Articles By Steven Lassan

Path: /college-football/tajh-boyd-responds-jadeveon-clowney-video
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As you may remember, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney had some interesting comments at SEC Media Days last week. The junior noted Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, Georgia's Aaron Murray and Arkansas' Tyler Wilson were all scared when they played South Carolina last season.

Well, the tables were turned this week, as Boyd had a chance to respond to Clowney at ACC Media Days:

 

 

Expect to see plenty of highlights from both players this fall, but you can expect Boyd to have the Nov. 30 date circled when Clemson takes on South Carolina.

Teaser:
Tajh Boyd Responds to Jadeveon Clowney (Video)
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 17:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-22
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More conference media days this week and plenty of news from around the college football world. Kickoff is just over a month away. 
 

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Monday, July 22nd

 

In case you missed it, no press release will top the one FIU had to send out on Friday.

A great feature from Lost Lettermen: Can Brady Hoke Match Urban Meyer?

And Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison has one of the most bizarre arrests in recent memory. Due to his arrest over the weekend, the sophomore is suspended for the first two games of the season.

These are always fun to read: The Big Ten Network’s 2013 mock draft.

Auburn picked up one of the top JUCO recruits for the 2014 signing class.

A humorous look at SEC Media Days: What everyone really meant to say.

Some bad news for North Carolina in its ongoing academic scandal.

What changes should be expected from LSU’s offense with Cam Cameron calling the plays?

Is Utah a candidate to play a game in China? And what are the Utes' biggest concerns going into the 2013 season?


Colorado is expected to pickup a transfer from Pittsburgh. But the Buffaloes lost another quarterback over the weekend.

John Cassillo of Atlantic Coast Convos takes a look at the defensive lines in the conference for 2013.

Syracuse has released its preseason depth chart. There's no Drew Allen at quarterback on the two-deep, but that is expected to change this fall.

A little late on this one, but here’s an excellent read from Brandon Marcello on Gus Malzahn, Houston Nutt and Mitch Mustain.

West Virginia defensive lineman Korey Harris is no longer with the team. The defensive tackle was arrested on first-degree armed robbery charges earlier this month. (You have to read how he was identified by the victims).

Could two redshirt freshmen start on Michigan’s offensive line this year?

Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck has a broken jaw from sleep apnea surgery.

Should Iowa State expand Jack Trice Stadium?

Mississippi State is making a slight change on offense this year.

Could Penn State ask the NCAA to reduce its sanctions in the near future

Texas has a couple of players on the mend as fall practice approaches.

Three MTSU players have been suspended indefinitely from the team due to an off-the-field incident.

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: July 22
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 15:42
Path: /college-football/ohio-state-rb-carlos-hyde-dismissed-team
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Ohio State’s national title hopes took a slight hit on Monday, as running back Carlos Hyde was indefinitely suspended. The Columbus Dispatch reported Hyde was dismissed on Monday morning, which came after reports the running back had been involved in an incident at a bar. However, the school announced Hyde had been suspended later in the day.

Hyde’s suspension isn’t a huge blow to Ohio State, but it does take away one of the Big Ten’s top running backs. The senior ranked second on the team in rushing yards last season, recording 970 yards and 16 touchdowns on 185 attempts. Hyde will likely return at some point in 2013, but the suspension length could vary depending on the outcome of the investigation. 

With Hyde out of the picture for now, the Buckeyes will lean on junior Rod Smith, sophomore Bri’onte Dunn and redshirt freshman Warren Ball. Incoming freshman Ezekiel Elliott is also expected to factor into the mix, while hybrid receiver/running back Jordan Hall will factor prominently into the offense.

There’s no question that Hyde will be missed, but if there was one position where Ohio State has depth, it’s at running back. And with quarterback Braxton Miller returning, the Buckeyes should remain one of the Big Ten’s top rushing attacks in 2013.

Losing Hyde for a short period of time isn’t going to derail Ohio State’s national title hopes, but this certainly isn’t something that coach Urban Meyer wanted to be dealing with just a month before the season starts.

Ohio State's Leading Returning Rushers for 2013 (outside of Carlos Hyde)
 

PlayerAttemptsYardsTDs
Braxton Miller2271,27113
Jordan Hall402181
Rod Smith322152
Bri'onte Dunn251332

 

Teaser:
Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde Dismissed From Team
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 12:20
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/big-12-unveils-new-logo-media-days
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For the first time in a couple of years, Big 12 Media Days didn’t have to deal much with realignment questions. With the immediate future secure, the conference is working on its branding, which includes a new logo.

This logo was released by the conference today and is expected to take over as the official mark of the Big 12 by next July.
 

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Unveils New Logo at Media Days
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 11:15
Path: /college-football/mississippi-state-wear-gold-helmet-egg-bowl
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The Egg Bowl matchup between Ole Miss and Mississippi State should have plenty of added interest around the nation this year, as the heated rivalry has moved to Thanksgiving night.

After winning three straight games in this series, Mississippi State fell 41-24 to the Rebels in Oxford last year.

The scene shifts back to Starkville this year, and there’s some rumblings Mississippi State might wear a gold helmet for the Thanksgiving night affair.

As this photo by @BonnieBlue_Bell shows, the Bulldogs could be sporting some rather shiny and gold helmets for the Egg Bowl.

 

Teaser:
Mississippi State to Wear Gold Helmet in Egg Bowl?
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Florida Gators, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/florida-lb-antonio-morrison-gets-taiwanese-animation-treatment
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Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons this offseason.

First, there was an arrest on June 16 for punching a bouncer. Then on Sunday morning, Morrison was arrested for harassing a police animal. Yes, you read that correctly.

As a result of Morrison’s arrest, he has received the Taiwanese animation treatment. And there are appearances by Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel and Florida coach Will Muschamp. Needless to say, this is worth just over a minute of your time.

 

 

Teaser:
Florida LB Antonio Morrison Gets Taiwanese Animation Treatment
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 10:14
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/kentucky-wear-gray-uniforms-and-helmets
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The Mark Stoops era at Kentucky is already off to a fast start, as the Wildcats have one of the nation’s top recruiting classes. And as Stoops looks to build an identity and breathe some life into the program, Kentucky could be looking at updating its helmets and jerseys for 2013.

This photo tweeted by recruit Matt Elam showcases Kentucky’s matte black helmet and gray jersey.

Is it just something for show? Or will we see it in a game this year?

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Ole Miss Rebels, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/chrome-helmets-ole-miss
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Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze created plenty of buzz on the recruiting trail with a top-10 recruiting class. But are the Rebels going to make some more noise in the helmet department?

This photo showcases a chrome Ole Miss helmet (which is a pretty sharp look). However, it’s uncertain if this look will be worn in a game this year, or if this is just a concept look created for recruiting purposes.

Either way, it’s a shiny (and potentially awesome) look for Ole Miss.

 

Teaser:
Chrome Helmets for Ole Miss?
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 08:45
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-worst-25-coaching-tenures-bcs-era
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Determining the worst coaching tenures for any period is no easy task. Each program has its own set of hurdles to overcome, and all coaches aren’t on equal footing when they take over a job.

In forming Athlon’s list of the top 25 worst coaching tenures of the BCS era, we placed an emphasis on what shape the program is before the coach arrived, how it fared during his tenure, and the short-term effect after his departure. Programs like Eastern Michigan or New Mexico State have traditionally been a difficult place to establish a winning tradition, so it’s hard to punish coaches from both schools (or similar circumstances), even if their record is uninspiring. On the other side, programs like Southern Miss or East Carolina have a track record of success recently. Which makes the 0-12 by Ellis Johnson and 3-20 by John Thompson among the worst tenures of the BCS era (since 1998).

Also of note, only tenures that have been completed factored into this ranking. So any active tenures going into the 2013 season were not considered for this article.

