Articles By Steven Lassan

All taxonomy terms: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big Ten, News
Path: /news/nebraska-coach-bo-pelini-has-testy-exchange-safety-daimion-stafford
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Nebraska coach Bo Pelini isn't afraid to get vocal on the sidelines, but the tables were turned on him in Saturday's win over Penn State. 

After a sluggish performance in the first half, Pelini and safety Daimion Stafford got into a heated exchange on the sideline. It's clear from the video Stafford was not happy with Pelini and appeared to drop a couple of f-bombs in the process. It's not clear what the two were discussing, but let's just say neither party was giving an inch in the heated discussion.

The Cornhuskers' defense struggled to stop the Nittany Lions' offense in the first half but eventually found the right answers in the final two quarters.

Teaser:
<p> Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini Has Testy Exchange With Safety Daimion Stafford</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 21:32
All taxonomy terms: USC Trojans, Pac 12, News
Path: /news/uscs-marqise-lee-showcases-ridiculous-moves-run-against-arizona-state
Body:

Even though USC is one of college football's biggest disappointments this year, receiver Marqise Lee should be in the mix for the Heisman Trophy. The sophomore is a lock for All-American honors and continues to be the go-to target for quarterback Matt Barkley.

In Saturday's win over Arizona State, Lee had a ridiculous 38-yard run to put USC into scoring position. The sophomore took the pitch from quarterback Matt Barkley, dodged an Arizona State defender and reversed field to take off down the sidelines. 

Teaser:
<p> USC's Marqise Lee Showcases Ridiculous Moves in Run Against Arizona State</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 20:55
All taxonomy terms: TCU Horned Frogs, Big 12, News
Path: /news/tcu-receiver-brandon-carter-hurdles-kansas-state-defender
Body:

TCU came up short in its upset bid against Kansas State, but the Horned Frogs didn't go away without a fight. 

Receiver Brandon Carter attempted to give his team some momentum at the end of the first half, taking a kickoff from the goal-line to around the 40-yard line. 

While the return was solid, the biggest highlight has to be Carter's ridiculous hurdle over kicker Anthony Cantele just before he was shoved out of bounds. 

Teaser:
<p> TCU Receiver Brandon Carter Hurdles Kansas State Defender</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 20:34
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-11-bowl-projections
Body:

College football's bowl season is inching closer, but it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With 11 weeks of results in the books, it's beginning to get easier to make projections about which teams will be eligible for the postseason.

The post-Week 11 bowl projections are a mixture between how things would look if the season ended today, future schedules, and a dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks. 

2012-2013 Post-Week 11 College Football Bowl Projections

Bowl Date Tie-In Projected Matchup
New Mexico Dec. 15 MWC vs. Pac-12 Arizona vs. Nevada
Famous Idaho Potato Dec. 15 MAC vs. WAC Utah State vs. N. Illinois
Poinsettia Dec. 20 BYU vs. MWC BYU vs. San Diego State
Beef 'O'Brady's Dec. 21 Big East vs. C-USA UCF** vs. Bowling Green*
New Orleans Dec. 22 Sun Belt vs. C-USA UL Monroe vs. East Carolina
Las Vegas Dec. 22 MWC vs. Pac-12 Oregon State vs. Boise State
Hawaii Dec. 24 C-USA vs. MWC Fresno State vs. Arizona State*
Little Caesars Dec. 26 Big Ten vs. MAC W. Kentucky* vs. Toledo
Military Dec. 27 ACC vs. Army Ohio* vs. MTSU*
Belk Dec. 27 ACC vs. Big East Duke vs. Cincinnati
Holiday Dec. 27 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 TCU vs. UCLA
Independence Dec. 28 ACC vs. SEC Ball State* vs. La. Tech*
Russell Athletic Dec. 28 ACC vs. Big East Virginia Tech vs. Rutgers
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Iowa State vs. Minnesota
Armed Forces Dec. 29 C-USA vs. MWC SMU vs. Air Force
Kraft Fight Hunger Dec. 29 Pac-12 vs. Navy Navy vs. Washington
Pinstripe Dec. 29 Big East vs. Big 12 Syracuse vs. West Virginia
Alamo Dec. 29 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 USC vs. Texas Tech
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Northwestern vs. Okla. State
Music City Dec. 31 SEC vs. ACC Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech
Sun Dec. 31 ACC vs. Pac-12 Stanford vs. NC State
Liberty Dec. 31 SEC vs. C-USA Tulsa vs. Missouri
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 ACC vs. SEC South Carolina vs. Miami
Heart of Dallas Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. Big 12 San Jose State* vs. Purdue
TaxSlayer.com Gator Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Mich. State vs. Miss. State
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Wisconsin vs. Georgia
Outback Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Florida vs. Michigan
Cotton Jan. 4 Big 12 vs. SEC Texas vs. LSU
BBVA Compass Jan. 5 SEC vs. Big East Vanderbilt vs. UL Lafayette*
GoDaddy.com Jan. 6 MAC vs. Sun Belt Arkansas State vs. Kent State
       
BCS Bowls      
Rose Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Nebraska vs. Oklahoma
Orange Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Florida State vs. Louisville
Sugar Jan. 2 BCS vs. BCS Alabama vs. Clemson
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS vs. BCS Texas A&M vs. Notre Dame
National Title Jan. 7 BCS vs. BCS Oregon vs. Kansas State


* Indicates an at-large team due to a conference unable to fill bowl slots according to Athlon's projections.

** UCF is appealing a postseason ban and for now, is eligible to compete in the 2012 postseason.

Bold indicates a team has accepted bowl bid.

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Nov. 11, 2012)

Teaser:
<p> College Football Post-Week 11 Bowl Projections</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 18:00
All taxonomy terms: Auburn Tigers, College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/5-coaching-replacements-if-gene-chizik-fired-auburn
Body:

As Auburn puts the finishing touches on a dismal 2012 season, the writing appears to be on the wall for coach Gene Chizik. According to a report from AuburnUndercover.com, the school is preparing a committee to help with a coaching search at the end of the season. It’s not a slam dunk Chizik is replaced, but the SEC’s 2010 Coach of the Year probably needs a win over Georgia or Alabama to save his job.

Chizik was a questionable hire from the start, especially after recording a 5-19 record at Iowa State. The Tigers went 8-5 in Chizik’s first season but claimed the 2010 national championship. However, since winning the BCS title, Auburn is just 10-12. Also, Chizik is a mediocre 18-17 at Auburn without Cam Newton under center.

Assuming there is a change at Auburn at the end of the season, who might be the Tigers’ next coach? Here are five names to keep in mind over the next few weeks:

Five Candidates to Watch if Auburn Fires Gene Chizik

Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Dykes is another name expected to get plenty of looks for open vacancies this offseason. In three years at Louisiana Tech, he has a 21-13 record and has experience as an assistant in the SEC at Kentucky. Dykes runs a high-powered offense, which has to be attractive after Auburn has fielded a lackluster attack the last two years.

Gus Malzahn, head coach, Arkansas State – Auburn fans are certainly familiar with Malzahn, as he helped to lead Auburn’s offense during the 2010 national championship season. Malzahn has only one year of collegiate head coaching experience but there’s no question he’s ready to takeover a BCS program. Would Auburn fans welcome Malzahn back after leaving at the end of last season? 

Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas coach – There’s a lot of uncertainty where Petrino will land, but it’s a safe bet there will be a demand for his services. The former Arkansas coach has some baggage to deal with and will be on a short leash at his next job. However, Petrino is a winner and was one of college football’s top 10-15 coaches before his firing. Some schools may stay away from Petrino due to his off-the-field incident at Arkansas, but if the Montana native is interested in Auburn, the Tigers shouldn’t pass.

Charlie Strong, head coach, Louisville – Strong will be a popular name at several jobs this offseason but it’s not a guarantee he leaves Louisville this year or anytime soon. However, if Strong is interested in leaving, Arkansas and Auburn are two possible destinations. In three years at Louisville, Strong is 23-12 and has the Cardinals on the verge of an undefeated season in 2012.

Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky – Taggart is a rising star in the coaching ranks and will be in high demand this offseason. In three years at Western Kentucky, he is 15-18 and has the Hilltoppers in position to make a bowl game this year. Taggart will have his pick of jobs at the end of the season, which will allow him to be very selective if he wants to leave Western Kentucky before 2013. 

Related College Football Content

SEC Week 11 Preview and Predictions
College Football's Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat

Teaser:
<p> 5 Coaching Replacements If Gene Chizik is Fired at Auburn</p>
Post date: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 05:35
Path: /college-football/nebraska-cornhuskers-vs-penn-state-nittany-lions-preview-and-prediction
Body:

There hasn’t been much to cheer about for the Big Ten this year, especially with the conference’s best team (Ohio State) ineligible to play for the postseason. The Big Ten is also struggling to get enough teams eligible to fill its bowl slots and needs Indiana and Minnesota to get to six wins. Although the conference has been dealing with a bad reputation nationally, the race to win the Big Ten has been entertaining. The Legends Division appears to have some clarity with Nebraska and Michigan taking the top spot, while Wisconsin and Indiana are atop the Leaders Division.

With last week’s win over Michigan State in East Lansing, Nebraska has wrestled control of the Legends Division away from Michigan. The Cornhuskers are tied with the Wolverines for first place but own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Michigan still has to play Ohio State, so Nebraska has some cushion in the standings. However, the Cornhuskers can’t afford to take any opponent lightly the next three weeks.

