so at .500.
 
Steven Lassan: Under
I think six wins is reasonable for Maryland in 2014. The Terrapins are transitioning to a tougher league, but the offense will be dangerous if receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long stay healthy. Getting to seven victories is possible if Maryland picks up a win in a swing game against Syracuse in non-conference play.
 
 

Michigan (Opening Number: 8)

Braden Gall: Push
Vegas knows what it’s doing. This team has talent, and the new offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier should be an improvement. But the schedule is still hard enough that challenging for the division is likely out of the conversation.
 
Steven Lassan: Push
Plenty of talent in Ann Arbor, but Michigan’s win total rests on an unsettled offensive line and rushing attack. Hitting the over likely rests on swing games against Notre Dame and Penn State.
 
 

Michigan State (Opening Number: 9.5)

Braden Gall: Over
There are a lot of losses on defense but some serious talent returning as well. The offense is a strength for the first time in years, and Mark Dantonio is still running the show in East Lansing. Getting Ohio State at home makes the over almost a foregone conclusion.
 
Steven Lassan: Over
This pick seems like one of the safest on the board in the Big Ten. I think Michigan State could win at Oregon, but road trips to Penn State and Maryland (one week after playing Ohio State) could be tougher than some may expect. Even though Mark Dantonio needs to replace a few names on defense, the offense will be dangerous with the return of quarterback Connor Cook and running back Jeremy Langford.
 
 

Ohio State (Opening Number: 10.5)

Braden Gall: Over
The Buckeyes have been 12-0 in the last two regular seasons and this defensive line is much better than the previous two teams. With Braxton Miller and Urban Meyer still joined at the hip on offense, there is no reason to think they won win at least 11 games again.
 
Steven Lassan: Over
There are few obstacles standing in the way of a playoff run by Ohio State. The offensive line is a concern, and the defense has to improve, but coach Urban Meyer and quarterback Braxton Miller is still one of the best combinations in the nation. The Buckeyes play at Penn State and Michigan State, but a split of those two games is likely.
 
 

Penn State (Opening Number: 8)

Braden Gall: Over
The offensive line is a major concern but the quarterback is special and the new coaching staff is one of the best in the land. Most importantly, the schedule is a cinch with two, maybe three, tough games all year.
 
Steven Lassan: Over
Perhaps our magazine prediction of 10 wins for Penn State is a bit high, but I think the over is very attainable. The Nittany Lions host both Ohio State and Michigan State this year and catch UCF without Blake Bortles in the opener. Also, new coach James Franklin always maximized the talent on the roster at Vanderbilt.
 
 

Rutgers (Opening Number: 4.5)

Braden Gall: Under
Rutgers got a really bad draw in its first Big Ten season with a tough non-conference game in Seattle against Washington State, as well as Wisconsin and Nebraska in crossover play. More than one Big Ten win is a long shot.
 
Steven Lassan: Under
Expect Ralph Friedgen to help the offense, but Rutgers still has concerns about its secondary and the consistency of quarterback Gary Nova. The schedule is brutal, and after winning six games in the American Athletic Conference, some regression is ahead in the Big Ten in 2014.
 
 

Big Ten West Division

 

Illinois (Opening Number: 5)

Braden Gall: Under
The talent simply isn’t there for Tim Beckman to work with. The offense under Bill Cubit will be solid, but this team has to play at Washington in non-conference action before getting Ohio State and Penn State in crossover matchups. Unlucky Illini win four times in 2014.
 
Steven Lassan: Under
Tempted to take the push here. I have no doubt Illinois is going to score a ton of points this year. Unfortunately, the Fighting Illini still has major concerns on defense. Perhaps Illinois pulls an upset at home against Minnesota or Penn State, but until I see improvement on defense, the under is the better pick.
 
 

Iowa (Opening Number: 8.5)

Braden Gall: Under
The schedule sets up nicely for Iowa, but this team rarely is good when it’s supposed to be. The defense is rebuilding and the offense is still one of the Big Ten’s worst (9th a year ago). The Hawkeyes will slip up once on the road (at Pitt, Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois) and that gives me the under.
 
Steven Lassan: Over
Iowa is the biggest threat to Wisconsin in the West Division this year. Sure, the Hawkeyes need to replace all three linebackers, but that’s usually a strength under Kirk Ferentz. With the Badgers and Nebraska visiting Kinnick Stadium, Iowa will have a chance to surprise in 2014.
 
 

Minnesota (Opening Number: 6.5)

Braden Gall: Under
This program is heading in the right direction but some key pieces are gone from a team that won eight games last year. A non-conference road trip to TCU makes seven wins look very difficult.
 
Steven Lassan: Under
I think it’s likely the Golden Gophers could be a better overall team than they were in 2013, but it may not show in the win column in 2014. A road trip to TCU limits the win total to three in non-conference play, and the November slate is brutal with games against Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Seems like six is the perfect number for Minnesota.
 
 

Nebraska (Opening Number: 8)

Braden Gall: Push
Death, taxes and four losses for Bo Pelini. Another 8-4 season appears to be in the cards for Nebraska with two tricky non-conference game (at Fresno State, Miami) as well as a really tough road Big Ten slate: at Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa.
 
Steven Lassan: Push
This one is tough. I think eight or nine is the right number, and I could probably switch my opinion on that one on a daily basis. With Miami breaking in a new quarterback, the Sept. 20 matchup against the Hurricanes looks very winnable. However, the road slate in the Big Ten is challenging, and Bo Pelini’s team catches Michigan State in crossover play.
 
 

Northwestern (Opening Number: 6)

Braden Gall: Push
There is no way the Wildcats are as unlucky as they were a year ago (See: Hail Mary and injuries). Logic would indicate with a coach as solid as Pat Fitzgerald and just a touch of luck, Northwestern will at least get back to a bowl game.
 
Steven Lassan: Over
Bad luck and injuries hindered Northwestern last season. A healthy Venric Mark makes a big difference at running back, and the defense takes a step forward with seven starters returning.
 
 

Purdue (Opening Number: 3.5)

Braden Gall: Under
This team was so uncompetitive a year ago that winning three more games in 2014 seems highly unlikely. The West Division is easier but Notre Dame and Michigan State are on the slate too. A 3-9 season would be marked improvement (right?).
 
Steven Lassan: Under
Darrell Hazell’s second year at Kent State resulted in a six-game improvement from a 5-7 record in 2011. Don’t expect to see a similar jump in the win total, but I do see Purdue making small progress in 2014. However, small progress is winning only three games and being more competitive against Big Ten opponents.
 
 

Wisconsin (Opening Number: 9.5)

Braden Gall: Over
The schedule is very manageable with the exception of one tough non-conference game (LSU) and two tough divisional bouts. Otherwise, it’s hard to see the Badgers losing very often.
 