College Football’s Worst 25 Tenures of the BCS Era

1. Mike Locksley, New Mexico
Record: 2-26 (2009-11)

Locksley was regarded as one of the nation’s top assistant coaches and recruiters when he left Illinois to join New Mexico in 2009. The Washington, D.C. native was able to attract some talent to Albuquerque, but it didn’t translate into results on the field. Locksley’s tenure at New Mexico lasted only three years, with his final season ending after the fourth game. Locksley won just two Mountain West games during his tenure and was suspended for one game due to an altercation with an assistant coach.

2. Larry Porter, Memphis
Record: 3-21 (2010-11)

Porter’s tenure is another example of why programs should be reluctant to hire ace recruiters with no head coaching experience. The former Memphis running back was hired as the Tigers’ head coach in 2010 and lasted only two years. Porter didn’t inherit a disaster at Memphis, as Tommy West went 15-23 over his final three years and played in a bowl game in 2008. Porter’s teams were largely uncompetitive, and his three wins came against MTSU (6-7 in 2010), Austin Peay (a FCS opponent) and Tulane (2-11 in 2011). After Porter’s unsuccessful tenure, Memphis got it right by hiring Justin Fuente, who went 4-8 in his first season with the Tigers.

3. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
Record: 0-12 (2012)

There aren’t many one-year stints as a college football head coach. But it was clear to Southern Miss after just one season that Johnson wasn’t the right fit for the program. The Golden Eagles turned in arguably their worst season in school history, finishing with an 0-12 mark, with the offense ranking 110th nationally in scoring and the defense finishing 113th in points allowed. Southern Miss was replacing a handful of key contributors from its 2011 squad, but the Golden Eagles still had enough talent in the program to compete for a bowl bid. Johnson is an excellent defensive coordinator, but Southern Miss clearly made the right call to pull the plug after one season.

4. John Thompson, East Carolina
Record: 3-20 (2003-04)

After Steve Logan was fired in 2002, the Pirates made a big mistake by hiring Thompson. In the two years prior to Thompson’s arrival, East Carolina went 10-14. And in two seasons under Thompson, the Pirates slumped to 3-20. However, the program rebounded under Skip Holtz in 2005, winning five games and then seven in ‘06. Thompson is another case of a good coordinator that was not ready to be a head coach. And his record looks even worse when you consider two of his victories came against Army with the other one being Tulane.

5. Rob Ianello, Akron
Record: 2-22 (2010-11)

Prior to taking over at Akron, Ianello had no coordinator experience and was coming off a four-year stint on Charlie Weis’ staff at Notre Dame. The results were disastrous for the Zips. Ianello won just one game in each of his two years in Akron and went winless in MAC play in 2011. The Zips beat Buffalo in 2010 – a Bulls team that went 2-10 – and VMI in ‘11 under Ianello’s watch. Although Ianello’s tenure was a failure, the school deserves poor marks for firing him on the way to his mother’s funeral.

6. Greg Robinson, Syracuse
Record: 10-37 (2005-08)

Although Paul Pasqualoni has struggled at Connecticut, he went 26-23 over his last four seasons at Syracuse from 2001-04. While Robinson wasn’t inheriting a roster full of talent, he wasn’t getting a bare cupboard either. The Orange went from being a consistent bowl team to one that struggled just to get a couple of wins a year under Robinson’s watch. The Orange never won more than one Big East game in a single year under Robinson, and he recorded the program’s only double-digit losing seasons.

7. Todd Dodge, North Texas
Record: 6-37 (2007-10)

You have to credit North Texas for at least thinking outside of the box with Dodge’s hire. After being a successful high school coach in Texas, Dodge was supposed to turn North Texas back into a Sun Belt power. Instead, the Mean Green nosedived into being one of the worst teams in the nation. North Texas went 6-37 under Dodge’s watch and never won more than one conference game from 2007-10. Considering where North Texas is on college football’s food chain, a hire like Dodge is worth the risk. However, the Mean Green are still trying to dig out from his tenure, as Dan McCarney is just 9-15 over the last two years.

8. Turner Gill, Kansas
Record: 5-19 (2010-11)

Surprising. That’s the one word that comes to mind when mentioning Gill’s tenure at Kansas. Although his record at Buffalo – not an easy place to win – wasn’t overly impressive (20-30), he did lead the Bulls to a bowl game and a MAC Championship in 2008. Gill inherited a Kansas team that went 5-7 in Mark Mangino’s last season (2009), but the Jayhawks regressed in 2010-11. Kansas won just one Big 12 game under Gill’s watch – a 52-45 victory over Colorado – and finished 2011 on a 10-game losing streak. Considering the high expectations surrounding his arrival, Gill might be one of the most disappointing hires of the BCS era.

9. Carl Franks, Duke
Record: 7-45 (1999-2003)

It’s not easy to maintain success at Duke. But it’s also hard to ignore a 7-45 record over five years. Franks came to Durham from Florida, as he served as an assistant with Steve Spurrier from 1990-98 in Gainesville. Franks also had experience at Duke, as he played for the Blue Devils and later coached there from 1987-89. The high point of Franks’ tenure was a 3-8 mark in 1999, but that record was followed up by back-to-back 0-11 seasons. The Blue Devils never won an ACC game in Franks’ final full three years at Duke.

10. Ted Roof, Duke
Record: 6-45 (2003-07)

As mentioned with Carl Franks, winning at Duke is no easy task. However, the Blue Devils can be much more competitive than they were under Franks and Roof. After taking over for Franks in 2003, Roof guided Duke to a 2-3 finish, including a 30-22 win over rival North Carolina. However, the momentum was short-lived, as the Blue Devils won only four games over the next four years. Duke also went winless in ACC play from 2005-07 under Roof’s guidance.

11. Jon Embree, Colorado
Record: 4-21 (2011-12)

Even though Embree was a Colorado alum, he was a questionable hire from the start. The former Buffaloes’ tight end had no coordinator or head coach experience and was serving as a tight ends’ coach for the Redskins prior to his arrival in Boulder in 2011. Embree didn’t inherit the best situation following Dan Hawkins, but Colorado showed little improvement under his watch. The Buffaloes went 3-11 in Embree’s first year and managed to win two out of their final three games. However, Colorado was arguably one of the worst teams of the BCS era in 2012, losing to Colorado State and Sacramento State to start the year and was demolished by Fresno State 69-14 in Week 3. Embree played a lot of young players and dealt with some injuries to key personnel, but the Buffaloes struggled mightily and his 1-11 season is the worst in Colorado history.

12. Kevin Steele, Baylor
Record: 9-36 (1999-2002)

Steele is a highly regarded defensive assistant but had a dismal stint as a head coach at Baylor. The South Carolina native was hired at Baylor in 1999, after spending four years as an assistant with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Prior to his arrival in Waco, Steele had no head coaching experience – and it clearly showed. The Bears had three consecutive losing seasons before Steele’s debut, but Baylor backtracked under his watch. The Bears went 1-10 in 1999 and then 8-26 in the next three years. Steele’s biggest blunder came against UNLV in 1999, as he chose to run a play instead of kneeling down with 12 seconds left. Baylor fumbled on that play, and the turnover was returned by UNLV for a touchdown, giving the Rebels a 27-24 victory.

13. Bobby Wallace, Temple
Record: 19-71 (1998-2004)

After leading North Alabama to three Division II championships from 1993-95, Wallace appeared to be the right coach to make Temple competitive in the Big East. He managed to make some progress, as the Owls won four games for three consecutive years. Although four victories may not seem like much, Temple had not won more than three games in a season since 1990. However, Wallace didn’t make enough progress under his watch, and the Owls were dismissed from the Big East after the 2004 season. Temple was forced to play 2005 as an Independent and posted a dreadful 0-11 record. The highlight of Wallace’s tenure? A 28-24 win over then-Big East memberVirginia Tech in Blacksburg in 1998.