These two teams have met 14 times, with only one meeting as conference mates. Nebraska has a two-game winning streak in this series and has won three out of the last four matchups against Penn State.  

Storylines to Watch in Penn State vs. Nebraska

Taylor Martinez vs. Penn State’s defense
With four new starters taking over this season, the secondary was expected to be a work in progress for Penn State. However, the Nittany Lions’ secondary has exceeded expectations, allowing 211 yards per game and ranking 22nd nationally in pass efficiency defense. This unit will be tested on Saturday against a Nebraska passing attack that ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Quarterback Taylor Martinez has been a different player at home, throwing for 12 touchdowns and one interception at home and six touchdowns and seven picks on the road. Martinez has the Big Ten’s best receiving corps at his disposal, which will test Penn State’s secondary. In addition to his arm, the junior quarterback is a difficult matchup for the Nittany Lions on the ground. He has rushed for 666 yards and eight touchdowns this year, including 205 yards in the win over Michigan State. Mobile quarterbacks have given Penn State some trouble, as they allowed 134 rushing yards to Braxton Miller and 47 yards on nine carries to Ohio’s Tyler Tettleton. Martinez is going to make a few plays, but Penn State needs to keep him contained in the pocket and limit the opportunities for runs on the outside.

Penn State’s rush offense vs. Nebraska’s rush defense
Even though Nebraska’s run defense has experienced a few bright spots, it’s still a concern for coach Bo Pelini. The Cornhuskers gave up 238 rushing yards to Michigan State last week and 180 to Northwestern on Nov. 20. Penn State is averaging 140.2 yards per game on the ground but has at least 160 rushing yards in three out of its last four games. The Nittany Lions average 3.6 yards per carry, which figures to be an easier test for the Cornhuskers than taking on Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell. Penn State running back Zach Zwinak played well in last week’s win over Purdue, rushing for 134 yards on 21 attempts. Zwinak, Bill Belton and Michael Zordich aren’t the nation’s best trio but have been a solid development for this offense. Considering the struggles of Nebraska’s front seven against the run, this is one area Penn State could exploit on Saturday.

Matt McGloin vs. Nebraska’s secondary
There’s no doubt McGloin is one of the Big Ten’s most improved players this season. The senior has thrived under new coach Bill O’Brien, throwing for 2,436 yards and 18 touchdowns. McGloin also ranks fifth in the Big Ten in passing efficiency but faces a Nebraska secondary ranked fifth against the pass. The Cornhuskers have allowed 11 passing scores but opponents are completing just 46 percent of their passes. McGloin has been steady and most importantly, has done a good job of taking care of the ball. For Penn State to win this game, he has to continue playing mistake-free ball, while finding ways to move the ball through the air against this secondary.

Final Analysis

Nebraska can move one step closer to claiming the Legends Division title with a win over Penn State. The Cornhuskers still have some work to do, but the Nittany Lions might be their biggest hurdle the rest of the way. Penn State is 3-0 in Big Ten road games this season but playing in Nebraska is its toughest matchup away from Happy Valley so far. New coach Bill O’Brien has the Nittany Lions playing well, but Nebraska will edge Penn State for the victory. The Cornhuskers may not have running back Rex Burkhead back for his week’s game, but Ameer Abdullah has three consecutive 100-yard efforts. Quarterback Taylor Martinez has been a different player in Lincoln and should be able to make a few plays on Penn State’s secondary. This one will be closer than some expect, but Nebraska moves closer to a division title with a victory over the Nittany Lions.

Final Prediction: Nebraska 27, Penn State 24

Related College Football Content

Big Ten Week 11 Preview and Predictions
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College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 11 Rankings

College Football's Post-Week 11 Heisman Contenders

Teaser:
<p> Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 05:02
Path: /college-football/alabama-crimson-tide-vs-texas-am-aggies-preview-and-prediction
Body:

The first meeting between Texas A&M and Alabama as SEC members has a chance to be the best game on the Week 11 slate. The Aggies have turned a lot of heads in their new conference, jumping out to a 7-2 mark and losing close games against Florida and LSU. The Crimson Tide used a late touchdown to beat LSU last week, which kept Alabama ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings once again.

After last Saturday’s win in Baton Rouge, now comes the hard part for Alabama. The Crimson Tide have to quickly refocus for Texas A&M, which just happens to be a dangerous team capable of pulling an upset. After an emotional, hard-fought victory last week, Alabama can’t afford to have a flat performance against a motivated team. Although a loss wouldn’t completely eliminate the Crimson Tide from the national title picture, it’s never a good thing to lose in mid-November.

While Alabama is chasing a national title, this game represents an opportunity for the Aggies to make a statement. Texas A&M is a program on the rise under Kevin Sumlin and has a lot of talent returning for 2013. With Sam Houston State and Missouri the remaining regular season games on the schedule, a victory over the Crimson Tide would give Texas A&M a good shot at having its first year of double-digit wins since 1998.

These two teams have met four times, with Alabama claiming a 3-1 edge in the series. The last meeting came in 1988, with the Crimson Tide winning 30-10 in College Station.

Storylines to Watch in Alabama vs. Texas A&M

Stopping Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel has been virtually unstoppable this season. The redshirt freshman ranks second nationally in total offense with 383.2 yards per game and has scored 14 touchdowns in conference play. Manziel hasn’t made many mistakes but tossed three picks against LSU on Oct. 20 and was contained in the second half against Florida. For Texas A&M to have any shot at an upset, Manziel has to be at his best. The redshirt freshman can’t afford to have any turnovers and should expect the Alabama defense to throw a lot of different looks at him on the line of scrimmage. The Crimson Tide rank first nationally in scoring defense and second in yards allowed. Alabama will likely use a gameplan similar to the one LSU used against Texas A&M, which kept Manziel in the pocket and limited his opportunities to make plays with his legs. As last week showed against LSU, there are opportunities for plays against the Crimson Tide secondary. Manziel is completing just a tick under 67 percent of his passes, and he needs to hit around that number for Texas A&M to win on Saturday. 

Texas A&M’s receivers vs. Alabama’s secondary
One of the biggest surprises from last week’s Alabama-LSU game was the performance of the Tigers’ passing attack. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger completed 24 of 35 passes for 298 yards and one touchdown. The Aggies have a more dynamic passing attack and have a trio of receivers that will test the Alabama secondary. Mike Evans is the No. 1 target with 56 receptions for 802 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Swope (45 receptions) and Thomas Johnson (27) are also key factors in the passing attack. There’s plenty of talent in the receiving corps for Texas A&M to challenge Alabama’s secondary. After the Crimson Tide struggled to stop LSU last week, you can bet Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart spent a little extra time getting the defensive backs ready to go this week.

Texas A&M’s rush defense vs. Alabama’s rushing attack
The Aggies have been solid against the run this season, with only one opponent (LSU) allowed to rush for over 200 yards. Considering the success the Tigers had on the ground, this is one area Alabama will look to target on Saturday. Redshirt freshman T.J. Yeldon leads the team with 725 yards, while Eddie Lacy isn’t far behind with 679 yards. Lacy is dealing with an ankle injury but is expected to play. The Crimson Tide also has one of the nation’s top offensive lines, which should challenge a Texas A&M defensive line that doesn’t have a lot of depth. Expect Alabama to challenge the Aggies’ front seven early and often, using Yeldon and Lacy to try to wear down the defensive early in the fourth quarter.

Turnover battle
Winning on the road in the SEC against the No. 1 team in the nation is no easy task. Texas A&M has an opportunity to win this game but needs to win the turnover battle. The Aggies rank 102nd nationally in turnover margin and have generated only eight takeaways this year. Alabama is on the other end of the spectrum in turnover battle, ranking fourth nationally and picking up 23 takeaways so far. If Texas A&M can’t generate any turnovers, its odds of winning will be dramatically decreased. The Aggies don’t need four or five takeaways, but they have to pickup a couple of short-field situations for the offense.

Final Analysis

Nick Saban will have Alabama prepared but there’s still the worry of a letdown from the huge victory at LSU. With a flat performance possible in the first quarter, Texas A&M could have a chance to jump out to an early lead. However, Alabama will eventually take control of this game in the first half. Quarterback AJ McCarron should be able to take advantage of an Aggies’ secondary that ranks 70th nationally in pass defense, while the rushing attack will wear down the front seven. Texas A&M’s spread offense will give Alabama a few problems in the first half, but the Crimson Tide eventually find the right answers on defense and pull away in the final two quarters.

Final Prediction: Alabama 31, Texas A&M 20
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

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Teaser:
<p> Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Texas A&amp;M Aggies Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Friday, November 9, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/florida-state-seminoles-vs-virginia-tech-hokies-preview-and-prediction
Body:

What a difference a couple of months can make. In the preseason, the Nov. 8 showdown between Florida State and Virginia Tech was hyped as a potential preview of the ACC Championship. There’s still plenty at stake for both teams but nothing close to what most expected in August.

Virginia Tech was picked by most to win the Coastal Division but has been one of college football’s most underachieving teams. The Hokies are 4-5, and their wins have come against Georgia Tech, Austin Peay, Duke and Bowling Green – not exactly banner victories. Virginia Tech’s ACC Coastal title hopes are almost finished, which means the top goal for the rest of the way is to get bowl eligible. Thursday night’s matchup against Florida State is the toughest remaining game on the schedule but the season finale against Virginia is not a guaranteed win.

Florida State’s national title hopes ended after a 17-16 loss to NC State, but this team has been on a roll since that defeat. The Seminoles have allowed only 34 points over the last three weeks and are in the driver’s seat to win the Atlantic Division. With Clemson just a game back, the next two weeks in ACC play are a must-win situation for Florida State.