Steven Lassan: Over
There’s a ton of new faces stepping into the starting lineup for the Badgers in 2014. However, the schedule is very manageable, with the toughest games against Nebraska and Iowa taking place late in the year – allowing plenty of time for Wisconsin to develop its passing attack.
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Big Ten Win Total Projections for 2014
Post date: Friday, June 6, 2014 - 07:15
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2014 Mountain West Predictions

Mountain DivisionMWOverall 
1. Boise State (No. 46)7-111-2 
2. Utah State (No. 49)6-29-4 
3. Colorado State (No. 74)5-37-5 
4. Wyoming (No. 94)3-55-7 
5. Air Force (No. 105)1-74-8 
6. New Mexico (No. 106)1-73-9 
West DivisionMWOverall 
1. Fresno State (No. 62)8-57-1 
2. Nevada (No. 82)5-36-6 
3. San Diego State (No. 83)5-37-5 
4. UNLV (No. 101)4-45-8 
5. San Jose State (No. 103)3-54-8 
6. Hawaii (No. 118)1-72-11 
Mountain West Championship
 Boise State over Fresno State 
The Mountain West didn’t have any changes in membership or realignment talk this offseason, but it was a busy period for the conference’s top programs.
 
Boise State lost coach Chris Petersen to Washington, but former offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin was hired away from Arkansas State to keep the program at the top of the conference. Harsin inherits a team that returns 12 starters, but there are concerns for the Broncos on the offensive and defensive lines. Youth and injuries hurt Boise State’s overall depth last season, and a challenging schedule is on tap early in the year, including a neutral site game against Ole Miss.
 
Boise State is Athlon’s projected champion in the Mountain West, but the Broncos are ranked only No. 46 nationally. The Mountain West isn’t as strong as it was in 2013, largely due to the personnel losses at Utah State and Fresno State. The Aggies are a close No. 2 in the Mountain Division to Boise State, and quarterback Chuckie Keeton is back from a torn ACL suffered in early October. Keeton’s return is crucial for an offense that returns only three starters and must replace four key cogs on the line.
 
Even though Colorado State loses standout center Weston Richburg and running back Kapri Bibbs, the Rams were a clear No. 3 in Athlon’s predictions for the Mountain Division. Quarterback Garrett Grayson leads an improving passing attack, and third-year coach Jim McElwain has the program trending in the right direction.
 
Rounding out the rest of the Mountain Division is Wyoming, Air Force and New Mexico. New Wyoming coach Craig Bohl was one of the top hires by any program this offseason, and the Cowboys could push for a bowl in 2014. Air Force and New Mexico will also show improvement, but both programs have to find answers on defense to push for a postseason appearance.
 
Fresno State is Athlon’s projected champion of the West Division, and the Bulldogs have a considerable edge over Nevada and San Diego State. Despite losing quarterback Derek Carr, Fresno State is still a Mountain West title contender, as receiver Josh Harper is one of the best in the conference, and eight starters return on an improving defense.
 

Mountain West Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014

 
Las Vegas: MW vs. Pac-12
New Orleans: MW vs. Sun Belt
Poinsettia: MW vs. Navy
Hawaii: MW vs. C-USA
Famous Idaho Potato: MW vs. MAC
New Mexico: MW vs. C-USA
It’s a tossup between Nevada and San Diego State for the No. 2 spot, but the Wolf Pack should be better in the second year under Brian Polian. Quarterback Cody Fajardo battled injuries last season, and new coordinator Scott Boone should help a defense that allowed over 500 yards per game in 2013. The Aztecs should be solid once again, but a tough road schedule could prevent this team from matching last year’s eight wins.
 
UNLV made considerable progress under Bobby Hauck last year, but the Rebels are banned from postseason play. Hauck will have to fight motivation concerns all year, and standout guard Cameron Jefferson transferred to Arkansas this summer.
 
San Jose State has to find a replacement for quarterback David Fales, and coach Ron Caragher hopes the addition of veteran coordinator Greg Robinson will improve a defense that allowed 35.1 points per game in 2013.
 
Hawaii is picked to finish No. 6 in the West, as the Warriors have a handful of question marks on both sides of the ball. A full season from running back Joey Iosefa will help, but there’s uncertainty at quarterback, and the defense allowed nearly 40 points per game in 2013. The Rainbow Warriors showed some improvement in Norm Chow’s second year and need to take another step forward to escape the bottom of the West Division in 2014.
 
Related Content: Projected Final Ranking for All 128 College Football Teams for 2014
 
 

Athlon's Cover 2 Podcast Previews the College Football Playoff

 

Five Key Conference Games to Watch in 2014

 
San Diego State at Fresno State (Oct. 3)
Aztecs lost by seven in overtime last year. Without Derek Carr and Davante Adams, can the Bulldogs hold off San Diego State once again?
 
Fresno State at Boise State (Oct. 17)
Rematch of last year’s entertaining 41-40 shootout at Fresno, and this game could be an early preview of the Mountain West title game in December.
 
San Diego State at Boise State (Nov. 15)
Aztecs have won two in a row over Boise State. Can San Diego State continue their success against the Broncos?
 
Fresno State at Nevada (Nov. 22)
If the Wolf Pack want to challenge for the West Division title, beating the Bulldogs on Nov. 22 is a must.
 
Utah State at Boise State (Nov. 29)
The Aggies have not won a game at Boise since 1996. A win over the Broncos on Nov. 29 could decide the Mountain Division.
Teaser:
Mountain West 2014 Football Predictions
Post date: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/pac-12-football-2014-predictions
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2014 Pac-12 Predictions
North DivisionPac-12Overall
1. Oregon (No. 6)7-211-2
2. Stanford (No. 12)7-29-3
3. Washington (No. 24)5-49-4
4. Oregon State (No. 53)3-66-6
5. Washington State (No. 56)3-66-6
6. California (No. 76)1-82-10
South DivisionPac-12Overall
1. UCLA (No. 7)7-210-3
2. USC (No. 14)6-39-3
3. Arizona State (No. 16)6-39-3
4. Arizona (No. 45)4-57-5
5. Utah (No. 54)4-56-6
6. Colorado (No. 71)1-84-8
Pac-12 Championship
Oregon over UCLA

The SEC is still college football’s No. 1 conference, but the Pac-12 has made considerable progress in closing the gap over the last few seasons. The Pac-12 is positioned to produce a few contenders in the new playoff format, and the league features a wide-open battle for the No. 1 spot in 2014.
 

Oregon is Athlon’s projected champion of the Pac-12, but Stanford, UCLA and USC aren’t far behind. The Ducks need to keep quarterback Marcus Mariota healthy and find new set of receivers after the loss of Bralon Addison for the year due to injury.