14. Vic Koenning, Wyoming
Record: 5-29 (2000-02)

When Koenning was promoted to replace Dana Dimel, Wyoming had put together seven consecutive years of six or more wins, including a 10-2 mark in 1996. However, Koenning was unable to continue that momentum, and the Cowboys fell into the bottom of the Mountain West. Under Koenning’s watch, Wyoming went 5-29, which included only one win in conference play and two others against FCS opponents. Koenning is a solid defensive coordinator but was overmatched as a head coach.

15. Terry Shea, Rutgers
Record: 11-44 (1996-2000)

Shea’s tenure started just outside of the BCS era, but his three years in the required timeframe were a struggle. Rutgers went 2-20 in his first two seasons and recorded a 9-24 mark over the final three years. Shea did manage to go 5-6 in 1998 but was blown out by Temple in 1999 and 2000 and went a combined 4-18 from 1999-2000. The cupboard wasn’t full for Shea when he arrived at Rutgers, as Doug Graber didn’t fare better than .500 in his final three seasons. However, Shea did little to build on the mild success Graber had in 1991 (6-5) and ‘92 (7-4). 

16. Stan Parrish, Ball State
Record: 6-19 (2008-10)

If this was a list of all-time worst coaching tenures, Parrish’s 2-30-1 record at Kansas State from 1986-88 would rank near the top. While Parrish’s tenure at Ball State was bad, it wasn’t quite as bad as his previous stop at Kansas State. The Cardinals went 6-19 under his watch, which was a clear backtrack from the progress made under Brady Hoke (19-7 in 2007-08). The Cardinals also lost two games to FCS opponents under Parrish.

17. Todd Berry, Army
Record: 5-35 (2000-03)

Considering how difficult it has been to win at Army, it’s unfair to punish Berry too much in these rankings. However, his tenure in West Point was largely uncompetitive. Berry was hired to resurrect a program that had five losing seasons over the last six years, but he struggled mightily in his tenure, winning just one game in his debut season and posting a 1-11 mark in 2002. Berry was dismissed after an 0-6 start in 2003. Army is not an easy place to maintain success, but Berry’s decision to run a pro-style offense proved to be too difficult of a transition for a program that was acclimated to option attacks.

18. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Record: 15-21 (2010-12)

Tennessee was caught in a bad spot when the Seahawks hired Pete Carroll away from USC, which prompted Lane Kiffin to bolt Knoxville for Los Angeles. Kiffin’s mid-January move didn’t leave the Volunteers much time to find a new coach before Signing Day. Dooley came to Tennessee from Louisiana Tech after a 17-20 record in three years with the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech did make small gains under Dooley, which included a bowl game in 2008. However, he failed to bring much improvement to Knoxville, as the Volunteers went 15-21 under his watch and went 4-19 in SEC play. Considering the coaching turnover in Knoxville from Phil Fulmer to Kiffin to Dooley in just three years, Tennessee had to go through a lot of transition in a short time. However, Dooley winning just one SEC game in two years is simply unacceptable at a program that has all of the resources and tradition necessary to compete for SEC East titles.

19. Paul Wulff, Washington State
Record: 9-40 (2008-11)

At the time of his hire, Wulff seemed to be a good fit at Washington State. He was a former player with the Cougars and spent eight years at Eastern Washington, accumulating a 53-40 record. Wulff also took EWU to three playoff appearances. After a successful run under Mike Price, Washington State declined under Bill Doba, posting three losing seasons in five years. Wulff wasn’t inheriting a full cupboard, but the program wasn’t in terrible shape either. The Cougars were dreadful in Wulff’s first year, beating only Portland State and an 0-12 Washington team. Things didn’t get much better in year two, as Washington State went 1-11 and failed to win a Pac-12 game. The Cougars were more competitive in Wulff’s third season and won four games in 2011. However, that wasn’t enough for Wulff to return for 2012. Wulff’s tenure at Washington State ended with a dismal 4-32 record in Pac-12 play.

20. John L. Smith, Arkansas
Record: 4-8 (2012)

It’s unfair to pin all of Arkansas’ struggles in 2012 on Smith. The Razorbacks were left in a bad spot after Bobby Petrino was fired in April, and it’s no easy task finding a head coach in May for the upcoming season. No matter what coach was on the sidelines in Fayetteville last year, the transition from Petrino was going to cost Arkansas a couple of games. But after winning 21 games from 2010-11, the Razorbacks were one of college football’s biggest disappointments in 2012, and Smith has to shoulder a chunk of the blame. Arkansas’ 2012 season began to unravel in Week 2 after an overtime loss to ULM, and the Razorbacks were pummeled by Alabama 52-0 the following Saturday. Arkansas won three out of four games in the middle of the season, but it wasn’t enough. Considering the talent on last year’s team, Arkansas’ 2012 campaign will be one of the most disappointing in school history.

21. Jim Hofner, Buffalo
Record: 8-49 (2001-05)

Hofner came to Buffalo in 2001, which was shortly after the Bulls moved from the FCS to the FBS ranks. While the transition to the FBS wasn’t expected to be easy, Buffalo was largely uncompetitive under Hofner’s watch. The Bulls went 8-49 in his tenure and never won more than three games in a season. Buffalo had back-to-back 1-11 seasons from 2002-03, and Hofner finished his tenure with a dismal 1-10 mark. One of the few highlights of the Hofner era was a 36-6 win over Central Michigan in Brian Kelly’s first season.

22. Chuck Long, San Diego State
Record: 9-27 (2006-08)

Despite having a location in a fertile recruiting area, San Diego State has struggled to maintain success. After the failed Tom “Air” Craft era, the Aztecs made a splash by hiring Long from Oklahoma. Although Long was regarded as one of the top assistant coaches in the nation, San Diego State didn’t show much progress under his watch. The Aztecs went 3-9 in 2006, 4-8 in ‘07 and slipped to 2-10 in ‘08. The program also lost twice to FCS opponent Cal Poly under Long’s direction.

23. Tom Holmoe, California
Record: 9-31 (1998-2001)

Holmoe inherited a California team that was coming off a 6-6 mark in Steve Mariucci’s one and only season in Berkeley. The Golden Bears went 8-14 in Holmoe’s first two years but faded over the final three seasons. California went 4-7 in 1999 and then recorded a 4-18 mark over the final two years of Holmoe’s tenure. The Golden Bears failed to win a Pac-10 game in 2001 and their 1-10 overall mark is the worst in school history. California also ran into NCAA trouble after Holmoe’s tenure, as the program was forced to forfeit four wins from 1999 and was banned from postseason play in 2002 due to the use of ineligible players. Holmoe failed to beat Stanford once during his tenure, and the program quickly rebounded once Jeff Tedford was hired, winning seven games in 2002. 

24. Ed Orgeron, Ole Miss
Record: 10-25 (2005-07)

Orgeron did a good job of assembling talent in Oxford, as his recruiting class in 2006 was ranked No. 15 nationally by Athlon Sports. But a good portion of the highlights from Orgeron’s tenure were on the recruiting trail. Ole Miss won only three SEC games from 2005-08 and never made a bowl appearance under Orgeron. Three of Orgeron’s wins came against Memphis and three more came against FCS opponents. In 2008, one year after Orgeron was fired, Houston Nutt went 9-4 and led the Rebels to a win over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. Orgeron was hired due to his recruiting ties, but he had no head coaching experience prior to his arrival in Oxford.

25. Walt Harris, Stanford
Record: 6-17 (2005-06)

After a respectable 52-44 mark in eight years with Pittsburgh from 1997-2004, Harris decided to leave the Steel City for the Farm. The veteran coach had a tough assignment taking over the program after Buddy Teevens went 10-23 in three years, but Stanford went 5-6 in Harris’ first year. However, things fell apart for Harris in his second season, as the Cardinal went 1-11 in 2006. Stanford’s offense struggled after quarterback Trent Edwards was lost for the year, but the Cardinal was largely uncompetitive all season. Harris caught a bad break with Edwards’ injury, but the program was headed in the wrong direction, and dismissing him after two years proved to be the right move.