What to Watch in Florida State vs. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s rushing attack
Replacing David Wilson has been more challenging than most expected. The Hokies are averaging 165.2 rushing yards per game in ACC play but most of the production has come from quarterback Logan Thomas. The junior leads the team with 422 rushing yards and six touchdowns. J.C. Coleman and Michael Holmes are the Hokies’ top two leaders at running back and have combined for just 783 and eight touchdowns. Virginia Tech can’t simply rely on the running backs to generate production, as Thomas is the team’s best option. However, the Hokies have a tough matchup to move the ball on the ground, with Florida State’s defense ranking third nationally against the run. Virginia Tech has been inconsistent in generating a ground attack and it cannot afford to fall into third-and-long situations against the Seminoles.

Logan Thomas vs. Florida State’s defense
Virginia Tech’s best hope at winning this game relies on the shoulders of quarterback Logan Thomas. The junior has already thrown more interceptions (12) than he did all of last year (10) but is on pace to rush for more yards and throw for more touchdowns. Thomas has struggled the last two games, tossing four picks and just one score. Florida State ranks first nationally in total defense and only one opponent has scored more than 20 points this season. Virginia Tech’s offensive line will also be under fire, especially with likely All-ACC ends Bjoern Werner and Tank Carradine coming off the edge. Thomas can’t win this game on his own, so it’s important for the line to give him time to throw, as well as open up lanes on designed runs.

Turnovers
Considering both teams rank in the bottom half of the ACC in turnover margin, this is one area that could play a large role in the outcome of Thursday night’s game. Florida State has lost 14 turnovers, while Virginia Tech has been more generous in giving the ball away with 19 turnovers. Only two of Logan Thomas’ interceptions have come at home for the Hokies and it’s important for him to continue that trend on Thursday. 

Virginia Tech’s vs. Florida State’s offense
While the Hokies have had some trouble getting their offense on track, the defense has been solid. This unit has experienced a few ups and downs but ranks 40th nationally in yards allowed and 31st in pass defense. Florida State’s offense is averaging 54 points per game at home. However, it has managed only 26.3 on the road. The schedule has been tougher away from Tallahassee, but it’s notable considering the Seminoles’ loss to NC State in Raleigh. Virginia Tech’s active defensive line and secondary should present some problems for Florida State’s offense on Thursday night.

Final Analysis

Virginia Tech is 11-3 in Thursday night home games on ESPN. Even though the Hokies have struggled, don’t be surprised if they play well in this game. This one should be closer than most expect, but Florida State’s defense holds Virginia Tech in check in the second half to pull away for the win.

Final Prediction: Florida State 27, Virginia Tech 17
 

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Teaser:
<p> Florida State Seminoles vs. Virginia Tech Hokies Preview and Prediction</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 10:22
Path: /college-football/acc-week-11-preview-and-predictions
Body:

With Miami's win over Virginia Tech last week, the race to win the ACC Coastal and Atlantic Division is starting to clear. The Hurricanes hold an edge in the Coastal, while the Seminoles still have a one-game edge on Clemson. Miami hits the road to play Virginia this Saturday and can tighten its grip on the Coastal with a victory. The Week 11 slate of ACC games doesn't feature much in the way of national excitement, but there's some solid matchups with North Carolina hosting Georgia Tech and Notre Dame visiting Boston College.

Other Week 11 Previews and Predictions

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

ACC's Top Storylines for Week 11

Can Virginia Tech’s offense have success against Florida State?
With three games to go, it’s a surprise to see Virginia Tech sitting at 4-5 and in a fight just to get bowl eligible. The Hokies should be able to beat Boston College and Virginia in the final two weeks of the season to get to six wins. However, Thursday night’s matchup against Florida State is an opportunity to knock the Seminoles out of the ACC title game, along with erasing some of the disappointment from the first nine games of the season. For the Hokies to have any shot at beating Florida State, the offense will need its best effort of the year. And that’s easier said than done against a Seminoles’ defense ranked first nationally in yards allowed and third in scoring defense. Quarterback Logan Thomas has to be more careful with the ball (12 interceptions), while the offense also has to find a spark from the ground attack. Although Thomas recorded 323 total yards last week, he simply can’t carry this team on his own. The Thursday night crowd in Blacksburg should give Virginia Tech a little momentum. However, it will require a near-perfect effort to knock off the Seminoles.

Will Georgia Tech’s defense have an answer for North Carolina’s offense?
The recent series between the Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels has been a one-sided affair. Georgia Tech has won six out of the last seven games, including a 35-28 shootout in Atlanta last season. The Yellow Jackets desperately need this game to have a shot at getting bowl eligible, while the Tar Heels look to build on Larry Fedora’s successful first season. Georgia Tech’s defense has struggled all season long, allowing 28 points and an average of 394.7 yards per game. As if the statistics weren’t bad enough for head coach Paul Johnson, things may not get much better this Saturday. The Yellow Jackets have to find an answer for North Carolina’s offense, which is scoring nearly 40 points a game. Running back Giovani Bernard has emerged as a fringe Heisman candidate and has at least 135 rushing yards in each of his last four games. Considering Georgia Tech’s offense can’t really afford to fall behind 21-0, the defense has to make some early stops, as well as get pressure on quarterback Bryn Renner. The recent trend in this series suggests there should be plenty of points for both teams, but a struggling Yellow Jackets’ defense needs to have a flawless effort to help earn the victory on Saturday.

Will Miami move one step closer to winning the Coastal?
Thanks to last week’s 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech, Miami is in the driver’s seat for the ACC Coastal title. With Duke on bye this week, the Hurricanes can’t clinch the division crown this Saturday, but they can move one step closer to playing for the conference title with a victory. Of course, this also depends on whether or not the school decides to self-impose a bowl ban this year. But for now, Miami is the favorite to represent the Coastal in Charlotte. The Hurricanes don’t have an easy path to an outright division title, especially since Virginia appears to be revitalized after a win over NC State last week. Miami has lost two out of its last three games in Charlottesville and will have to contend with an offense that scored 33 points last week. The Hurricanes rank 113th nationally in scoring defense but held North Carolina and Virginia Tech to just 30 combined points. Miami is the better team, but as the past few weeks have shown, anything can happen in the ACC.

Tevin Washington or Vad Lee?
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson went into last week’s game with an unsettled quarterback situation, and the Yellow Jackets left with no real clarity. Of course, it’s a lot easier to sort through a position battle when you are coming off a 33-13 victory. However, the quarterback battle will be under the spotlight even more this Saturday, especially as Georgia Tech’s offense will need to have a huge day against North Carolina. Tevin Washington started last week’s game and rushed for 30 yards and one touchdown on four attempts. Lee recorded 60 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries and threw only two passes. Considering both quarterbacks had their moments last week, expect the same type of gameplan from Georgia Tech once again this Saturday. If Washington or Lee gets into a rhythm, the Yellow Jackets will probably ride the hot hand. However, Washington’s experience and Lee’s playmaking ability give Georgia Tech’s offense different looks. Expect both to play significant snaps against North Carolina.

Can NC State get back on track?
Even though the Wolfpack was coming off a 43-35 loss to rival North Carolina, no one could have expected what happened against Virginia. NC State was a double-digit favorite over the Cavaliers, yet suffered a crushing 33-6 defeat. The loss only amplified the grumblings in the fanbase over coach Tom O’Brien, but his future shouldn’t be in any real danger - unless NC State loses against Wake Forest or Boston College. The Wolfpack host the Demon Deacons this Saturday, which is an opportunity to get back on track after last week’s disappointing loss. Wake Forest’s passing attack threw for 293 yards against Boston College last week, which figures to test an NC State secondary allowing 269.2 yards per game.

Maryland’s quarterback carousel
Considering Shawn Petty spent most of the season at linebacker, it’s hard to criticize his performance against Georgia Tech last week. The freshman completed 9 of 18 throws for 115 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 24 rushing yards on 17 attempts. The Terrapins won’t ask a lot of Petty but they might need a little more this week. Maryland has to travel to Death Valley to take on Clemson, which has an offense averaging 42.7 points a game. Petty should be more comfortable with another week to take snaps as the No. 1 quarterback, but it’s a lot to ask a converted linebacker to win a shootout in his second start.

Bowl eligibility?
Wake Forest and Georgia Tech won’t be playing against each other this Saturday, but bowl representatives and ACC officials will have their eyes on these two teams. The Demon Deacons need just one victory to get bowl eligible and face NC State, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt to close out the year. The Yellow Jackets need two wins to get bowl eligible, and their path to six wins is very narrow, especially with road trips to North Carolina and Georgia still to come. With only three teams eligible for the postseason after 10 weeks, the ACC needs Wake Forest and Georgia Tech to get to six wins to be able to fill out its bowl allotment.

Will Maryland’s defense slow down Clemson’s offense?
With injuries taking a toll on the offense, it’s up to Maryland’s defense to carry this team the rest of the year. So far, Brian Stewart has proved to be a tremendous coordinator hire, with Maryland ranking 11th nationally in total defense and 33rd in points allowed. The Terrapins’ defense will have their hands full this week, taking on a Clemson offense averaging 42.7 points a game. The Tigers scored 56 points on this defense last year, but Maryland should be able to keep the total a little lower this season. In order for the Terrapins to win this game, they have to win the battle in the trenches. Maryland’s defensive line is averaging 2.8 sacks per game, and this group should be able to take advantage of an inexperienced Tigers’ offensive line. It’s not all about winning the battle up front, as the Terrapins will have to lock down on pass coverage, especially with Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins playing at an All-ACC level. There’s really no way to completely shut down Clemson’s offense. However, Maryland’s defense has to force a few turnovers and disrupt the timing by getting pressure on quarterback Tajh Boyd.