Stanford has defeated Oregon in each of the last two years and is a close No. 2 in the North. Both teams are breaking in new defensive coordinators, but there is a clear advantage in the schedule to Oregon. The Cardinal has a tougher slate ahead – one that features five teams projected to finish in Athlon’s top 25 for 2014. Despite the changes on the coaching staff, Stanford should be solid on defense, while quarterback Kevin Hogan should benefit from a stocked receiving corps.
 

Washington is projected to finish No. 3 in the North, and the Huskies will be an intriguing team to watch. With quarterback Cyler Miles back in the mix, Chris Petersen’s first year in Seattle got a lot easier. Petersen was regarded as one of the nation’s top coaches from his stint at Boise State, and he inherits a team with enough talent to push Oregon or Stanford in the North standings.


Rounding out the North Division projections is Oregon State at No. 4, Washington State at No. 5 and California at No. 6. The Golden Bears struggled in Sonny Dykes’ first year, but injuries played a major role in the team’s win total. With better luck in the health department, combined with improvement by quarterback Jared Goff, California will be a much-improved team in 2014. Oregon State and Washington State have a chance to surprise this year, but both teams have considerable question marks on the offensive line.
 

Much like the North Division, the South is crowded at the top. UCLA is Athlon’s projected champion, but USC is a close No. 2. The Bruins have one of the conference’s toughest schedules in 2014. However, UCLA hosts USC, Stanford and Oregon this year. The Bruins also return quarterback Brett Hundley and seven starters from one of the Pac-12’s top defenses.

USC appears to have the right coach in Steve Sarkisian, but the Trojans still have depth issues from NCAA sanctions. If USC avoids major injuries – especially on the offensive line – the Trojans could be a top-10 team in 2014.
 

Arizona State is the defending Pac-12 South champion, and Todd Graham’s team will be in the mix once again. However, the Sun Devils have several holes to fill on defense. Only two starters are back, and standouts like tackle Will Sutton must be replaced.
 

Arizona is an intriguing team to watch in 2014. The Wildcats are making steady gains under third-year coach Rich Rodriguez, but there’s uncertainty at quarterback, and running back Ka’Deem Carey must be replaced.

Utah and Colorado are predicted to finish at the bottom of the South, but both teams will show improvement in 2014.
 

Prep for the 2014 season, follow Athlon Sports and its college football editors on Twitter: @AthlonSports, Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), David Fox (@DavidFox615) and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

Inside the War Room: Key Questions That Shaped Athlon's 2014 Predictions
 

Stanford has beaten Oregon two years in a row and won the division title two years in a row, yet Oregon is the pick again. Please explain.

Maybe we’re slow learners, but we still like Oregon in the Pac-12. A healthy Marcus Mariota is perhaps the top quarterback in the country and a Heisman contender. When Mariota’s mobility was hindered due to injury, Oregon’s offense stalled. He’ll have to stay healthy, and with five returning offensive linemen, that’s possible. We’re a little curious how the Ducks’ defense will turn out with Nick Aliotti gone, but Oregon has a building block at every level of the defense, led by Thorpe-contending cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Stanford should remain a Pac-12 contender, but the Cardinal lost much of the foundation of the last two teams, both on the offensive line and in the linebacker corps. Stanford should be able to reload, but that process might not be immediate. We also have questions about Kevin Hogan’s potential. He doesn’t need to be as dynamic a quarterback as many of his counterparts in the Pac-12, but he needs to give Stanford more than he did last season. It’s a close call for the No. 1 spot in the North, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that Oregon has a much easier schedule than Stanford in 2014. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

Washington, with Chris Petersen now in charge, seems to be on the move. Can this team challenge Stanford for second place in the North?

Yes. In our rankings meeting, we even talked about Washington finishing as high as second in the North. Many of the big names are gone on offense, including Keith Price, Bishop Sankey and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but Washington’s offense should be in capable hands with highly regarded quarterback prospect Cyler Miles, who was reinstated to the team after spring practice. Five offensive line starters return, three of whom were honorable mention All-Pac-12 selections. The defense also returns seven starters. Steve Sarkisian rebuilt the roster with top-25 classes from 2010-13, so the core of this team is ready to compete. Throw in a Stanford team with question marks, and one that Washington has played well the last two seasons, and the Huskies could be ready to make a move. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

What gives UCLA the edge in the South? The Bruins have a tough schedule.

The schedule is tough, as UCLA draws Oregon and Stanford for the second consecutive season, plus a road trip to Washington from the North. But compared to last season, UCLA gets a bit of a break. The Bruins faced both Stanford and Oregon last year, both on the road and in back-to-back weeks. Having both games at home separated by seven weeks is a fortunate change of pace. In addition, UCLA may be equipped to handle a tough schedule. Brett Hundley will be one of the better quarterbacks in the nation, and he is surrounded by outstanding talent. With a coaching change at USC and the defense rebuilding at Arizona State, the timing has never been better for UCLA to compete for a Pac-12 title under Jim L. Mora. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

Is there a potential sleeper in the North?

Washington is definitely a team that could surprise this year, but let’s use the sleeper designation on a team picked No. 5 in the standings – Washington State. The Cougars took a step forward under Mike Leach last year, finishing 6-7 and winning four games in Pac-12 play. With 12 starters back, Washington State could improve upon its win total even more in 2014. Quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 4,597 yards and 34 scores last season and has another offseason to learn Leach’s pass-first offense. The Cougars also have one of the Pac-12’s top receiving corps, along with an underrated front seven on defense. The biggest areas of concern are in the secondary, and an offensive line that has just two starters back. Expect more improvement from Washington State in 2014, and this team has potential to pull an upset or two this year. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
 

Athlon's Cover 2 Podcast Previews the College Football Playoff


Arizona has a big question at quarterback. If the Wildcats find a suitable signal-caller, can they challenge?

That’s an interesting question, considering that at this point last season, no one would have picked B.J. Denker to be the quarterback to lead Arizona to an 8–5 season. With Denker gone, Arizona has a crowd at quarterback, but the pieces are there for the winner of the job to succeed — an experienced offensive line and standout receiving corps. We wonder how the running game will recover without Ka’Deem Carey, but, again, this is an area to trust Rich Rodriguez. The defense has improved under RichRod, but this is still a team with too many questions to realistically compete with UCLA, USC and Arizona State. Can this team challenge for a bowl berth and a surprising season? Yes. A South Division title? No. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

What is Utah’s outlook in the South?

After winning four conference games in their Pac-12 debut in 2011, the Utes are just 5-13 over the last two years. Utah has also missed a bowl for two consecutive seasons. Despite the losing record from 2012-13, the Utes could rebound back into the postseason in 2014. Sure, the schedule is tough. Crossover games against Oregon and Stanford will be challenging, and Utah has a non-conference date against Michigan. However, quarterback Travis Wilson is on track to return to the team, and new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen should help an offense that averaged only 29.2 points per game last season. As usual, Utah will be solid on defense. It may require an upset, but the Utes have a good shot to get back into the postseason in 2014. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
 

Which of Cal or Colorado is closer to being relevant?