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High Expectations Have Returned for Jimbo Fisher and Florida State

 

Teaser:
College Football's Worst 25 Coaching Tenures of the BCS Era
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 07:21
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Georgia Bulldogs, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/georgia-football-game-game-predictions-2013
Body:

Georgia has won the SEC East in back-to-back seasons but is searching for its first conference title since 2005.

The Bulldogs return eight starters on offense, including one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in Aaron Murray, along with running back Todd Gurley, receiver Malcolm Mitchell and tight end Arthur Lynch.

However, the defense is a work in progress with eight new starters stepping into the lineup. Georgia has plenty of young players to build around, including sophomore linebacker Jordan Jenkins and true freshman safety Tray Matthews. But this defense will be under the spotlight right away in 2013, as the Bulldogs play Clemson, South Carolina and LSU before their first game in October.

What will Georgia's record at the end of the 2013 regular season? Athlon’s panel of experts debates: 

Georgia's 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions
 

GameSteven
Lassan
Braden
Gall
David
Fox
SEC
Logo
Mark
Ross
Josh
Ward
8/31 at Clemson
9/7 South Carolina
9/21 North Texas
9/28 LSU
10/5 at Tennessee
10/12 Missouri
10/19 at Vanderbilt
11/2 Florida (Jacksonville)
11/9 Appalachian State
11/16 at Auburn
11/23 Kentucky
11/30 at Georgia Tech
Final Projection10-29-310-210-212-010-2


David Fox (@DavidFox615)
My original picks had Georgia losing its first two games against Clemson and South Carolina. I reversed field on South Carolina even though the Gamecocks have taken the last three meetings. Marcus Lattimore saved some of his best games for the Bulldogs, and now he’s gone. That said, Georgia’s offense was largely ineffective against South Carolina a year ago. The Bulldogs need to figure out what went wrong. The opening game against Clemson is going to be an up-and-down the field game, but I can’t go against the Tigers in Death Valley here. After that brutal one-two punch to start the season, Georgia has a chance to pick up some wins before the Florida game. Honestly, I’d be more worried about the Vanderbilt game than LSU. LSU’s young defense will be great one day, but maybe not in September against the best offense in the SEC. The last time Georgia went to Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs won a close, heated game. And the Florida game, well, that game’s always wild, and Georgia has won two in a row. That’s tempting fate.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
The development of Georgia’s defense will hold all of the cards for coach Mark Richt’s team in 2013. The Bulldogs have one of the nation’s top offenses, but the defense will have eight new starters. However, the Bulldogs ranked sixth in the SEC in points and yards allowed last year, so there’s plenty of room on defense to improve. The talent level is solid on defense, but it will take some time for all of the new faces to mesh. The suspension of safety/linebacker Josh Harvey-Clemons is a big loss, especially against Clemson’s spread attack. With a rebuilding defense taking on the Tigers in Week 1 – not to mention a huge SEC East showdown against South Carolina in Week 2 – I think the Bulldogs open the year at 0-1. However, Georgia will win the showdown against the Gamecocks the following Saturday and will stumble only once (Florida) in SEC play. But if Georgia’s defense emerges as a strength, and the offensive line develops as expected, the Bulldogs will have an excellent chance at running the table and finishing 8-0 in conference games.
 

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
Georgia's offense is going to be electric. There are no weaknesses on that side of the ball. The same cannot be said for the defense. There is plenty of talent with names like Jordan Jenkins, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews stepping into starting roles. Yet, there is loads of inexperience on a unit that was 12th in the SEC in rushing defense a year ago and there is no time to ease these young Bulldog pups into the season. Clemson and South Carolina will put UGA in an 0-2 hole to start, but this team will get much better as the year goes along. Mark Richt has fought his way out of an 0-2 hole before and could have to do it again. Key swing games with LSU, Florida, Georgia Tech and at Vanderbilt give Georgia a much tougher schedule than South Carolina.

Josh Ward, (@Josh_Ward), Mr. SEC
The opener against Clemson has the potential to be a classic shootout. Clemson gets the edge thanks to early-season jitters with Georgia’s defense, which opens without suspended safety Josh Harvey-Clemons. The Bulldogs will need to bounce back against South Carolina. It helps that game will be played in Athens. Florida, which played Georgia close last year, will be a tough opponent in Jacksonville. Georgia should be in good shape in the Eastern Division as long as it can at least split with Florida and South Carolina. Georgia is my pick to win the East.
 

SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo)
We are going to learn everything we need to know about Georgia after week 2. Opening the season at Clemson, then South Carolina coming to town is a tall task. The Bulldogs lost a ton on defense to the NFL, so they will lean heavy on their offense. Georgia might have the best offense in the SEC (Outside of Johnny Football) with names like Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Malcolm Mitchell and Arthur Lynch. Returning Murray is huge; he was the 2nd highest rated QB in the nation last year, only behind McCarron. The loss to Alabama in the SEC title game still hurts (SPIKE THE BALL) but they need to turn it into motivation for 2013. Seeing them back in the title game wouldn't be surprising, seeing them do worse than 10-2 would.

Mark Ross
Do I really think Georgia will go undefeated? No, but that doesn't mean I don't like this team's chances. For starters, with Aaron Murray at quarterback and the two-headed monster of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall powering the running game, these Bulldogs are going to be tough for anyone, including the vaunted defenses of the SEC, to slow down. Then there's the schedule. Outside of the season opener in the ACC's version of Death Valley, Georgia's toughest true road game is either Vanderbilt or Georgia Tech, depending on your preference. South Carolina and LSU both come to Athens and there's the annual cocktail party in Jacksonville, Fla., with the Gators. After that it's mostly teams who are breaking in new head coaches. And the best part of the Bulldogs' schedule is which teams are NOT on it, i.e., Alabama and Texas A&M. This means Mark Richt and company won't have to even worry about facing Johnny Manziel or the Crimson Tide until the SEC championship game, which makes Clemson the only team on this schedule that is even on the same page with the Bulldogs when it comes to offensive firepower. It certainly won't be easy for any SEC team, including two-time defending national champion Alabama, to run the table, but this just may be the year everything falls into place for Georgia to do just that, at least in the regular season.

Related College Football Content

SEC Predictions for 2013
SEC 2013 All-Conference Team
Getting to Know the SEC's New Coaches for 2013
College Football's 2013 All-America Team
SEC's Top Heisman Contenders for 2013
Best and Worst Times to be a LSU Fan
The SEC's Best Traditions
Unit Rankings: 2013 SEC Offensive Lines
College Football's All-Freshman Team for 2013

 

Teaser:
Georgia Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 07:20
Path: /college-football/south-carolina-football-game-game-predictions-2013
Body:

South Carolina is coming off back-to-back double-digit winning seasons for the first time in school history. And the Gamecocks have their sights set even higher in 2013, as coach Steve Spurrier’s team is a national title contender and boasts a Heisman Trophy candidate in junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

A difficult crossover schedule with the West Division has played a part in South Carolina missing out on the SEC Championship over the last two years. However, the tables have turned in the East, as Georgia faces a tough crossover schedule, while the Gamecocks take on Arkansas and Mississippi State.

South Carolina’s SEC East title hopes could be decided fairly early in the season, as a huge contest at Georgia waits on Sept. 7.