Frank Spaziani’s last chance?
With a 2-7 record this season and a 22-26 overall mark in his Boston College career, Frank Spaziani sits squarely on the hot seat. The Eagles have watched their win total decline in each year since 2009 and are just 6-15 over the last two seasons. Barring a surprise finish to 2012, all signs point to a new coach taking over in Chestnut Hill next year. If Spaziani has any hope to keep his job, Saturday’s game against Boston College is a must-win situation. There’s little to suggest the Eagles will be able to win this game, but they have lost two out of the last three matchups by a combined six points. Of course, this Notre Dame team is much better than the one Boston College played last year, but it should give the Eagles some hope for an upset.

Can Virginia pull off another surprise?
In one of the biggest upsets of Week 10, Virginia snapped a six-game losing streak and defeated NC State 33-6. The Cavaliers had one of their best overall efforts of the season, scoring the most points they have managed in ACC play this year (33) and held the Wolfpack to a season low of six points. Having an off date before playing NC State certainly helped to spark Virginia, and it’s important for Mike London and his coaching staff to build on last week’s win. The Cavaliers play the next two weeks at home and have a chance to play spoiler in the Coastal race, along with getting bowl eligible by winning their last three games. Virginia’s offense found a spark by using a quarterback rotation last week, while the rushing attack generated 248 yards against the Wolfpack. Miami’s defense has struggled this season, which should be good news for what appears to be an improving Cavaliers’ offense.  

Week 11 ACC Predictions

Week 11 ACC Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Florida State at Va. Tech FSU 42-10 FSU 34-20 FSU 34-17 FSU 35-21
Miami at Virginia Miami 28-17 Miami 27-21 Miami 27-24 Miami 21-13
Ga. Tech at North Carolina UNC 35-14 UNC 34-20 UNC 38-30 UNC 31-23
Wake Forest at NC State Wake 28-27 NC State 31-27 NC State 30-23 NC State 34-17
Maryland at Clemson Clemson 56-7 Clemson 42-14 Clemson 38-13 Clemson 34-10
Notre Dame at Boston College Notre Dame 21-10 Notre Dame 27-7 Notre Dame 31-10 Notre Dame 27-3
Last Week: 4-1 3-2 3-2 4-1
Season Record: 60-15 57-18 54-21 62-13


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 10
College Football's Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections

College Football's Heisman Contenders After Week 10

Teaser:
<p> ACC Week 11 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 05:02
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-11-upset-predictions
Body:

The 2012 college football season has officially entered the home stretch. With bowl games officially around the corner, there's not much time for teams to get eligible or make up ground in a conference title race. Alabama barely escaped Baton Rouge with a victory last Saturday, but are the Crimson Tide in danger of losing this week? 

College Football Week 11 Upset Predictions

David Fox (@DavidFox615): Texas A&M (+13.5) over Alabama
The Crimson Tide aren’t invincible. We learned that in the second half against LSU. This week is shaping up to be their toughest game of the season -- from an emotional standpoint and perhaps from a scheme standpoint. Certainly, Alabama’s defense could stop Texas A&M on any other day. But maybe not Saturday. When the comeback was completed in Baton Rouge, the dam burst for Alabama. AJ McCarron’s emotions showed that much. It’s going to be tough to rebound from that kind of game to play a Texas A&M team playing as well as it has all season. If Alabama’s going to lose in SEC play, this is going to be the game.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Utah at Washington (+2)
The line opened with the Huskies favored by two points, but somehow has shifted back to the Utes. Utah has played much better football over the second half but are now bringing a freshman quarterback into one of the most hostile environments in the nation. Washington is 4-1 at home with wins over previously unbeaten Stanford and Oregon State. They have allowed more than 17 points only one time (USC, 24) and Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will make life extremely difficult for Travis Wilson. Yes, Kyle Whittingham is fighting for a postseason berth, but his squad can still make it with a loss this weekend.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Utah at Washington (+2)
With a spread of just 1.5 points, it’s hard to call this much of an upset. However, I think the Huskies knock off the Utes in Seattle. Both teams have won two in a row and desperately need to win this one for bowl eligibility. Washington earned its first road victory of the season last week, beating California 21-13. The Huskies have been a much better team in Seattle this year, as they have knocked off Oregon State and Stanford and scored only 17 or fewer points in two conference road games. The matchup in the trenches is especially crucial for the outcome of this Pac-12 contest, as Utah is averaging 2.6 sacks per game and Washington’s offensive line ranks 100th nationally in sacks allowed. The Utes will test the Huskies’ run defense, especially after John White has recorded back-to-back 100-yard efforts. This game should be close, but Utah has not won a road game this season and I think that trend continues on Saturday. 

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Syracuse (+3) over Louisville
Louisville is ranked No. 9 in the latest BCS standings, but the Cardinals — other than being 9–0 — don’t really have the résumé of a top-10 team. They beat FIU (2–8) by seven points, Southern Miss (0–9) by four points and South Florida (3–6) by two points. They have two solid wins, over North Carolina and Cincinnati, but those were by a combined eight points and both were at home. Syracuse is playing pretty well despite its overall mark of 4–5. Each of the Orange’s five losses has come to an AQ conference team that currently has a winning record. Syracuse’s strength is throwing the ball. Louisville’s strength — at least one of them — is stopping the pass. Whoever wins this battle will have a great chance to win the game. Go Orange in the upset. Syracuse 27–21

Mark Ross: Central Michigan at Eastern Michigan (+2.5)
Three weeks ago, EMU finally got in the win column by beating both the spread (+3.5) and Army, 48-38, at home. This Saturday, even more is on the line as in-state rival CMU comes to Ypsilanti, Mich. Ron English may not be able to lead his Eagles to a bowl game, but they can still win in-state bragging rights in the MAC for the second year in a row if they can beat the Chippewas this week and then go to Kalamazoo next week and defeat Western Michigan. EMU did just that last season and a repeat performance would serve as a big boost for this program. To be in a position to do so, however, first the Eagles will have to take down the Chippewas. While both teams have struggled on defense, CMU appears to have a statistical advantage when it comes to offense, as they are averaging 67 more yards and six more points per game. However, EMU's offense has been faring better lately, putting up 305 yards or more in three of its last four games. The difference has been the emergence of sophomore running back Bronson Hill, who has 636 yards rushing and six total touchdowns in his past four games. CMU is allowing more than 214 yards rushing per game, so I expect EMU to use Hill and others to wear down the Chippewas defense and limit their opportunities on offense. This also will help the Eagles make some key plays in the passing game and a late turnover helps seal their second victory of the season in front of a fired up home crowd at Rynearson Stadium.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): Vanderbilt (+3) at Ole Miss
In a battle of 5-4 teams looking to become bowl eligible, I believe the Commodores will top the Rebels in a low-scoring affair. Coach Hugh Freeze has done an excellent job in turning around the Ole Miss program in his first season as the head man in Oxford, while Vanderbilt has won four of its last five games. Quarterback Bo Wallace and running back Jeff Scott have led a solid Rebels attack, but they will run into a Commodores defense that ranks fourth in the SEC in points allowed (17.1 per game) and fifth in yards (316.2 per contest). Additionally, Vandy should be not be affected by the road environment having won in its last two trips to Ole Miss. I’ll take the surging Dores to top the upstart Rebs, 23-20.
 

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 11 Preview and Predictions
Big East Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Big Ten Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Big 12 Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 11 Preview and Predictions

SEC Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 11 Upset Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-week-11-emergency-starters
Body:

In some leagues, the fantasy playoffs are underway.  Injuries and byes will certainly affect quarterback roster decisions this week.  For those of you in deeper leagues, you’ll want to keep an eye out for our Emergency Starters list being released a little later.  As always, if you have any start/bench questions or need additional insight on roster decisions, please reach out to us via emailor twitter.

 

Joe DiSalvo (@theCFFsite)

Quarterback

Ryan Nassib, Syracuse vs Louisville

Kain Colter, Northwestern at Michigan

Kawaun Jakes, Western Kentucky vs Florida Atlantic

Cody Vaz, Oregon St at Stanford

Eric Soza, UTSA vs McNeese St

 

Running Backs

Dareyon Chance, Western Michigan at Buffalo

Jai Steib, Memphis vs Tulane

Ray Holley, LA Tech at Texas St

Jeremy Hill, LSU vs Mississippi St

Johnathan Gray, Texas vs Iowa St

                 

Receivers

Alec Lemon, Syracuse vs Louisville

JD McKissic, Arkansas St vs LA-Monroe

William Dukes, FAU at Western Kentucky

Jerrod Dillard, Akron vs UMass

 

For Start/Bench advice from Joe DiSalvo, send an email tojoe@thecffsite.com

 

Steven Lassan(@AthlonSteven)

Quarterback

Jeff Driskel, Florida vs Louisiana

David Fales, San Jose St at New Mexico St

Dalton Williams, Akron at UMass

 

Running Backs

Dareyon Chance, Western Michigan at Buffalo

Theo Riddick, Notre Dame at Boston College

Kenny Williams, Texas Tech vs Kansas
 

Receivers

Ryan Grant, Tulane at Memphis

Erik Highsmith, North Carolina vs Georgia Tech

Josh Stewart, Oklahoma St vs West Virginia

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 11 Emergency Starters</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:48
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-using-vegas-odds-determine-best-week-11-plays
Body:

In the world of fantasy football, some team owners are relentless in their search for information that will give them a competitive edge over their competition.  Others just simply rely on projections from so-called experts, who try to convince everyone they have devised a computer program that accurately projects player stats by using a scientific formula so complicated that it makes the Drake equation seem elementary.  Eventually, those computer-driven computations prove no more accurate than an old-fashioned gut feeling.  However, in a quest to find a formula for fantasy success, one should just ask the question, “What are the odds?”