Both teams are a long way from returning to where they’ve been, but Colorado is in better shape for 2014 and the short-term future. Both teams struggled to compete against Pac-12 teams last year, but Colorado defeated Cal 41–24 in mid-November. Cal had an exodus of players leaving early for the NFL Draft, plus a restructuring of the defensive coaching staff. Colorado, which returns 14 starters, had no such turnover in Mike MacIntyre’s second offseason. That’s going to give Colorado a leg up as the Buffaloes try to return to bowl contention. Both teams are improving, but it would be a surprise to see either in a bowl this year. – David Fox (@DavidFox615) 
 

2014 Pac-12 Team Previews

 

Pac-12 Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014

At-Large Access Bowl: Pac-12 Champion*

Alamo: Pac-12 vs. Big 12

Holiday: Pac-12 vs. Big Ten

San Francisco: Pac-12 vs. Big Ten

Sun: Pac-12 vs. ACC

Las Vegas: Pac-12 vs. Mountain West

Buffalo Wild Wings: Pac-12 vs. Big 12

* If conference champ is not in CFB Playoff

NorthSouth
CaliforniaArizona
OregonArizona State
Oregon StateColorado
StanfordUCLA
WashingtonUSC
Washington StateUtah



 

















 

Pac-12 Notebook

 

by Dan Raley

 

Help Wanted

In search of a starting quarterback, Arizona had six players take significant snaps in spring practice. There were recycled signal-callers galore, including little-used transfers from LSU, Louisiana Tech, USC and Texas. Big ones, short ones, everything but a clear-cut leader. It was a reality TV show in the making. Amazing Race II.


No Pac-12 position battle has more candidates, uncertainty or wackiness than the Wildcats’ long-running audition for someone to run the huddle. Coach Rich Rodriguez is still taking applications, checking references.
 

Just two of the spring QB candidates played in an actual game at the position, and their experience comes with a disclaimer: Nick Isham (transferred from Arizona after spring practice) started seven times for Louisiana Tech in 2011 and wound up that season as a wide receiver; Jesse Scroggins got in for a solitary play to end a USC game in 2011. That’s it.
 

Rodriguez likely will need most of fall camp to find his guy. Hey, does Nick Foles have any eligibility left?


“If you’re trying to figure that out, good luck,” Rodriguez says of the competition.


For Pete’s Sake 

He may be considered one of college football’s bright coaching minds after compiling a gaudy 92–12 record at Boise State, but Chris Petersen still has a lot to prove at Washington: Mainly, he needs to prove that, unlike his two Broncos coaching predecessors, he can make a splash at a bigger school.
 

In 2000, Dirk Koetter left Boise State — after collecting consecutive bowl victories and posting a 26–10 record — and landed at Arizona State, where he was fired after posting a mediocre 40–34 mark over six seasons. Dan Hawkins compiled a 53–11 record and won two of four bowl games in Boise through 2005, but he bombed at Colorado, winning just 19 of 58 outings in the Big 12. He was fired, too. 


“We just know our way,” a hopeful Petersen says of his Broncos-turned-Huskies staff. “It’s been successful for us.”


Leach’s Reach 

One of the Pac-12’s major developments in 2013 was Washington State’s return to the postseason. It had been a while — since the Holiday Bowl against Texas in 2003, to be exact. This particular step was an important barometer for rebuilding coach Mike Leach, overlooking the fact that the Cougars blew a 22-point lead to Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl and lost 48–45.
 

“Even though we all felt like we left meat on the table, the program hadn’t been to a bowl game in 10 years,” Leach says. “So from that standpoint, we’re ahead of schedule.”


Oregon Identity Crisis

Arik Armstead is a 6’8”, 280-pound Oregon junior and a player long regarded as one of the top pro prospects in the Pac-12. The only question is where. The Ducks list him as a defensive tackle. He prefers defensive end. NFL scouts say, with his footwork, he should be an offensive tackle. One thing he’s not anymore: a college basketball player. After two abbreviated seasons with the Oregon hoops team, Armstead decided he was done trying to be a two-sport athlete and was ready to concentrate solely on football. “I have decided to focus my full attention on academics and being the best football player for the University of Oregon I could possibly be,” he said.
 

Secondary Issue

The late hiring didn’t get a lot of outside attention, coming on the eve of spring practice, but Stanford picked up one of the college game’s true characters in defensive backs coach Duane Akina. An inspirational and well-traveled leader, the fiery Akina was responsible for Texas being nicknamed “DBU” in his 13 seasons there, played a key role in the assembly of Arizona’s “Desert Swarm” defense in his 14 seasons there, and first learned the game while handling two roles for Washington’s legendary coach, Don James, as a graduate assistant coach and Warren Moon’s backup quarterback. That’s a track record that's hard for anyone to beat.
 

Pros and Cons 

UCLA junior quarterback Brett Hundley took the bold step of passing on a certain NFL career and returning for one more season in Westwood. It was a decision worth millions. Had he come out, pro scouts considered Hundley a top-10 pick, possibly the top QB on the draft board.

Hundley, who will be a Heisman Trophy contender, consulted with former Bruins turned pro players in Johnathan Franklin and Datone Jones, with the former telling him, “There are some things in life that you don’t want to rush.” Hundley’s decision likely would have been far different had UCLA coach Jim Mora accepted an offer to coach at Washington, his alma mater.

 

Pac-12 Coordinator Carousel

 

by Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)

 

Arizona State: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Chris Ball, Paul Randolph; New: Chris Ball, Keith Patterson

Randolph is still on staff and will continue to coach Arizona State’s defensive ends. Patterson, the defensive coordinator at West Virginia the past two seasons, has known Arizona State head coach Todd Graham for decades. The two were college roommates at East Central University in Texas, and Patterson previously worked for Graham at Pitt.
 

California: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Andy Buh; New: Art Kaufman

Buh is still at California but not in a coaching role. He was reassigned to a new role in the athletic department in March. Kaufman was fired as the defensive coordinator at Cincinnati in January despite leading the Bearcats’ defense to a final ranking of No. 9 nationally.
 

Oregon: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Nick Aliotti; New: Don Pellum

Aliotti retired following the 2013 season. Pellum was promoted after serving as a position coach — most recently linebackers — at Oregon since 1993. This is his first stint as a defensive coordinator on any level.
 

Oregon State: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Danny Langsdorf; New: John Garrett

Langsdorf took a job as the quarterbacks coach of the New York Giants. Garrett was the wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013 after a six-year stint with the Dallas Cowboys. His brother, Jason, is the Cowboys’ head coach.
 

Stanford: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Derek Mason; New: Lance Anderson

Mason is now the head coach at Vanderbilt. Anderson was promoted from his position as outside linebackers coach to defensive coordinator.
 