What will South Carolina's record at the end of the 2013 regular season? Athlon’s panel of experts debates: 

South Carolina's 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions
 

GameSteven
Lassan
SEC
Logo
Mark
Ross
Josh
Ward
Braden
Gall
David
Fox
 
8/29 North Carolina 
9/7 at Georgia 
9/14 Vanderbilt 
9/28 at UCF 
10/5 Kentucky 
10/12 at Arkansas 
10/19 at Tennessee 
10/26 at Missouri 
11/2 Mississippi State 
11/16 Florida 
11/23 Coastal Carolina 
11/30 Clemson 
Final Projection10-212-010-210-212-011-1 

 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
If South Carolina beats Georgia on Sept. 7, there’s a good chance this team finishes 2013 with an unbeaten record. The Gamecocks have the favorable crossover schedule this year, and the quarterback combination of Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson will be a handful for opposing defenses. And despite the loss of its linebacking corps and a couple of players on the line, South Carolina should remain one of the best defenses in the nation. Considering how favorable the schedule is, it’s tough to predict two losses. I think Georgia will be much more prepared to stop defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and the Bulldogs have an edge with this game in Athens. I’m predicting South Carolina to lose to Arkansas (Razorbacks have won three straight over the Gamecocks in Fayetteville), but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the second loss come at Missouri (a third consecutive road trip). Again, with such a favorable schedule, it’s hard to pick the Gamecocks at 10-2. It's somewhat of a hunch, but South Carolina has the feel of a 10-2 team, and I’m guessing the Gamecocks stumble once unexpectedly along the way.

Josh Ward, (@Josh_Ward), Mr. SEC
South Carolina enters the year having won 31 games in the last three seasons. The Gamecocks are serious contenders to win the SEC Eastern Division this year. I have South Carolina losing to Georgia. Both teams will begin the season facing tough opponents (Georgia opens at Clemson), but the Bulldogs will have the fortune of playing South Carolina at home in week two. The Tennessee and Missouri games in November will be worth watching. I picked South Carolina to lose at Missouri, which will be the third straight road game for South Carolina. The Gamecocks should bounce back after their bye week, although Florida will be a tough opponent in Columbia. A third straight double-digit win season is very possible for South Carolina.

SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo)
Let me make my case for an undefeated regular season.

1. Clowney
2. They do not play any of the SEC West big 3 (Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M)
3. They own Clemson
4. Connor Shaw + Dylan Thompson
5. They get Florida at home
6. Clowney

And no, I did not forget about the most important game of the season, it’s week 2 at Georgia.  The season rides on the 4:30 kick between the hedges.
Name to remember: Bruce Ellington, WR

Mark Ross
Although I expect South Carolina to beat UNC in its opener, I think Georgia will come out victorious the following week because the game is in Athens and the Bulldogs appear to be a little more fearsome on offense. After the first two weeks, it should be clear sailing until November when the Gamecocks get to finish with four games at home. I like them to take care of business in the first three, but I'll take Clemson in a minor upset to finish out the regular season. Since I have Georgia winning the SEC East, I'm picking Clemson to win the battle of the Palmetto State because I think the Tigers will have more to play for by that point and Dabo Swinney really wants this one.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
The entire SEC East season may come down to the Week 2 showdown Between the Hedges with Georgia — a team the Gamecocks destroyed last year and have beaten three straight seasons. But even with a loss to the Dawgs, South Carolina could easily win the East. South Carolina has the better head coach, the much easier schedule and the better defense than both Georgia and Florida. Is it possible that the Cocks lose a game it shouldn't like it has most every other year? Sure. But who is that team in 2013: at Tennessee? at Missouri? at Arkansas? Vanderbilt at home? No, Carolina has a two-game schedule this fall and wins over Florida and Georgia would send Steve Spurrier's squad back to Atlanta for just the second time in school history.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
South Carolina finally got a good draw with the schedule compared to Georgia. No LSU. No Alabama. No Petrino-led Arkansas. Three consecutive road games in the SEC is going to be tough, but won’t be many three-game road trips more manageable than Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri. Only the Volunteers gave Carolina a game last season. The swing games, as always, are Georgia and Florida. I’ve picked South Carolina to split those games. Marcus Lattimore had his way with Georgia the last few seasons. Combine that with the game in Athens early in the year, and I’ll go with the Bulldogs. That Florida game, though, is a pick ‘em. Carolina lost 44-11 last season, but that game was something of a fluke. South Carolina isn’t going to turn the ball over four times again. People may forget Jadeveon Clowney had one of the best games of his career against the Gators a year ago.

 

Related College Football Content

SEC Predictions for 2013
SEC 2013 All-Conference Team
Georgia Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Getting to Know the SEC's New Coaches for 2013
College Football's 2013 All-America Team
SEC's Top Heisman Contenders for 2013
Best and Worst Times to be a LSU Fan
The SEC's Best Traditions
Unit Rankings: 2013 SEC Offensive Lines
College Football's All-Freshman Team for 2013

Teaser:
South Carolina Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Post date: Monday, July 22, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-best-july-15-19
Body:

It's been a busy week in the college football world.

In addition to the latest news, Friday's links will try to highlight some of the best posts of week - just in case you didn't catch our posts from earlier in the week.

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories From the Week of July 15-19

Six current players have been added to Ed O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA.

Wisconsin and LSU are getting closer to announcing a two-game series. The best aspect? The two teams will likely meet in Lambeau Field at some point.

Cincinnati and Nebraska have agreed to a future two-game series.

Tony Gerdeman of theOzone.net thinks the Big Ten needs another Bret Bielema.

Adam Jude of The Seattle Times takes a look at the decision facing Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. In case you missed it yesterday, Seferian-Jenkins pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge.

Why did Athlon Sports pick Syracuse to finish 4-8? What about the future of Scott Shafer and transfer quarterback Drew Allen? I discussed all of these topics and more with NunesMagician.com this week.

How will College Football’s playoff selection committee look? The Sporting News’ Matt Hayes has a good breakdown of what’s to come.

Want to be a NCAA official? Check out this test from the Big Ten Network.

Receiver (and Miami, Ohio transfer) Nick Harwell is still trying to get eligible to play at Kansas in 2013.

Colorado has found a new athletic director.

Michigan's Jake Ryan is out indefinitely with a torn ACL, but the defense could get a boost from sophomore James Ross.

It's official: Penn State and UCF will play in Ireland in 2014

What did South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney run in the 40-yard dash? Here's a scoop: It's ridiculous.

The SEC hopes to have 10 or 11 bowls when the new playoff format starts in 2014.

Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten will play in a new bowl game in Detroit. The ACC is expected to be the Big Ten’s opponent.

Yesterday's announcement by the NCAA to back away from video games was a little troublesome for gamers. But don’t worry, EA Sports still plans on making a college football video game next year. It just won’t have the NCAA logo. 

Saturday Down South has a good take on Johnny Manziel and his appearance at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema doesn’t consider no-huddle offenses a joking matter.

Texas has hired Greg Robinson (yes, that Greg Robinson) to serve in the player personnel department. 

Two Pittsburgh players won't return to the team for 2013.

Kentucky running back Josh Clemons was injured in a workout late last week. He is expected to miss all of the 2013 season.

The Big Ten is taking a tough stance on hits above the shoulders in 2013.

Can Penn State reduce its recent NCAA sanctions

Could Michael Dyer end up at South Florida?

Former Notre Dame receiver Justin Ferguson has transferred to Western Michigan.
 

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: Best of July 15-19
Post date: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 15:00
Path: /college-football/memphis-gets-shiny-makeover-2013
Body:

Not only will Memphis play in a new conference this year, but the Tigers will be getting a uniform makeover.

In its first season of play in the American Athletic Conference, Memphis will be sporting a shiny gray and blue helmet, along with an updated look to the jerseys. One of the best parts of the new uniform is the “M” in the gray helmet features Tiger stripes.

This is a pretty sharp combination for Memphis and a definite upgrade.

Photos from (@TigersMedia) and (@CoachFuente)

 

 

Teaser:
Memphis football gets new uniforms for 2013.
Post date: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 13:00
Path: /college-football/western-kentucky-unveils-new-jerseys-2013
Body:

With Bobby Petrino taking over at Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers are guaranteed to be one of college football’s most interesting teams in 2013.

In addition to the change in head coaches, Western Kentucky will also have a new appearance in the uniform department.

The Hilltoppers unveiled their new jerseys for 2013 on Thursday night, which includes a white, red and black editions. Perhaps one of the best parts of the jersey is the university’s seal inside the numbers.