Quite simply, Vegas odds could give you all of the necessary insight to make smart roster decisions on a week-to-week basis.  In this weekly article, theCFFsite considers the point spreads and totals(over/under) in order to give our readers a unique perspective into some of the week’s most interesting fantasy matchups.
 

Week 11

 

Best Fantasy Matchups(Games with the most fantasy potential)

Baylor at Oklahoma

Line:  Oklahoma -21(O/U-77)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma 49-28

Best plays:

Baylor (QB-Nick Florence, WR-Terrance Williams)

Oklahoma (QB-Landry Jones, WR-Kenny Stills)

Also consider:

Baylor (RB-Jared Salubi, WRs-Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson)

Oklahoma (RBs-Damien Williams or Brennan Clay, WR-Justin Brown)

theCFFsite projects:  Oklahoma 42-28

 

West Virginia at Oklahoma St

Line:  West Virginia -7.5(O/U79)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma St 44-36

Best plays:

Oklahoma St (RB-Joseph Randle, WRs-Charlie Moore, Josh Stewart, K-Quinn Sharp)

West Virginia (QB-Geno Smith, WRs-Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey)

Also consider:

Oklahoma St (QBs-Wes Lunt or Clint Chelf)

West Virginia (RB-Andrew Buie)

theCFFsite projects:  West Virginia 34-31

 

Marshall at UAB

Line:  Marshall -3(O/U-74.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Marshall 39-36

Best plays:

Marshall (QB-Rakeem Cato, WRs-Tommy Shuler, Antavious Wilson)

UAB (RB-Darrin Reaves)

Also consider:

Marshall (WR-Aaron Dobson, TE-Gator Hoskins)

UAB (QB-Austin Brown, WR-Jackie Williams)

theCFFsite projects:  Marshall 38-24
 


One-Sided Matchups(Using the odds to find a dominating ‘D’)

Maryland at Clemson

Line:  Clemson -31.5(O/U-55)

Projected score based on point spread:  Clemson 44-12

Stay away from:

Maryland (RB-Wes Brown)

theCFFsite projects:  Clemson 45-14

 

Louisiana at Florida

Line:  Florida -26(O/U-50.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Florida 39-12

Stay away from:

Louisiana (QB-Terrance Broadway)

theCFFsite projects:  Florida 38-10

 

Idaho at BYU

Line:  BYU -38(O/U-49)

Projected score based on point spread:  BYU 44-5

Stay away from:

Idaho (WR-Mike Scott)

theCFFsite projects:  BYU 42-7

 

Must Watch Games(The games with the biggest headlines)

Texas A&M at Alabama

Line:  Alabama -13.5(O/U-56.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Alabama 35-31

Outlook:  The Week 11 schedule is void of any marquee matchups, but this may be the most interesting contest of the weekend because we are extremely interested in watching Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel against the Alabama defense.  It should be fun for a while, but the Tide will eventually wear down the Aggies in Tuscaloosa before shifting their sites onto the SEC Championship Game.

theCFFsite projects:  Alabama 38-24

 

theCFFsite in Must Watch games:

2012 Season:  Straight Up (19-13)  ATS: (13-19)

2011 Season:  Straight Up (40-9) ATS: (35-14)


by Joe DiSalvo, thecffsite.com

Find us on facebook

Follow us on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Email us:   theCFFsite@thecollegefantasyfootballsite.com

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Using Vegas Odds to Determine Best Week 11 Plays</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 03:40
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-week-11-sit-or-start-report
Body:

In some leagues, the fantasy playoffs are underway.  Injuries and byes will certainly affect quarterback roster decisions this week.  For those of you in deeper leagues, you’ll want to keep an eye out for our Emergency Starters list being released a little later.  As always, if you have any start/bench questions or need additional insight on roster decisions, please reach out to us via email or twitter.

Start

Ryan Griffin, QB-Tulane at Memphis

In the past four weeks, Griffin has thrown 14 touchdown passes and is averaging over 400 passing yards per game.
 

Dalton Williams, QB-Akron vs Massachusetts

Williams should be able to pad his season totals this week against a Minutemen defense allowing 44.1 points per game, second-worst in the country.
 

Ray Graham, RB-Pitt at UConn

Just when we thought the torch was being passed to freshman running back Rushel Shell, Graham answered the call and is once again must-start material.
 

Montel Harris, RB-Templevs Cincinnati

Harris has scored a touchdown in four of Temple’s previous five games and is fresh off a 115-yard performance against Louisville in Week 10.
 

Zurlon Tipton, RB-Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan has the nation’s worst rushing defense by at least 5o yards, so we will not hesitate starting a running back with nearly 1,000 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns on the season.
 

Jamaal Williams, RB-BYU vs Idaho

BYU closes the season with games against Idaho, San Jose State, and New Mexico St, so Expect Williams to be in the top half of our weekly running back rankings for the fantasy playoff portion of the schedule.
 

John White, RB-Utah at Washington

We were ready to throw in the towel two weeks ago with White, but after two consecutive 100-yard, two-score games, White is once again a fantasy factor.
 

David Oku, RB-Arkansas St vs LA-Monroe

Oku hasn’t rushed for more than 100 yards since Week 2, but the junior running back has nine touchdowns on the season and has scored six times in the last four games.
 

Keenan Reynolds, QB-Navy at Troy

Reynolds has been so productive the past two games that fantasy owners facing Week 11 without quarterbacks like Jordan Lynch, Matt Scott, Kolton Browning, and Chuckie Keeton, have been treated to a nice replacement option.
 

Bench

Terrance Broadway, QB-Louisiana at Florida

Broadway has been a solid fantasy performer throughout the middle one-third of the season, but the Ragin’ Cajuns’ offense will get chewed apart in The Swamp this week.
 

Johnny Manziel, QB-Texas A&M at Alabama

How can you sit Johnny ‘Football’ with the playoffs on the line?  Well, you shouldn’t leave your season to chance against the Alabama defense, especially if you have quality depth on the bench.
 

Trevone Boykin, QB-TCU vs Kansas St

The Kansas State defense has been tremendously stingy against the pass the season, allowing only eleven touchdown passes and forcing thirteen interceptions.
 

Andrew Buie, RB-West Virginiaat Oklahoma St

Buie’s carries have decreased with the return of Shawne Alston, who is more of a short-yardage specialist in the Mountaineers’ offense.
 

LaDarius Perkins, RB-Mississippi St at LSU

After three straight 100-yard games and seven consecutive games with a touchdown, Perkins has rushed for only 80 yards and has not scored a touchdown over the past two weeks as the competition has stiffened.
 

Zac Stacy, RB-Vanderbilt at Ole Miss

Teammate Wesley Tate is stealing carries away from Stacy, which has caused the senior running back’s fantasy stock to dip.
 

Alex Amidon, WR-Boston College vs Notre Dame

We hardly ever suggest sitting one of the better receivers in the country, but something tells us that the Notre Dame defense will be back on its game after last week’s triple-overtime scare.

 

For Start/Bench advice from Joe DiSalvo, send an email tojoe@thecffsite.com

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 11 Sit or Start Report</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 03:39
Path: /college-football/5-reasons-why-jon-gruden-would-be-bad-fit-tennessee
Body:

Derek Dooley will lead Tennessee out of the tunnel for Saturday’s match up against Missouri but that hasn’t stopped the speculation about who will be the next coach in Knoxville. Dooley was picked to replace Lane Kiffin after the 2009 season and has yet to deliver a winning record during his three years on Rocky Top. The Volunteers went 6-7 in his first season and followed that up with a 5-7 mark in 2011. Although Tennessee is 4-5 through nine weeks, the Volunteers have a favorable schedule (Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky) and could finish with a winning record.

It’s no sure bet that Dooley will be fired at the end of the season, but if he is, speculation has centered heavily on former NFL head coach Jon Gruden. The former Tampa Bay coach does have some ties to Knoxville, as he spent two years as a graduate assistant with Tennessee in 1986-87. Gruden’s wife is also a key part in the rumor mill, as she was a cheerleader with the Volunteers and is from East Tennessee.

While Tennessee fans are certainly upset about the direction of the program, there’s no guarantee Gruden is the right man for the job. And if a coaching change does happen, it’s not certain Gruden would be even open to leaving the "Monday Night Football" booth to come to Knoxville.

5 Reasons Why Jon Gruden Would Be a Bad Hire for Tennessee

1. Lack of College Experience
It’s one thing to coach in the NFL, but it’s another to win in the college ranks. UCLA’s Jim Mora is 7-2 this season, but Bill Callahan was just 27-22 in four seasons at Nebraska. Steve Spurrier and Bobby Petrino each had success after spending time in the NFL, but both coaches got their start on the collegiate level. There’s no doubt coaches that come from the NFL can bring a lot of knowledge to a program, however, it’s not always easy relating to the players. Trying to implement a complicated offense is much easier in the NFL, especially since collegiate athletes have fewer hours to spend in the film room. Considering Gruden’s lack of head coaching experience in college, there would certainly be a transition period – and it may not be pretty – for Tennessee. Adapting to the college game takes time and there's very little patience for coaches that don't succeed in the SEC.