UCLA: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Lou Spanos; New: Jeff Ulbrich

Spanos was hired by the Tennessee Titans to coach linebackers. Ulbrich was promoted after serving as UCLA’s linebackers coach the past two seasons. 
 

USC: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Lane Kiffin, Clay Helton; New: Clay Helton

Kiffin was fired as the Trojans’ head coach last October. He is now the offensive coordinator at Alabama. Helton was retained by new USC coach Steve Sarkisian.
 

USC: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Clancy Pendergast; New: Justin Wilcox

Pendergast was not retained by Steve Sarkisian and did not have a job as of late April. Wilcox followed Sarkisian from Washington, where he had been the Huskies’ defensive coordinator the past two seasons.
 

Utah: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Dennis Erickson, Brian Johnson; New: Dave Christensen

Erickson was demoted and will now only serve as the running backs coach. Johnson, a former starting quarterback at Utah, left in February to take a job as the quarterbacks coach at Mississippi State. Christensen was fired as the head coach at Wyoming following the 2013 season.
 

Washington: Offensive Coordinator

Old: Eric Kiesau; New: Jonathan Smith

Kiesau is now the wide receivers coach at Kansas. Smith, a former standout quarterback at Oregon State, previously was the quarterbacks coach at Boise State under new Washington coach Chris Petersen.
 

Washington: Defensive Coordinator

Old: Justin Wilcox; New: Pete Kwiatkowski

Wilcox followed Steve Sarkisian from Washington to USC. Kwiatkowski was the defensive coordinator at Boise State the past four seasons. This is his first job in the Pac-12.

Teaser:
Pac-12 Football 2014 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/sec-win-total-projections-2014
Body:

The start of the 2014 college football season is still over 80 days away, but there is no shortage of news to fill the offseason in the SEC. The preview magazines for 2014 are already on newsstands, and Vegas isn’t far behind with its projections for the upcoming season.

CG Technology has released its win total projections for 2014, with Alabama picked the highest at the over/under of 10.5. The lowest team in the projections was Kentucky at just 3.5.

As expected, the East was a tossup. South Carolina checks in at the over/under of 9.5, while Georgia is on the board at nine. CG Technology also thinks Florida makes a big jump in the win total this year, as the Gators are placed at eight.

There is plenty of time to refine predictions over the next few months, but with the release of the win total projections, let’s take a look at the early thoughts on the over/under projections.

Athlon’s Braden Gall (@BradenGall) and Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven) give their early thoughts on CG Technology’s projections for 2014.

SEC Win Total Projections for 2014: Over, Under or Push
 

East Division

Florida
Opening Number: 8

Braden Gall: Under
A four-game improvement isn’t out of the question and this offense should be dramatically improved. But Alabama, Florida State and LSU are just the tip of the scheduling iceberg in Gainesville this year. I’ll say 7-5.

Steven Lassan: Under
Under, but not by much. Florida has too much talent to finish 4-8 again, and the Gators should have better luck in the injury department. New coordinator Kurt Roper should help Jeff Driskel develop into a solid quarterback, and Florida should be solid on defense once again. Crossover games against LSU and Alabama keep the Gators’ win total under eight.
 

Georgia
Opening Number: 9

Braden Gall: Push
Two tough non-conference games and some brutal SEC tests (at South Carolina, Auburn, Florida, at Mizzou) means that the Bulldogs could win the East at 9-3 even if South Carolina has a better overall record.

Steven Lassan: Over
Georgia is my pick to win the SEC East this year, and I think the Bulldogs could push for 10 or 11 wins. Road games against Missouri and South Carolina are swing dates, and the annual trip to Jacksonville against Florida is never easy. The addition of Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator, along with a healthy Todd Gurley at running back is enough for Georgia to get to 10 victories.
 

Kentucky
Opening Number: 3.5

Braden Gall: Over
The schedule is brutal, but the overall talent is improving for the Wildcats and this coaching staff has to be good for two more wins, right? Only one SEC win likely gets Kentucky to four wins.

Steven Lassan: Over
I see three guaranteed wins for Kentucky – Tennessee-Martin, Ohio and ULM. On paper, it’s hard to find a win in SEC play, but the Wildcats made progress under Mark Stoops last year and should take another step forward in 2014. I don’t know which team it will be, but I think Kentucky beats someone in the SEC this year.
 

Missouri
Opening Number: 8

Braden Gall: Push
I really want to pick Mizzou to win the East but a couple of tough road games temper my expectations . I will take the push, however, due to a very weak non-conference slate. A 5-3 SEC mark wins the over on this bet.

Steven Lassan: Push
Missouri’s slate isn’t overwhelming, but it seems there are a lot of swing games. The Tigers play at Texas A&M and Tennessee late in the year – two teams that will improve as the season progresses. Could easy take the over here if Missouri finds a replacement for receiver Dorial Green-Beckham.
 

South Carolina
Opening Number: 9.5

Braden Gall: Over
There are holes to plug on both sides (QB/DL) but this is a great year to rebuild in the East and the Gamecocks schedule isn’t overly taxing. South Carolina gets a lot of key games at home.

Steven Lassan: Over
Over, but it’s close. Road dates against Florida and Auburn will be challenging, and I like Georgia to win in Columbia this year. Even with the departure of quarterback Connor Shaw and a couple of key losses on the defensive line, South Carolina will be a top-10 team.
 

Tennessee
Opening Number: 5

Braden Gall: Push
This is the hardest schedule in the SEC in 2014 and it includes a road trip to Oklahoma in the non-conference. Even the Vols pull an upset, Tennessee has to win three SEC games to reach bowl eligibility and that is difficult to see.

Steven Lassan: Over
Admittedly, this is going to be tough. However, as I mentioned with Kentucky, I think Tennessee beats someone we don’t expect. The Volunteers should go 3-1 in non-conference play and will need to pickup three wins against SEC foes. The late-season slate – Kentucky, Missouri and at Vanderbilt – might be the best opportunity for the Volunteers to get to six victories.
 

Vanderbilt
Opening Number: 6

Braden Gall: Over
The non-conference schedule (or lack there of) provides four locks for the Dores so a 3-5 mark in the SEC would win the over. This is the toughest conference slate Vandy has played three years but three SEC wins feels very doable for a team with 18 wins in the last two seasons.

Steven Lassan: Push
Derek Mason has a tough assignment ahead as he tries to replace James Franklin after back-to-back nine-win seasons. If LSU transfer Stephen Rivers brings stability to the quarterback position, the Commodores have the defense and rushing attack to push for seven or eight wins. Vanderbilt should go 4-0 in non-conference play, with swing games against Kentucky and Mississippi State the key to whether or not the Commodores hit the over.

 

West Division

Alabama
Opening Number: 10.5

Braden Gall: Over
But just barely. I have Bama winning the SEC and playing in the playoff so 11-1 is almost a must. Frankly, this isn’t an overly troublesome SEC schedule, especially for a team as talented as Bama.