Check out Western Kentucky’s new uniforms for 2013: (photos from (@CoachPetrinoWKU)

 

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 12:00
Path: /college-football/which-team-has-most-returning-starters-big-12
Body:

The Big 12 is one of the toughest conferences to predict this preseason. No Big 12 team managed to crack Athlon's projected final top 15 for 2013, as Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU and Oklahoma all ranked between 16-20.
 

It’s not the biggest indicator when predicting success, but returning starters are an interesting trend to look at before the season starts.

With 17 returning starters, Texas has the most in the Big 12 for 2013. Will that be enough for the Longhorns to get back to a BCS bowl? It's now or never for Mack Brown, especially with the rest of the conference in transition. 

 

TeamOffenseDefenseOverall
Baylor4711
Iowa State549
Kansas336
Kansas State8210
Oklahoma7411
Oklahoma State5712
TCU5913
Texas8917
Texas Tech4711
West Virginia4711

 

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 10:20
Path: /college-football/acc-returning-starters-2013
Body:

The ACC has only two top-25 teams in Athlon’s projected final 125 rankings, but the conference should make a run at having 10 teams make a postseason appearance.

It’s not the biggest indicator when predicting success, but returning starters are an interesting trend to look at before the season starts.

And it’s interesting to note that four teams in the Coastal Division have 13 returning starters, while Georgia Tech – the division’s ACC title representative last year – has a conference-best 16 starters back for 2013.

 

TeamOffenseDefenseOverall
Atlantic Division   
Boston College7815
Clemson6713
Florida State6410
Maryland549
NC State448
Syracuse6612
Wake Forest7815
    
Coastal Division   
Duke6511
Georgia Tech8816
Miami8412
North Carolina6713
Pittsburgh5813
Virginia6713
Virginia Tech4913

 

Teaser:
ACC Returning Starters for 2013
Post date: Friday, July 19, 2013 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-18
Body:

The college football news cycle never stops. Even with SEC Media Days stealing the show in Alabama, there's plenty of other news happening from around the nation. 

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Thursday, July 18th

Wisconsin and LSU are getting closer to announcing a two-game series. The best aspect? The two teams will likely meet in Lambeau Field at some point.

The SEC released the media preseason all-conference teams. Needless to say, some of the picks are interesting. 


Cincinnati and Nebraska have agreed to a future two-game series.

Who will step up at running back for Virginia Tech in 2013?

Could FIU pickup former Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel for 2013?

Atlantic Coast Convos takes a look at Georgia Tech running back David Sims


A defensive tackle at Virginia has decided to leave the team. The Cavaliers were already thin at this position.
 

The Big 12 is a wide-open league in 2013. Here are three reasons why (and three reasons they won't) Oklahoma State will win the Big 12.

Yesterday's announcement by the NCAA to back away from video games was a little troublesome for gamers. But don’t worry, EA Sports still plans on making a college football video game next year. It just won’t have the NCAA logo. 

The Big Ten has announced its partnering with a new bowl game in Detroit, beginning with the 2014 season.

Iowa State running back Shontrelle Johnson is ready to return to team activities.

Here's an excellent breakdown of Minnesota's running back corps for 2013. The Golden Gophers should be more potent on offense this year.

Virginia Tech picked up a transfer from Richmond that could factor prominently into the special teams’ department next year.

Saturday Down South has a good take on Johnny Manziel and his appearance at SEC Media Days on Wednesday.

Arkansas coach Bret Bielema doesn’t consider no-huddle offenses a joking matter.

Texas has hired Greg Robinson (yes, that Greg Robinson) to serve in the player personnel department. 

True freshman defensive end Carl Lawson could make a big impact for Auburn’s defense in 2013.

What rivalries have been lost due to realignment?

The Pac-12 is protesting Grand Canyon University’s admittance into Division I

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: July 18
Post date: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 14:13
Path: /college-football/gus-malzahn-bret-bielema-trade-jabs-sec-media-days
Body:

Remember the chatter about spread offenses and injuries from the SEC coach meetings in May? Well, things got a little more interesting on Wednesday, as Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema traded barbs over spread offenses.

Malzahn got things started off with a response for Bielema's comments about spread offenses causing more injuries:

 

 

Do spread offenses really create more injuries? That's up for debate. 

However, one thing is for certain: The Nov. 2 matchup between Auburn and Arkansas just got a lot more interesting.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 09:10
Path: /college-football/nebraska-football-game-game-predictions-2013
Body:

Nebraska has won at least nine games in each of Bo Pelini’s five seasons in Lincoln. But the Cornhuskers have yet to play in a BCS bowl and have lost three consecutive postseason appearances.

Expectations are always high at Nebraska, so there’s plenty of pressure on Pelini and his staff to deliver a conference championship in 2013. The Cornhuskers have a favorable path to a return trip to Indianapolis, with their first road date coming on Oct. 12 against Purdue.

Nebraska’s schedule is backloaded, as its toughest competition for the division title – Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State – all take place in November. And of course, there’s a road date against Penn State on Nov. 23 that won’t be easy.

What will Nebraska's record at the end of the 2013 regular season? Athlon’s panel of experts debates: 

Nebraska's 2013 Game-by-Game Predictions

GameSteven
Lassan
Braden
Gall
Brent
Yarina
Kevin
McGuire
Mark
Ross
David
Fox
8/31 Wyoming
9/7 Southern Miss
9/14 UCLA
9/21 South Dakota State
10/5 Illinois
10/12 at Purdue
10/26 at Minnesota
11/2 Northwestern
11/9 at Michigan
11/16 Michigan State
11/23 at Penn State
11/29 Iowa
Final Projection10-211-110-211-110-210-2



Brent Yarina, Big Ten Network, (@BTNBrentYarina)
There’s plenty to like about Nebraska this fall. It all starts with a dynamic offense that returns playmakers Taylor Martinez, Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell, among others. It’s also difficult not to like a schedule that includes eight (!) home games – including five to open the season – plus a slate that doesn’t feature a truly dangerous road game until November 9 (at Michigan) or Leaders Division powers Ohio State and Wisconsin for the first time since joining the Big Ten. Oh, but then there’s the defense, a unit that surrendered 53.5 points and 595 yards in its four losses last season. This year’s defense is younger and more athletic, which should help, however it must show little learning curve because it’s going to decide what kind of season the Huskers have.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
The Big Ten’s Legends Division should be one of college football’s most competitive title races in 2013. Four teams – Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska and Northwestern – have a strong case to be picked as the favorite. The Cornhuskers led the Big Ten in total offense last year, and it’s hard to see this group backtracking any with the return of quarterback Taylor Martinez, running back Ameer Abdullah, receiver Kenny Bell and guard Spencer Long. While there’s little doubt the offense will score plenty in 2013, it’s the defense that will give coach Bo Pelini plenty of sleepless nights this offseason. Nebraska allowed 360.6 yards per game last year and ranked ninth in the Big Ten in points allowed. With just four starters back, Pelini and coordinator John Papuchis will have their hands full. However, with a favorable schedule, it’s very likely the Cornhuskers start 7-0 before a brutal November. I'm picking Nebraska to lose at Penn State, but I could easily see a second loss coming against Northwestern instead of Happy Valley. If Pelini finds the right mix on defense, Nebraska will win the Legends Division. However, I think the Cornhuskers lose two games in Big Ten play and fall just short of a return trip to Indianapolis.    

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)
Nebraska and senior quarterback Taylor Martinez, who has 9,449 career yards of total offense already, are eyeing a return trip to the Big Ten Championship game. And the schedule sets-up beautifully for that to happen again in 2013. Two late season road trips to league powers Michigan and Penn State might be the toughest games all year for the Big Red. UCLA in the non-conference is an intriguing game but will be in Lincoln. Key Legends Division games with Northwestern and Michigan State come at home as well and there is no Ohio State or Wisconsin from the Leaders. It means the November 9 trip to Ann Arbor could decide the division crown. That said, the Huskers could lose to Michigan and still make it to Indianapolis should the Maize and Blue slip-up just one time this fall. This will be a great division to watch all year.