2. An Eye to the NFL?
Even if Gruden jumps at the opportunity to coach at Tennessee or anywhere else in the collegiate ranks, what’s to stop him from getting back into the NFL? If the Volunteers do decide to can Derek Dooley after the year, hiring Gruden may not be a good decision for long-term stability. Considering Tennessee has had three coaches in five years, picking a coach that may stay one or two years is a potential disaster. You never know how long a coach is going to stick around, but considering Gruden’s NFL background and how he exited, it’s a safe bet that he wants another shot. Tennessee needs to hire the best possible coach but also needs to find some stability for the next 5-7 years.

3. Recruiting and Building a Coaching Staff
Gruden could probably recruit successfully off of name only, at least for the first two or three years of his college tenure. However, what happens after that has to be a concern. It’s been over 20 years since Gruden had to hit the recruiting trail. And this isn’t just a six-month process – it lasts all season. Gruden is a relentless worker and there’s always the fear he could get burned out after just a few seasons. The former NFL coach would also have to put together a staff that would be good recruiters, especially at Tennessee where there’s not a lot of homegrown talent. Building a staff without many college connections isn’t easy, and a collection of NFL assistants wouldn't necessarily work at Tennessee.

4. The West Coast Offense
The spread and high-scoring offenses are becoming the norm in college football, and there’s always been doubt the West Coast offense can work outside of the NFL. Although Gruden’s offense at Oakland finished three times in the top 10 of scoring offense, his teams at Tampa Bay never finished higher than 18th in the NFL in total offense. Obviously, it’s a different league, so it’s hard to take a lot away from those statistics. However, it’s also important to note 54 of the 124 teams in the nation are averaging at least 30 points a game, with 11 scoring at least 40 points per contest. Even though Alabama owns one of the nation’s best defenses, the Crimson Tide are averaging 38.4 points a game. While Gruden’s background on offense is appealing, implementing a West Coast offense takes a lot of time. Nebraska (Bill Callahan) and Syracuse (Greg Robinson) implemented a similar scheme with limited results. During his time in the NFL, Gruden’s playbook might have been one of the deepest in the league. Although the schemes, plays and formations have worked in NFL, there’s simply no way Gruden can copy that offense in college. It’s not impossible for the West Coast offense to work in college, but Gruden would have to do a lot of simplifying to his playbook and be willing to adapt to more of a spread approach.

5. Difficult to Play For?
There’s no question Gruden would bring passion and energy to the sideline or to any program, but that may not translate well at the college level. Criticism is most player’s least favorite word, but NFLers are more likely to handle it better than college athletes. Although Gruden’s intensity could be a good thing for some players who have underachieved or aren’t putting in the proper hours, it’s a very fine line to walk with college players who don’t have the amount of time NFL players can put into perfecting their game. Gruden could land at a college and work out just fine. However, if he gets the reputation of being too difficult or too demanding to play for, his tenure will go south in a hurry.


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 10 Ranks

College Football's Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections

Teaser:
<p> 5 Reasons Why Jon Gruden Would Be a Bad Fit at Tennessee</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:30
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/who-should-kentucky-hire-replace-joker-phillips
Body:

The first major domino in college football's coaching carousel fell on Sunday, as Kentucky's Joker Phillips was fired after a 12-23 mark through three seasons. Phillips led the Wildcats to a bowl game in his first year, but the team never showed major progress in his tenure. Athletic director Mitch Barnhart has a difficult coaching search to lead, especially with the pressure to get it right. 

Who Should Kentucky Hire to Replace Joker Phillips?

David Fox (@DavidFox615):
Kentucky’s first calls should be to Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes and Western Kentucky’s Willie Taggart. Dykes is a former Kentucky assistant with direct connections to a successful era for the Wildcats under coach Hal Mumme and offensive coordinator Mike Leach. Between Kentucky’s success with Mumme and Tim Couch -- and now Texas A&M’s success with Johnny Manziel -- we can say this sort of spread offense can succeed in the SEC. And Taggart is simply a program builder, whose Western Kentucky program had had more success than the Wildcats the last two years. If I’m Kentucky, I’m glad to take a branch off the Jim Harbaugh coaching tree as well. If those routes fail because Dykes and Taggart are candidates for better jobs, Kentucky might look at the Vanderbilt route -- hiring a young energetic assistant like Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown or Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall):
If there is any coaching opening in any conference at any level for any amount of money, my answer will be Bobby Petrino. He is the only proven winner out there who is guaranteed to win the second he steps onto campus. He can be had for dirt cheap and with so many clauses in his contract, he won't be allowed out of the house after dark. I am not hiring someone to grow the leaders of tomorrow or compete in graduation rates. I am hiring someone to score more points than the other team and no one is better at that than Petrino. Tennessee, Cal, Purdue, Auburn and especially Kentucky would be foolish not to entertain the idea. Otherwise, I call one of the quality head coaches already doing good things in the Commonwealth and see what they say.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): 
I think Kentucky made the right decision by pulling the plug on the Joker Phillips era after Saturday’s game. Even though the Wildcats were playing a lot of young players, the program wasn’t moving in the right direction and was just 4-19 in his three seasons in SEC play. Considering the SEC’s expansion to 14 teams, as well as Vanderbilt’s improvement under James Franklin, this is a crucial hire for Kentucky. The Wildcats cannot afford to fall further behind in the SEC pecking order and need to regain some of the fanbase after lagging attendance in Phillips’ last season. Kentucky needs to be targeting a young coach, especially with a background on offense. Bobby Petrino would be a home-run hire, but he’s not coming to Lexington. After Petrino, the next name on my list would be Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes. In three seasons with the Bulldogs, Dykes has a 21-13 record, and has helped to coordinate one of the top offenses in college football. He also has experience at Kentucky, working as an assistant under Hal Mumme in 1997 and 1999. If Dykes doesn’t want to come to Lexington, the Wildcats need to give a good look at Texas A&M offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury. 

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
My first call would be to Sonny Dykes, a former Kentucky assistant (1997, ’99) who is currently the head coach at Louisiana Tech. In two-plus seasons at Tech, Dykes has an overall record of 21–13 and a 13–5 mark in the WAC. The Bulldogs have made steady improvement since Dykes took over for Derek Dooley — they went 5–7 overall (4–4 WAC) in 2010, 8–5 (6–1) in ’11 and are currently 8–1 overall with a 3–0 mark in league play. They are ranked No. 20 in the latest BCS standings and have wins over Houston, Illinois and Virginia, along with a two-point loss to Texas A&M. Dykes’ teams not only win, they play an exciting brand of football; Tech ranks third in the nation in total offense and second in scoring offense. Dykes would be an ideal fit at a school that has enjoyed pockets of success but has failed to remain consistently competitive. 

Mark Ross: 
Baggage aside, I think Bobby Petrino would be the type of hire that could not only re-energize the fan base, but also give a boost to recruiting efforts. Everyone who follows the SEC knows what Petrino did at Arkansas, especially in terms of the type of offense he ran and how productive and exciting it was. Likewise, everyone knows how things ended with the Hogs, and because of that and other factors, I'm just not sure Kentucky will pull the trigger or be able to pay enough to lure Petrino to Lexington in the first place. That said, I think Willie Taggart would be the next best option. He's done a remarkable job of rebuilding Western Kentucky's program, which includes this season's win over the Wildcats in Lexington. His existing ties in the state should only aid in recruiting, particularly in keeping the top prospects home. Taggart may not have the name recognition that Petrino does, and the SEC and the Sun Belt are two entirely different playing fields, but he's already shown what he can do at one Kentucky state school, so why not give him a shot at turning around the program at THE Kentucky state school?

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): 
I see the No. 1 candidate being Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes. The former Kentucky assistant under Hal Mumme (a very underrated coaching tree) has proven he can cut it as a head coach with the Bulldogs, and Dykes’ high-octane offense is currently second in the nation with an average of 52.4 points per game. And for any Wildcats fan worried those are just WAC numbers, La. Tech scored 57 points against Texas A&M, 52 on Illinois and 44 versus Virginia. In 2011, the Bulldogs won by 20 at Ole Miss and lost in overtime at Mississippi State. Dykes will have several options this offseason, as multiple SEC schools should show some interest. Western Kentucky head coach Willie Taggart and Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown are also solid candidates, but UK should pursue Dykes as its next head coach.

Related College Football Content

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College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 10 Ranks

Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections

Post-Week 10 BCS Analysis

Teaser:
<p> Who Should Replace Joker Phillips at Kentucky?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:10
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Miami Hurricanes, News
Path: /college-football/should-miami-self-impose-bowl-ban-2012
Body:

With last week's win over Virginia Tech, Miami is now the frontrunner to win the ACC Coastal Division title. The Hurricanes were picked by many to finish fifth in the division in the preseason but have recorded a 4-2 record in ACC play so far and have two very winnable games remaining - at Virginia and at Duke. Although Miami has a chance to win a BCS bowl this year, the looming sanctions from the Nevin Shapiro investigation are hanging over this program. 

Should Miami Self-Impose a Bowl Ban for 2012?

Ryan Tice (@RyanTice), TheWolfpacker.com
Miami imposed a bowl ban on themselves last season, and there is absolutely no way they should do that to their players and coaches again this year. It had to be devastating for the players to sit out the postseason after getting to six wins in 2011, and the team promptly dropped their season finale to Boston College after the decision was announced.