Steven Lassan: Over
I get the preseason concerns about Alabama and the concern at quarterback. But let’s consider this: Only one of the Crimson Tide’s victories was decided by seven points or less last year (Texas A&M). Alabama still has plenty of talent, including a defense and rushing attack that will be among the best in the nation. It seems likely the Crimson Tide drops a game, but I can’t see two losses in the regular season.
 

Arkansas
Opening Number: 4.5

Braden Gall: Under
This one will be tight but with a really tough trip to Lubbock in the non-conference and another nasty slate in the SEC, it’s hard to find more than four wins for Bret Bielema and the Hogs.

Steven Lassan: Under
Much like Kentucky, Arkansas is going to show improvement in 2014. However, the SEC West is college football’s toughest division and there are few guaranteed wins. I would slot the Razorbacks in for wins against Nicholls State, Northern Illinois and UAB and bank on this team finding one in conference play. After all, Arkansas nearly beat LSU last year and lost by seven to Mississippi State on Nov. 23.
 

Auburn
Opening Number: 9.5

Braden Gall: Under
This might be the toughest team to tackle (literally) in 2014. The offense should be unstoppable again but the defense has questions and the road schedule is nasty: at Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss, Miss. State and Kansas State.

Steven Lassan: Over
This might be the toughest prediction on the board. Auburn’s offense is lethal even without tackle Greg Robinson and running back Tre Mason. The defense will show improvement in the second year under coordinator Ellis Johnson. However, the biggest obstacle to Auburn’s win total is the schedule. Road dates against Mississippi State, Kansas State, Georgia, Alabama and Ole Miss are all games the Tigers could lose.
 

LSU
Opening Number: 9

Braden Gall: Push
The Tigers have issues under center and play a pretty nasty slate, including a neutral site game with Wisconsin. The talent is still there to post another 9-10 wins but the rest of the league appears to have caught up with Les Miles. I'd go under if I had to pick one but Vegas seems to have this one right on.

Steven Lassan: Push
Don’t see LSU hitting the over, but I could see the under. The Tigers have loads of talent, but Les Miles’ team is very young at some key spots – quarterback, defensive tackle and wide receiver. The schedule isn’t terribly taxing, but Ole Miss and Mississippi State have closed the gap and road dates against Auburn, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Florida will be a challenge.
 

Mississippi State
Opening Number: 7

Braden Gall: Push
I really want to take the over and Hail State is surging on defense and under center. But the slate is still really tough and this team rarely finishes better than 3-5 in SEC play.

Steven Lassan: Over
The Bulldogs should be 4-0 in non-conference play, which means they need to get four wins in SEC play to hit the over. That seems reasonable with crossover games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt, along with home dates against Texas A&M and Arkansas.
 

Ole Miss
Opening Number: 7.5

Braden Gall: Over
This feels like one of the safer bets on the board as the talent for Ole Miss is as strong as its ever been. It also gets some big swing games at home. An 8-4 seasons feels almost like a lock with 9-3 well within reach.

Steven Lassan: Over
There’s little doubt Ole Miss is trending in the right direction. The talent level is improving under coach Hugh Freeze, and the Rebels should have a healthy Bo Wallace at quarterback and C.J. Johnson at defensive end in 2014. Boise State and UL Lafayette are tough non-conference matchups, but with Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State visiting Oxford, the potential is there for Ole Miss to play spoiler. 8-4 is reasonable and don’t rule out a 9-3 finish.
 

Texas A&M
Opening Number: 7

Braden Gall: Push
This number is right on. The Aggies will really struggle early in the year but could be very dangerous late in the season (especially, with all those home games). Four easy wins in the non-conference makes the under tough to see.

Steven Lassan: Push
Tempted to take the under here, but I will guess Texas A&M finds a way to get to seven victories. The defense is a huge concern and losing linebacker Darian Claiborne and tackle Isaiah Golden certainly doesn’t help. The Aggies still have a ton of talent, and the offense will score plenty. Expect Texas A&M to improve throughout the year, making this team a threat to Missouri or LSU at the end of 2014.

Teaser:
SEC Win Total Projections for 2014
Post date: Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/vanderbilt-finds-its-starting-qb-lsu-transfer-stephen-rivers
Body:

Vanderbilt heads into its first season under Derek Mason with uncertainty at quarterback, but the Commodores officially added LSU transfer Stephen Rivers into the mix on Wednesday. Rivers graduated from LSU, so he will be eligible to play immediately in 2014. The junior is expected to start for Vanderbilt in 2014, with Patton Robinette or Johnny McCrary battling for the No. 2 job.

In three years at LSU, Rivers threw two passes in mop-up duty and played in four career games.

The Alabama native is the brother of San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers and was a three-star recruit as a high school senior.

Although Rivers doesn’t have much experience, his addition bolsters a thin quarterback depth chart for Mason.

At 6-foot-7 and 223 pounds, Rivers is an intriguing prospect and will have to get acclimated to the offense in a hurry. Vanderbilt opens the year with Temple, followed by a SEC date against Ole Miss in Week 2.

New coordinator Karl Dorrell is expected to lean heavily on the ground game, but if Rivers develops into a solid option at quarterback, the Commodores should reach a bowl game for the fourth consecutive season.
 

Teaser:
Vanderbilt Finds its Starting QB in LSU Transfer Stephen Rivers
Post date: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 10:29
Path: /college-football/mac-football-2014-predictions
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 2014 MAC Predictions

East DivisionMACOverall 
1. Bowling Green (No. 59)8-011-2 
2. Ohio (No. 95)5-37-5 
3. Akron (No. 97)5-36-6 
4. Buffalo (No. 104)4-46-6 
5. Kent State (No. 114)3-54-8 
6. Miami, Ohio (No. 120)2-63-9 
7. UMass (No. 121)2-62-10 
West DivisionMACOverall 
1. Toledo (No. 75)6-27-6 
2. N. Illinois (No. 77)6-28-4 
3. Ball State (No. 79)5-38-4 
4. Central Michigan (No. 107)4-45-7 
5. Western Michigan (No. 119)1-73-9 
6. Eastern Michigan (No. 124)1-72-10 
MAC Championship
 BGSU over Toledo 
College football’s new four-team playoff may have increased the gap between the power conference teams and the programs from conferences like the MAC, but the opportunity is still there for a team from outside the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 or SEC to make a splash on the national stage.
 
Northern Illinois crashed the BCS for the MAC during the 2012 season, and Bowling Green should be in contention for the top spot from teams outside of the power conferences. With college football’s new postseason format, the highest-ranked team from the five non-power conferences will play in one of college football’s top bowl games each year.
 