Kevin McGuire (@KevinonCFB), No2MinuteWarning.com and NittanyLionsDen.com
Did I really just predict Nebraska to go 11-1? I sure did but I can tell you right now it is the least comfortable 11-1 I have ever predicted. I really do not trust Nebraska enough to win all of the games they probably should, so a record of 10-2 or even 9-3 might be more realistic, but when push comes to shove right now I'll take a shot with this 11-1 mark. Nebraska's running game will be tough for most to shut down and it's not as though the defense could be much worse this year, right? I have called for Nebraska to reach the Big Ten championship game, coming out on top of a heated three-team race between the Huskers, Michigan and Michigan State with a serious run shown by Northwestern. But I have Nebraska defending home-field advantage this season against the Spartans and Wildcats to help them maintain the edge in the division race. The toss-up games for me are the home game against UCLA and the road game at Penn State. I just don't know what to make of Penn State right now, so I have to give the edge to Big Red right now. As for UCLA, the Bruins could be a Pac 12 (South) contender and could leave town with a big win, but I'll go with Nebraska to ind enough offense in another wild match-up.

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
I’ve picked Nebraska to go 10-2, mainly because I wavered between 11-1 and 9-3. Nebraska has too many defensive questions to put up an 11-1 season, but the schedule is too favorable for Nebraska to slip below nine or 10 wins. Michigan is a key swing game, and on paper, Nebraska should be better than Penn State. But home field advantage for the Nittany Lions and a standout defense should be enough to pull an upset. I could just as easily see Nebraska defeating Michigan and Penn State and instead losing to Minnesota, Northwestern or UCLA. I love that Nebraska has won five of their last six one-score games, but the Cornhuskers have been vulnerable to a questionable upset (Northwestern at home) or a game getting away from them (Wisconsin, Ohio State).

Mark Ross
Other than the rematch with UCLA in September, Nebraska doesn't really face a tough test until Northwestern comes calling the first Saturday in November. The Cornhuskers have more than enough offense to get by the Bruins at home and run out to a 7-0 start. While I think the Wildcats and Wolverines will be able to take advantage of an inexperienced defense, the Huskers' only remaining road game is against a Penn State team that lost a lot from last year's surprise team. As long as Bo Pelini can keep his temper in check and Taylor Martinez doesn't make too many mistakes, this team is capable of racking up 10 wins in the regular season alone.


Related College Football Content

Big Ten 2013 Predictions
Big Ten's 2013 All-Conference Team
Ohio State and Michigan: The New Ten-Year War
The Big Ten's Best Traditions
Does Nebraska Still Believe in Bo Pelini?
5 First-Year Starting QBs Who Could Win College Football's National Title
College Football's Top 10 Most-Improved Teams for 2013
College Football's 2013 All-America Team

Teaser:
Nebraska Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Post date: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 07:15
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-link-roundup-july-17
Body:

SEC Media Days continues on Wednesday, but there's plenty of other news from around the college football world. 

Contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Wednesday, July 17th

Jon Cooper of Saturday Down South has an excellent recap of Tuesday’s events at SEC Media Days. 

Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger has a good rundown of Ole Miss’ coach Hugh Freeze comments from Tuesday, including an update on JUCO signee Nick Brassell.

How will College Football’s playoff selection committee look? The Sporting News’ Matt Hayes has a good breakdown of what’s to come.

Colorado has found a new athletic director.

Michigan's Jake Ryan is out indefinitely with a torn ACL, but the defense could get a boost from sophomore James Ross.

The SEC hopes to have 10 or 11 bowls when the new playoff format starts in 2014.

Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal posts an update on Kentucky’s depth chart for 2013.

Here's a preview of Michigan State's receiving corps for 2013. 

The Big 12 has released the 2013 preseason media all-conference team. For comparison's sake, here’s a look at Athlon’s All-Big 12 team for 2013.

Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten will play in a new bowl game in Detroit. The ACC is expected to be the Big Ten’s opponent.

Thanks to Tajh Boyd’s decision to return for his senior year, Clemson can expand its offense even more in 2013.

Minnesota has regained the services of receiver Andre McDonald for 2013.

Louisville’s first release of its fall depth chart had a few surprises and reasons to be concerned.

Teaser:
College Football's Link Roundup: July 17
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 14:32
Path: /college-football/jadeveon-clowney-calls-out-tajh-boyd-and-aaron-murray
Body:

For the most part, conference media days are a cliché fest. However, from time-to-time, there are a few gems that resonate throughout the offseason.

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney dropped one of the top soundbites from the first day of SEC Media Days on Tuesday, calling out Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and Georgia’s Aaron Murray.
 



How did Boyd and Murray fare against South Carolina last season? Well, it wasn’t pretty. Murray went 11 of 31 for 109 yards and one interception, with Boyd completing 11 of 24 throws for 183 yards and two picks.

So is there truth to what Clowney was saying? I mean, who wouldn’t be intimidated by a 6-foot-6 defensive end with sub-4.6 speed?

Needless to say, Clowney’s comments should work well for bulletin board material at Georgia and Clemson, especially since those two matchups could be the toughest for South Carolina in 2013.

Teaser:
Jadeveon Clowney Calls Out Tajh Boyd and Aaron Murray
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 12:45
Path: /college-football/illinois-unveils-new-helmet-2013
Body:

Illinois had a miserable 2012 season, recording a 2-10 mark in coach Tim Beckman’s first year in Champaign. But the offseason has been relatively positive for the Fighting Illini, especially with the commitment of Oklahoma State transfer quarterback Wes Lunt, who will be eligible to play for Illinois in 2014.

And then there’s the helmet change. Illinois’ helmets weren’t awful, but this updated look for 2013 is an improvement.

According to CBSSports.com, here’s the new helmet for the Fighting Illini:


new Illinois Fighting Illini helmet

 

Teaser:
Illinois' Fighting Illini has a new helmet for 2013.
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/texas-am-provides-offseason-motivation-alabama
Body:

The only blemish on Alabama’s resume last season came in a Nov. 10 29-24 loss to Texas A&M.

And Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban hasn’t let his team forget, especially with a rematch set for Sept. 14 in College Station.

As this photo from the (@TexAgs) forum shows, Alabama has last year’s game with the Aggies on the televisions in the weight room, along with the A&M logo on the stations.

Alabama really doesn’t need any motivation to be ready for Texas A&M, but this is just a subtle reminder about last year’s loss in Tuscaloosa and what’s ahead for the Crimson Tide in 2013.


Teaser:
Texas A&M Provides Offseason Motivation for Alabama
Post date: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-10-players-returning-injury-2013
Body:

Injuries are a big part of any college football season. Just ask the coaching staffs at Maryland, Missouri or USC.The Terrapins lost four quarterbacks to season-ending injuries last year, while the Tigers played 2012 without the services of standout running back Henry Josey. USC lost defensive end Devon Kennard in the preseason, which played a role in the Trojans’ defense finishing seventh in the Pac-12 in yards allowed.

With the 2013 season approaching, it’s time to take a look at how the return of injured players from 2012 will impact their team. Kennard, Josey and Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown are all expected to start in 2013, but there's no guarantee all three will be at full strength by the opening snap.

This list only includes players who missed all of last year – with one exception. So while players like Georgia’s Michael Bennett, Texas’ Jordan Hicks and Jackson Jeffcoat and TCU’s Waymon James missed significant snaps last year, each played in 2012, which made them ineligible for this article.

10 Key College Football Players Returning From Missing 2012 With Injury

Chris Black, WR, Alabama
After Amari Cooper had a breakout season last year, it’s not out of the question Alabama’s offense has another standout freshman receiver in 2013. Black was expected to play major snaps in 2012 but a shoulder injury in August sidelined him for 2013. The Jacksonville native ranked as the No. 2 receiver prospect by ESPN and was a top-100 recruit by Rivals. Black’s return will only add another weapon to Alabama’s deep (and improving) group of receivers for quarterback AJ McCarron.