This year, they are two conference wins away from clinching a berth in the school’s first ACC Championship game, and they are also on the verge of their first postseason trip under coach Al Golden. An appearance in the ACC Championship game and a big-time bowl, even if it eventually costs a postseason trip in the future — which is no guarantee — can be a boost for the entire program; nothing good can come from a second-straight year of watching the postseason from home.

David Fox (@DavidFox615):
If there’s no deadline, Miami should let the season play out before making a decision. If the Hurricanes are eliminated from their first ACC championship game, go ahead and take the bowl ban, which would likely result in a second- or third-tier bowl anyway. That’s hollow and obvious and a public relations problem, but that’s not a horrible course of action. Impose the bowl ban now, and Miami may cost itself a trip to the Orange Bowl and critical momentum for Al Golden’s program. Don’t impose it at all, and Miami’s just prolonging the inevitable. Do you think Ohio State would have preferred to take a bowl ban last season if there was a chance the Buckeyes would be eligible for this postseason?

Braden Gall (@BradenGall):
I am torn on this one. No, the kids out there fighting each and every Saturday to win the ACC Coastal had nothing to do with paying players to go to Miami over the last 10 years (or any of the other atrocities reported by Charles Robinson and Nevin Shapiro). However, the outlandish and garish style with which The U directly violated NCAA rules reeks of something much bigger than one diminutive hanger-on. How could powers that be inside and out of the University not have known about Shapiro? In that sense, watching Miami potentially play in a BCS bowl feels wrong. There isn't a good answer to this one and should the Hurricanes finish with the right to play in the ACC title game, the bowl ban punishment would fit the crime in my opinion.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): 
With Miami on the doorstep of its first ACC Coastal title, the athletic department and administration have a huge decision to make. There’s no question the Hurricanes are going to get hit hard by NCAA sanctions. The penalties are expected to be announced sometime in the spring of 2013 and a bowl ban is likely to be included. Miami self-imposed a bowl ban last season and it has to be on the table for consideration at the end of this year. Although taking a bowl ban isn’t a bad idea to soften the blow from the NCAA, the Hurricanes should play in the postseason in 2012. If Miami does win its first Coastal title, the players and coaching staff deserve to reap the benefits and play for the ACC Championship in Charlotte. Also, even though most expect the sanctions will be harsh, what if they aren’t? Predicting the future with the NCAA is always difficult, which makes this a tricky situation for Miami. The Hurricanes have to be worried about what happens in the future, but there’s a little momentum building behind coach Al Golden and this year’s team. However, taking a bowl ban would only be another setback for a program that is just 18-16 over the last three years.

Mark Ross: 
If Miami beats Virginia and Duke, the Hurricanes will represent the Coastal in the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C., and they just need one more win over their last three games to become bowl eligible. Considering any bowl ban for this season would come from the university itself, and not the NCAA, I think the powers that be at "The U" would best be served by deciding against such a strategy. The chances are highly likely that the 'Canes will receive a number of NCAA sanctions and penalties, including some form of a postseason ban, stemming from the investigation into the alleged recruiting violations related to Nevin Shapiro. Even though a self-imposed bowl ban would be an attempt to mitigate the NCAA's pending punishment, I think in this case it would do more harm than good to the program and its fan and alumni base, considering the position the Hurricanes find themselves in. If Miami wins the Coastal, not only would it play in the ACC Championship Game, it would then have a chance to earn a spot in a BCS bowl, and the other benefits associated with that. Even should the 'Canes lose in the ACC title game, they will undoubtedly receive an invitation to one of the conference's better bowls based on their second-place finish. Look, at some point the hammer is going to fall on the football program once more. There's really no reason I see for the school to be the one to swing it first, especially considering how this season could play out.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): 
I do not think so; unless the administration at Miami has a very solid indication from the NCAA (good luck getting a clear picture from them) of how much a self-imposed ban in 2012 would lessen sanctions in the future. The Hurricanes may have an uncertain future with the ongoing investigation, but their current standing is atop the Coastal Division with Virginia and Duke left on the league schedule. Miami has a chance to play in its first-ever ACC Championship Game, and an upset over Florida State or Clemson would equal a BCS/Orange Bowl berth. The Hurricanes imposed a bowl ban last year, and the administration should let Al Golden and his players have a shot at a big-time bowl this season.

Related College Football Content

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Post-Week 10 BCS Analysis

Teaser:
<p> Should Miami Self-Impose a Bowl Ban in 2012?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:05
Path: /college-football/nebraska-or-michigan-which-team-wins-legends-division-2012
Body:

It has been a difficult year for the Big Ten, especially with only two teams ranked after Week 10. The conference's best team (Ohio State) is ineligible to win the championship, while Penn State is also banned from postseason play. The battle to win the Leaders Division appears to be down to Wisconsin and Indiana, while the Legends Division is a tight race between Michigan and Nebraska. 

Nebraska or Michigan: Which Team Wins the Legends Division in 2012?

David Fox (@DavidFox615):
This seems obvious, doesn’t it? Nebraska already defeated Michigan, and the Cornhuskers finish up with Penn State and Minnesota at home and Iowa on the road. Michigan has Ohio State on the road and two other games. The schedule is immensely favorable to Nebraska, and even if the Cornhuskers get into trouble, they’ve shown they can respond with two Big Ten wins in which they’ve trailed in the fourth quarter and a third in which they’ve trailed in the third. Barring misstep, I’m taking Nebraska.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall):
Each has one game that I feel is a loss. Michigan's is a sure thing at Ohio State as the Buckeyes will be playing their Super Bowl with a chance to completely ruin the Wolverines trip to Pasadena. Therefore, Nebraska would have to loss two games the rest of the way to miss out on the Big Ten championship game. So even if the Huskers slip-up against a very good Penn State team, it would have to lose again to either Minnesota (at home) or Iowa (road) in one of the final two games. Give me Big Red to match-up with...Big Red (either Wisconsin or, gasp, Indiana) in the Big Ten Championship game. 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): 
With essentially a one-game lead (thanks to a head-to-head win), Nebraska will win the Legends Division. The Cornhuskers and Wolverines are tied with one Big Ten loss, but Michigan lost 23-9 in Lincoln in late October. For the Wolverines to win the division, they need two losses by Nebraska. Finding two defeats on the schedule for the Cornhuskers isn’t easy, especially since they play Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa. Nebraska could easily lose to Iowa on the road or this Saturday against Penn State, but one loss really doesn’t help Michigan. The Wolverines still have to play at Ohio State in the season finale, which the Buckeyes figure to be favored to win. It’s not impossible, but I don’t see a scenario where Michigan is able to win the Legends Division title. Barring a complete collapse, Nebraska will play for the Big Ten title in December.

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
Nebraska basically clinched the Legends Division by beating Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State in the last three weeks. The Cornhuskers are tied with Michigan at 4–1 but have the tie-breaker due to their win in Lincoln on Oct. 27. The Huskers’ closing schedule is relatively soft, with home games against Penn State and Minnesota and a game at struggling Iowa. Michigan still has to play Northwestern and at Ohio State. This race is over!

Mark Ross: 
I give the edge to Nebraska because the Cornhuskers hold the tie-breaker over the Wolverines in the first place, and the uncertainty surrounding the health of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Both teams sit 4-1 in the Legends Division, but again Nebraska has a game in hand on Michigan thanks to its 23-9 head-to-head win on Oct. 27. Both teams could end up losing this week as the Cornhuskers host Penn State and the Wolverines take on Northwestern, potentially without Robinson. After Nebraska plays Penn State, it has Minnesota and Iowa left on its schedule, while Michigan still has a date in Columbus on Thanksgiving weekend to play Ohio State. Since the Buckeyes are ineligible for the postseason, this will be their bowl game, and an undefeated season may also be on the line for Urban Meyer's team. Michigan already had a tougher road to the Big Ten title game than Nebraska to begin with, and now the questions about Robinson's playing status only increase the degree of difficulty. By virtue of that victory in Lincoln in late October, Nebraska will spend the first Saturday of December in Indianapolis playing for the Big Ten championship and a spot in a BCS bowl. 

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): 
I think it’s clearly the Cornhuskers. Nebraska has the tiebreaker with its 23-9 victory over Michigan, and I believe the Wolverines still have a Big Ten loss awaiting them against Ohio State in the season finale. Additionally, NU should be favored by a touchdown or more in its three remaining games versus Penn State, Minnesota and Iowa. The Huskers have won three in a row, and it’s no coincidence that Ameer Abdullah has three consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. The sophomore back has been solid during Rex Burkhead’s absence, and quarterback Taylor Martinez had an excellent rushing game in last week’s win over Michigan State. The defense still has some issues, but nothing that would prevent Nebraska from winning the Big Ten and playing in the Rose Bowl.

Related College Football Content

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Teaser:
<p> Nebraska or Michigan: Which team wins the Legends Division in 2012?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-10-bowl-projections
Body:

College football's bowl season is inching closer, but it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With nine weeks of results in the books, it's beginning to get easier to make long-term projections about teams. 

The post-Week 10 bowl projections are a mixture between how things would look if the season ended today, future schedules, and a dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks. 