Guided by first-year coach Dino Babers, the Falcons are Athlon’s pick to win the MAC. Bowling Green averaged 34.8 points per game under former coach Dave Clawson, but with Babers at the controls and the return of quarterback Matt Johnson, the Falcons could push for 40 points a contest in 2014. Bowling Green’s schedule is very favorable, as a road trip to Toledo in late November is the toughest game on the slate.
 
After Bowling Green, the East appears to be up for grabs. Ohio versus Akron for the No. 2 spot was a huge debate in Athlon’s preseason prediction meeting, as the Bobcats have five consecutive winning seasons, while the Zips are making steady progress under Terry Bowden. The Nov. 18 road date in Athens could decide whether Ohio edges Akron for the No. 2 spot, or if the Zips are the biggest challenger to Bowling Green in the East.
 
Buffalo loses a handful of key players – including linebacker Khalil Mack and running back Branden Oliver – but Jeff Quinn’s team should remain in bowl contention. The Bulls return 11 starters, and quarterback Joe Licata threw only eight interceptions on 402 attempts last season. Buffalo will ask more of Licata in 2014, but a revamped receiving corps and a defense with seven new starters will be critical to the Bulls’ position in the MAC standings.
 
Kent State, Miami (Ohio) and UMass are the final three teams in the East predictions. The Minutemen and RedHawks should improve under new coaching staffs, while the Golden Flashes need to restock the offensive line and navigate a tough schedule that features crossover games against Northern Illinois and Toledo. The RedHawks were active in the transfer department under new coach Chuck Martin, with Notre Dame’s Andrew Hendrix (QB) and Lo Wood (CB) expected to play key roles in 2014. The Minutemen also landed a new quarterback in former Marshall product Blake Frohnapfel.
 
While the East Division pecking order seems to be more clear, the West Division is up for grabs. Three teams – Toledo, Ball State and Northern Illinois – are the frontrunners in 2014. However, there’s not much separation among those three programs. The Cardinals need to replace quarterback Keith Winning and receiver Willie Snead, but Pete Lembo – the No. 1 coach in the MAC, should find enough answers early in the year to keep Ball State in contention for the West Division title.
 
Toledo is Athlon’s pick to win the West, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Northern Illinois or Ball State finish No. 1. The Rockets should be explosive on offense with a standout offensive line and a solid set of skill players. Finding a new quarterback is the top priority for coach Matt Campbell.
 
Northern Illinois loses quarterback Jordan Lynch and safety Jimmie Ward, but there’s enough returning talent to compete for the West Division title. And it certainly doesn’t hurt the Huskies’ MAC West title hopes that Toledo visits DeKalb in November.
 

Related Content: Projected Final Ranking for All 128 College Football Teams for 2014

 

MAC Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014

GoDaddy: MAC vs. Sun Belt
Camellia: MAC vs. Sun Belt
Boca Raton: MAC vs. C-USA
Famous Idaho Potato: MAC vs. Mountain West
Bahamas: MAC vs. C-USA
Central Michigan returns 16 starters and should have a chance to get back to bowl eligibility in 2014. However, the Chippewas are just 1-11 under Dan Enos against the top three teams in the MAC West. For Central Michigan to take the next step under Enos, quarterback Cooper Rush needs to develop after a promising freshman season, and the defense has to get better against the run.
 
Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan rank as the bottom teams in the West Division, but there are signs of progress at both programs. The Broncos signed the MAC’s top recruiting class, while the Eagles seem to have found the right coach in Chris Creighton.
 

 

Athlon's Cover 2 Podcast Previews the College Football Playoff

 

Teaser:
MAC Football 2014 Predictions
Post date: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 - 07:00
Path: /college-football/big-ten-football-2014-predictions
Body:

2014 Big Ten Predictions

East DivisionBig TenOverall 
1. Ohio State (No. 3)7-112-1 
2. Michigan State (No. 11)7-110-2 
3. Penn State (No. 22)6-210-2 
4. Michigan (No. 32)5-38-4 
5. Maryland (No. 48)3-56-6 
6. Indiana (No. 58)2-65-7 
7. Rutgers (No. 73)1-74-8 
West DivisionBig TenOverall 
1. Wisconsin (No. 15)7-110-3 
2. Iowa (No. 26)6-29-3 
3. Nebraska (No. 29)5-39-3 
4. Northwestern (No. 51)3-56-6 
5. Minnesota (No. 52)3-56-6 
6. Illinois (No. 68)1-74-8 
7. Purdue (No. 80)0-83-9 
Big Ten Championship
 Ohio State over Wisconsin 
It’s a new era in the Big Ten in 2014. The conference expands by two to become a 14-team league, as Maryland joins from the ACC, while Rutgers was added from the American Athletic Conference.
 
While Rutgers and Maryland joining the league is a key offseason storyline for the Big Ten, the debate at No. 1 in the East Division will dominate the headlines. Michigan State is the defending conference champion, but the Spartans have key holes to fill. Cornerback Darqueze Dennard and linebacker Max Bullough are big losses, and the defense also has to replace both starting tackles. Even though Michigan State has won two out of the last three games against Ohio State, the Buckeyes are Athlon’s pick to win the Big Ten in 2014. Quarterback Braxton Miller is among the nation’s best players, and coach Urban Meyer has assembled plenty of talent at the skill positions. Ohio State also has the nation’s No. 1 defensive line for 2014. Filling the holes in the back seven of the defense is critical for the Buckeyes’ chances of making an appearance in college football’s four-team playoff.
 
Penn State and Michigan are the two wildcard teams to watch in the East. New coach James Franklin inherits a solid roster, especially with sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg on the verge of a huge season. The biggest obstacle for the Nittany Lions will be an offensive line that is thin on proven depth. Michigan also has plenty of talent, but the Wolverines underachieved in 2013. Will the hire of Doug Nussmeier as offensive coordinator resurrect an offense that averaged less than 100 rushing yards per game last year? Quarterback Devin Gardner needs to be more consistent and more targets need to emerge at receiver.
 
Indiana is another team that could easily outperform its projected ranking, but the Hoosiers have a brutal schedule, along with a struggling defense. If Indiana can find answers on defense under new coordinator Brian Knorr, the Hoosiers should make a bowl for the first time under Kevin Wilson.

Big Ten Bowl Tie-Ins for 2014

 
Big Ten Champ: At-Large Access Bowl*
Orange: Big Ten/ND/SEC vs. ACC No. 1
Capital One: SEC No. 2 vs. Big Ten/ACC
Outback: SEC No. 3-8 vs. Big Ten
Holiday: Big Ten vs. Pac-12 No. 3
San Francisco: Big Ten vs. Pac-12 No. 4
Pinstripe: Big Ten vs. ACC
Gator/Music City: Big Ten/ACC vs. SEC
Detroit: Big Ten vs. ACC
Heart of Dallas: Big Ten vs. C-USA
 
* If conference champ is not in CFB Playoff
Despite returning only eight starters, Wisconsin is Athlon’s favorite to win the Big Ten’s West Division. The Badgers’ passing attack is a work in progress, but running back Melvin Gordon can carry the offense until new receivers emerge. The defense does not return a starter in its front seven.
 