C.J. Brown, QB, Maryland
Maryland was the victim of a handful of quarterback injuries last year, starting with Brown’s torn ACL in August. The Terrapins also lost Perry Hills, Caleb Rowe and Devin Burns to injuries, forcing converted linebacker Shawn Petty to step in at quarterback late in the season. Brown did not play in the spring game, and his last snap came in the 2011 season finale against NC State. The senior threw for 842 yards and seven touchdowns, while rushing for 574 yards and five scores in 2011. His best performance that season came against Clemson, recording 339 total yards and four scores. Junior college recruit (and former New Mexico signal-caller) Ricardo Young will push Brown for time this year, but the senior is the favorite to start, especially since his mobility will be an asset under coordinator Mike Locksley.

Dominique Brown, RB, Louisville
With quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and a deep cast of receivers returning, Louisville should have one of the nation’s top offenses in 2013. And the Cardinals will be even more dangerous and balanced on that side of the ball this year, as Brown is returning from a knee injury that forced him to redshirt in 2012. The Ohio native rushed for 533 yards and four touchdowns in 2011 and is expected to split time with Senorise Perry in the Louisville backfield. Brown doesn’t need to be a 1,000-yard rusher for the Cardinals’ offense to thrive, but his return will help ease Perry back into the lineup while he also recovers from a knee injury, giving Louisville a solid one-two punch in the backfield.

Travis Carrie, CB, Ohio
The Bobcats saw their MAC East title hopes derailed by injuries last year, as several key players missed time due to various ailments. Carrie missed all of 2012 due to a shoulder injury but is poised to return as one of the MAC’s top defenders in 2013. In 2011, Carrie recorded 42 tackles and 13 passes defended, earning MAC second-team all-conference honors. Carrie is one of the Bobcats’ top defenders and will be expected to provide leadership as one of the team’s leaders in his final year in Athens.

Blake Countess, CB, Michigan
We are going to cheat a little on listing Countess in this article. Although he played in the opener, Countess suffered a torn ACL in the first quarter, so he was almost robbed of a full season. That counts right? Countess was one of the Big Ten’s top freshmen in 2011, recording 44 tackles and one forced fumble in 12 games. He also defended six passes and had a career-high eight stops in the bowl win over Virginia Tech. It may take a few games for Countess to knock off the rust, but the sophomore should be one of Michigan’s top defenders in 2013.

Henry Josey, RB, Missouri
Josey was one of the nation’s top running backs in 2011, but a knee injury against Texas in mid-November ended his season prematurely. Josey had 1,168 yards and nine scores, along with four consecutive 100-yard performances before his injury against the Longhorns. The Texas native’s knee injury was devastating, which included a torn ACL, MCL and meniscus, along with a patellar tendon rupture. Josey sat out all of 2012 to recuperate but returned to play in the 2013 spring game, rushing for 13 yards and one touchdown on eight carries. There’s no guarantee Josey returns at full strength, but his return should help Missouri’s ground attack. The Tigers ranked 12th in the SEC in rush offense and must replace Kendial Lawrence after he led the team with 1,025 yards last year. Josey is expected to open the season as Missouri’s No. 1 back.

Devon Kennard, DE, USC
Kennard has moved from defensive end and linebacker throughout his USC career, so new coordinator Clancy Pendergast’s 5-2 scheme should fit his talents. The Arizona native missed all of last year with a chest injury but all signs point to return to full health for 2013. Kennard recorded two sacks in 12 games in 2011 and has 135 tackles in his career. The senior has the size and athleticism to be a perfect fit as a hybrid rush end in USC’s new-look defense.

Stefan McClure, CB, California
After leading the Pac-12 in pass defense in 2011, California took a step back last year, finishing 11th in the conference and 104th nationally. McClure was expected to be one of the top contributors in the secondary for the Golden Bears last season, but he did not recover in time from a knee injury suffered late in 2011. As a freshman, McClure recorded 24 tackles, three passes defended and picked off one pass. With more than a year to recover, California’s defensive staff hopes to have the sophomore at full strength for 2013. And his health is important for a secondary that must replace safety Josh Hill and cornerbacks Steve Williams and Marc Anthony. If he’s healthy, McClure has the potential to be an all-conference performer.

Ronald Powell, DE/LB, Florida
Powell was ready to emerge as one of the SEC’s top defenders, but he suffered a torn ACL in spring practice before the 2012 season. The California native suffered a setback early in the fall, which forced him to end any shot at a comeback for 2012. Powell may not be the same player he was in 2011 early in 2013, but the junior will be a key cog in Florida’s defense. Powell recorded 32 tackles and six sacks as a sophomore and if he’s healthy, he could easily surpass those numbers in 2013. Even if Powell isn’t at 100 percent, his return will help to bolster one of the SEC’s best front sevens.

Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
Very few things went Colorado’s way on offense last year. The Buffaloes struggled to find consistent quarterback play, and the offense finished 117th in points scored and 116th in yards per game (302.8). However, Colorado should be better on offense this year, as new coach Mike MacIntyre and coordinator Brian Lindgren did an outstanding job of developing San Jose State’s offense in 2012. Richardson’s return should also provide a boost for the Buffaloes, as the junior has the talent to be one of the Pac-12’s top receivers. In two seasons in Boulder, Richardson has caught 73 passes for 1,069 yards and 11 scores. He is also averaging 14.6 yards per reception for his career. Assuming Colorado can find some stability at quarterback, Richardson should push for All-Pac-12 honors after missing 2012 with a torn ACL.

 

Other Key Players Returning After Missing All of 2013 With Injury
 

Kelby Brown, LB, Duke
Jordan Canzeri, RB, Iowa
Khairi Fortt, LB, California
Hau’oli Jamora, DE, Washington
Tre Madden, RB, USC
Jacobbi McDaniel, DT, Florida State
Michaelee Harris, WR, Louisville
Barkley Hill, RB, Iowa
Andre Monroe, DL, Maryland
Mario Pender, RB, Florida State
D.T. Shackelford, LB, Ole Miss
Brandon Wilds, RB, South Carolina
Jarrick Williams, DB, Alabama
Lo Wood, CB, Notre Dame

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College Football's Top 10 Players Returning From Injury for 2013
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With SEC Media Days kicking off on Tuesday, the offseason has officially ended. Fall camps are just around the corner.

Feel free to contact us on twitter with a link or a tip we should include each day. (@AthlonSteven)

College Football's Must-Read Stories Around the Web for Tuesday, July 16th

If you are watching or listening to the press conferences in Hoover, Ala. the next few days, check out SBNation's SEC Media Days Bingo

Adam Jude of The Seattle Times takes a look at the decision facing Washington coach Steve Sarkisian on tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. In case you missed it yesterday, Seferian-Jenkins pleaded guilty to a drunken driving charge.

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Nebraska's field has some new lettering on the sidelines this year, as showcased in this photo from the Big Ten Network.

Receiver (and Miami, Ohio transfer) Nick Harwell is still trying to get eligible to play at Kansas in 2013.

Mr. SEC takes a look at who is most likely to cause a stir at SEC Media Days.

Colorado quarterback Shane Dillon has decided to transfer to play basketball at another college. Dillon's transfer leaves former Texas quarterback Connor Wood as the Buffaloes' likely starter for 2013.

Here's a good look at Missouri's pre-fall camp depth chart.

Who will start at quarterback for Southern Miss this year?

Want to be a NCAA official? Check out this test from the Big Ten Network.

Clemson heads into fall practice with uncertainty at tight end

One of Oklahoma's incoming freshmen is headed to junior college instead of Norman.

Two Pittsburgh players won't return to the team for 2013.

Crystal Ball Run previews the top-10 non-conference games in the SEC for 2013.

Some details have emerged about the dismissal of FIU running back Kedrick Rhodes.

A preview of California's young (but talented) receiving corps for 2013.

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College Football's Link Roundup: July 16
Post date: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 - 16:39

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