Just behind Wisconsin in the West Division is Iowa and Nebraska. There’s not much separating the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers for the No. 2 spot. Iowa has a favorable schedule and will have a chance to win the division with Nebraska and Wisconsin both visiting Iowa City in late November.
 
Northwestern and Minnesota are darkhorses to watch, especially as the Wildcats regain the services of standout running back Venric Mark.
 
Illinois and Purdue round out the West Division predictions for 2014. Both teams are looking for signs of progress after a disappointing 2013, and there are reasons to be optimistic for the Boilermakers and Fighting Illini. However, considerable improvement needs to be made before either team makes a bowl game this year.
 
Prep for the 2014 season, follow Athlon Sports and its college football editors on Twitter: @AthlonSports, Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), David Fox (@DavidFox615) and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
 

Inside the War Room: Key Questions That Shaped Athlon's 2014 Predictions

 

Michigan State beat Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game. Was there much thought to picking the Spartans to win the Big Ten?

We projected Michigan State and Ohio State to have similar records, but the Buckeyes are one of our picks to reach the College Football Playoff. The Spartans should be in the mix again, and they have the advantage of playing Ohio State at home. Even though Michigan State won head-to-head last season and won the Rose Bowl while Ohio State lost in the Orange, the Buckeyes have won 22 of their first 24 games under Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes could have the top quarterback in the league and the top defensive line in the nation. True, Ohio State’s defense struggled at times last season, especially against the pass, but we like the additions of Larry Johnson and Chris Ash to the coaching staff. It’s tough to see Ohio State’s defense being such a liability once again. Michigan State’s offense rounded into form by the end of the season, but the Spartans are replacing three starters on the offensive line. And while we have faith in the defense, major pieces like two starting linebackers and lockdown corner Darqueze Dennard need to be replaced. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

Penn State is still short-handed due to NCAA sanctions. Doesn’t third in the division seem a little high?

The depth concerns will be notable at Penn State for a few more years. Injuries here and there certainly will hinder the Nittany Lions’ ability to move up in the East division. But if we know anything about new Penn State coach James Franklin, it’s that he can thrive in adverse situations. At Vanderbilt, he started without an SEC-caliber roster and no track record of success. At Penn State, he’ll have to overcome having fewer players than his competition. At the same time, though, he’ll have something he never had at Vanderbilt — an elite quarterback. That should be an exciting prospect for Franklin. The main competition for the No. 3 spot in the East is probably Michigan, a team Penn State defeated 43–40 in four overtimes last season. That perhaps indicates that the gap between Penn State and Michigan is narrow, but given the roster circumstances, should it really be that close? – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

Maryland or Rutgers: Which Big Ten newcomer will have a better record in 2014?

Maryland. Rutgers has played in a bowl in eight of the last nine years, but the Scarlet Knights finished 6-7 in the American Athletic Conference last season and have personnel concerns at quarterback and in the secondary. Maryland is in much better shape as it enters the Big Ten, as receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long return to full strength after season-ending injuries in 2013. The defense also returns nine starters and swing games against Iowa and Rutgers are at home. Both teams will have a challenge transitioning to the Big Ten, but Maryland has the edge in personnel and should edge the Scarlet Knights in the final standings. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
 
Related Content: Projected Final Ranking for All 128 College Football Teams for 2014
 

Wisconsin lost a lot of key personnel yet is still the pick for No. 1 in the West. Was there much debate?

Not really. Wisconsin still returns Melvin Gordon and four starters on the offensive line. That’s the perfect recipe for the Badgers to win games. In addition, being the best team in the Big Ten West doesn’t necessarily make Wisconsin one of the best teams in the league. The Badgers are our third-ranked team in the Big Ten overall, behind Ohio State and Michigan State. Simply put, most of the West simply has more obvious flaws than Wisconsin, which ranked in the top 20 nationally in both total offense and total defense a year ago. We’re not quite ready to cast our lot with either Nebraska or Iowa or a sleeper like Minnesota or Northwestern to win the division. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

Northwestern or Minnesota: Which team has a better chance to win the West in 2014?

Close call, but we like Northwestern over Minnesota. The Wildcats have experienced a lot of bad luck over the last two seasons, and an injury to running back Venric Mark limited the offense in 2013. Mark is expected to return to full strength by the fall, and the offense could benefit from having one quarterback (Trevor Siemian) and not a two-quarterback system. The defense returns seven starters and improvement is expected after finishing near the bottom of the Big Ten in points allowed. Minnesota surprised last year by finishing 8-5 and earning wins over Nebraska and Penn State. The Golden Gophers should be in the mix for another bowl, but developing a consistent passing attack and replacing standout tackle Ra’Shede Hageman are two huge question marks going into 2014. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
 
 

Michigan and Nebraska are both storied programs picked to finish in the middle of the pack. Which team is more likely to surprise in a good way?

That’s a tough question and probably a symptom of why these powers have been so infuriating of late. Michigan was actually plus-10 in turnover margin during the last nine games and still finished the season on a 3–6 slide. Clearly, Michigan has its share of holes to fill. Nebraska might be more likely to surprise. For one, we expect the West to be the weaker of the two new Big Ten divisions. 

Nebraska has the bread-and-butter of its offense in place with Ameer Abdullah and Imani Cross running the ball, and the Cornhuskers managed to win nine games despite quarterback injuries and turnover problems (minus-11 margin) a year ago. If things start to go Nebraska’s way, the Cornhuskers may be in a better position to make noise in the Big Ten title race. – David Fox (@DavidFox615)
 

Is a bowl a reasonable expectations for Illinois?

It should be. The Fighting Illini averaged 400.8 yards per game on offense last season, but the defense struggled by allowing 6.9 yards per play. Illinois will be dangerous on offense once again in 2014, especially with talented sophomore Wes Lunt stepping into the starting lineup at quarterback. Lunt needs a few receivers to emerge, but running back Josh Ferguson is an All-Big Ten candidate, and four starters are back on the line. While the offense will be deadly, Illinois’ defense is still a huge concern. There’s hope for improvement with eight starters back, but the overall talent is still a concern. The Fighting Illini will be favored in three non-conference games and an early October home date against Purdue. But where will the other two wins come from to make a bowl? Perhaps Nov. 22 versus Penn State or Oct. 25 against Minnesota? A bowl is a reasonable expectation, but the odds are stacked against Illinois to get to six wins. – Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
 
 

2014 Big Ten Team Previews

East DivisionWest Division
IndianaIllinois
MarylandIowa
MichiganMinnesota
Michigan StateNebraska
Ohio State