2012-2013 Post-Week 10 College Football Bowl Projections

Bowl Date Tie-In Projected Matchup
New Mexico Dec. 15 MWC vs. Pac-12 Arizona State vs. Nevada
Famous Idaho Potato Dec. 15 MAC vs. WAC Utah State vs. N. Illinois
Poinsettia Dec. 20 BYU vs. MWC BYU vs. San Diego State
Beef 'O'Brady's Dec. 21 Big East vs. C-USA East Carolina vs. Bowling Green*
New Orleans Dec. 22 Sun Belt vs. C-USA UL Monroe vs. Tulsa
Las Vegas Dec. 22 MWC vs. Pac-12 Arizona vs. Boise State
Hawaii Dec. 24 C-USA vs. MWC Fresno State vs. SMU
Little Caesars Dec. 26 Big Ten vs. MAC W. Kentucky* vs. Toledo
Military Dec. 27 ACC vs. Army Kent State* vs. Marshall*
Belk Dec. 27 ACC vs. Big East Duke vs. Cincinnati
Holiday Dec. 27 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Stanford vs. Oklahoma State
Independence Dec. 28 ACC vs. SEC Wake Forest vs. La. Tech*
Russell Athletic Dec. 28 ACC vs. Big East Miami vs. Rutgers
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Baylor vs. Minnesota
Armed Forces Dec. 29 C-USA vs. MWC Houston vs. Air Force
Kraft Fight Hunger Dec. 29 Pac-12 vs. Navy Navy vs. Washington
Pinstripe Dec. 29 Big East vs. Big 12 Pittsburgh vs. TCU
Alamo Dec. 29 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 UCLA vs. Texas Tech
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Michigan State vs. West Virginia
Music City Dec. 31 SEC vs. ACC Ole Miss vs. NC State
Sun Dec. 31 ACC vs. Pac-12 USC vs. Virginia Tech
Liberty Dec. 31 SEC vs. C-USA Tennessee vs. UCF**
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 ACC vs. SEC Clemson vs. Miss. State
Heart of Dallas Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. Big 12 San Jose State* vs. Iowa State
TaxSlayer.com Gator Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten South Carolina vs. Northwestern
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Florida vs. Michigan
Outback Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Wisconsin vs. Georgia
Cotton Jan. 4 Big 12 vs. SEC Texas vs. Texas A&M
BBVA Compass Jan. 5 SEC vs. Big East Vanderbilt vs. Arkansas State*
GoDaddy.com Jan. 6 MAC vs. Sun Belt MTSU vs. Ohio
       
BCS Bowls      
Rose Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Nebraska vs. Oregon State
Orange Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Florida State vs. Louisville
Sugar Jan. 2 BCS vs. BCS LSU vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS vs. BCS Kansas State vs. Notre Dame
National Title Jan. 7 BCS vs. BCS Oregon vs. Alabama


* Indicates an at-large team due to a conference unable to fill bowl slots according to Athlon's projections.

** UCF is appealing a postseason ban and for now, is eligible to compete in the 2012 postseason.

Bold indicates a team has accepted bowl bid.

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Nov. 4, 2012)

Related College Football Content

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College Football Week 10 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:11
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-10-rankings
Body:

Week 10 of the 2012 college football season is in the books and plenty of coaches saw the temperature on their seat increase by a few degrees. Kentucky's Joker Phillips was fired after losing 40-0 to Vanderbilt on Saturday. Phillips became the first BCS coach fired this season and the second after Idaho parted ways with Robb Akey. Boston College's Frank Spaziani now claims the top spot in the hot seat ranks. Auburn's Gene Chizik, Tennessee's Derek Dooley and California's Jeff Tedford remain in the top five, while Iowa's Kirk Ferentz rejoins the rankings after a loss to Indiana.

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 10 Rankings

1. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank:
2
Record at Boston College: 22-26 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-7
If there was really any doubt about Spaziani’s future at Boston College, those questions were answered on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles lost 28-14 at Wake Forest, ending any hopes they had of getting bowl eligible this season. Since leading Boston College to back-to-back bowl appearances in 2009-10, Spaziani is just 6-15 and will likely finish 2012 with a 2-10 record.

2. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank: 3
Record at Auburn: 32-17 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-7
Chizik got a much-needed victory on Saturday, as Auburn easily dispatched New Mexico State 42-7. Even though the Tigers were heavily favored, this team needed a confidence boost before the final three games of the season. Auburn has a chance to play spoiler this week, as rival Georgia comes to town with a chance to clinch the SEC East title with a victory. Barring a win in either of the Tigers’ last two conference games, it’s hard to envision Chizik getting another year in Auburn. Freshman quarterback Jonathan Wallace is someone the Tigers can build their offense around, but it’s probably too late for Chizik and this coaching staff to save their jobs.

3. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank:
4
Record at Tennessee: 15-19 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 4-5
Just like Gene Chizik, Dooley got a much-needed victory on Saturday. Of course, a 55-48 last-minute win over Troy didn’t exactly quiet the restlessness surrounding the program. Tennessee’s defense has been awful under new coordinator Sal Sunseri, ranking 112th nationally in yards allowed and 107th in scoring defense. With winnable games against Missouri, Vanderbilt and Kentucky, a 7-5 finish could be enough for Dooley to return for 2013. However, even if Dooley is brought back, the road to a winning season won’t be any easier. The defensive issues won’t be an easy fix, and quarterback Tyler Bray and receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson could leave early for the NFL.

4. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank:
5
Record at California: 82-55 (11th season)
2012 Record: 3-7
A bad season got even worse for Tedford last week. Star receiver Keenan Allen suffered a knee injury on an onside kick against Utah and will likely miss the rest of the season. Not having Allen in the lineup against Washington hurt the Golden Bears’ offense, as well as an injury to starting quarterback Zach Maynard. With Friday night’s loss to Washington, California dropped to 3-7 and will miss out on a bowl game for the second time in three seasons. There’s no question Tedford is in serious jeopardy of not returning for 2013 and there’s a good chance the Golden Bears finish 3-9 with Oregon and Oregon State remaining on the schedule.

5. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Record at Southern Miss: 0-9
2012 Record: 0-9
Johnson is the only first-year coach to crack the top five of the hot seat watch over the last two years. Southern Miss jumped out to a 16-0 lead against UAB, but the Blazers rallied for a 27-19 victory. The Golden Eagles are 0-9 and have already set the record for the most losses in school history. It’s rare to see a first-year coach in danger of losing his job, but Johnson has done very little to suggest he deserves a second season in Hattiesburg.

6. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank: 8
Record at New Mexico State: 10-37 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-7
As expected, New Mexico State’s trip to Auburn wasn’t pretty. The Aggies were demolished 42-7 by the Tigers, which was the eighth consecutive defeat for New Mexico State. Walker has never won more than four games in his tenure in Las Cruces and could finish with a 1-11 record this year. Considering New Mexico State’s uncertain conference situation, it will be very difficult to attract coaching candidates. However, it’s clear Walker is struggling to make any progress after four years.

7. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Record at Central Michigan: 9-24 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
The 2012 season has been one of missed opportunities for Enos and Central Michigan. The Chippewas beat Iowa on the road and had a chance to make a run at a bowl game if they could have won the final four contests. However, Central Michigan was defeated 42-31 by rival Western Michigan on Saturday, dropping the Chippewas' record to 3-6. The remaining schedule is favorable – Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio) and UMass – but it’s hard to count on any consistency from this team. Enos has recorded only three wins in each of his three years in Mount Pleasant and that’s simply not enough to keep his job for 2013.

8. Danny Hope, Purdue
Last Week’s Rank: 16
Record at Purdue: 19-27 (4th season)
2012 Record: 3-6
Barring a three-game winning streak to close out the 2012 season, Hope is unlikely to return to West Lafayette for 2013. The Boilermakers have failed to build on the momentum from the end of 2011 and have lost five consecutive games. Hope is just 10-19 in four years in Big Ten play and there are no guaranteed wins with Iowa, Illinois and Indiana remaining on the schedule. Hope recorded a 35-22 mark during his tenure at Eastern Kentucky, but has never been able to build a consistent winner at Purdue.

9. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank: 13
Record at UTEP: 47-59 (8 years)
2012 Record: 2-7
The Miners were off in Week 10 and return to action against UCF this Saturday. UTEP has managed only two victories this season (New Mexico State and Tulane) and has lost four conference games by at least 10 points. Price started off his tenure in El Paso with an 8-4 record in 2005 but has not won more than six games in season over the last seven. UTEP could be favored to beat Southern Miss and Rice at the end of the year but that's probably not enough for Price to return in 2013.

10. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank: 7
Record at Buffalo: 7-26 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-7
Quinn drops three spots in the hot seat watch after a 27-24 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. The win over the RedHawks was Buffalo’s first conference victory this season and snapped a six-game losing streak. A key reason in the upset win was the play of running back Branden Oliver, who has returned from an early season knee injury to rush for 300 yards over the last two weeks. With winnable games against Western Michigan and UMass the next two weeks, Buffalo has a chance to surpass last season’s win total (3).

11. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank: 10
Record at Rice: 27-44 (6th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
After a 1-5 start, Bailiff is making a late run to save his job for 2013. Rice has won three out of its last four games, including a 49-47 shootout victory at Tulane on Saturday. Although wins against UTSA, Southern Miss and Tulane are nothing special, the Owls have a chance to get bowl eligible if they can beat SMU and UTEP in their final two games. If Bailiff can go 5-7 or 6-6, he should be back for another year. However, if Rice loses both games, a new coach will likely be on the sidelines next season.

12. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Record at UNLV: 6-29 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-8
As the hot seat watch has mentioned throughout this year, UNLV is showing signs of improvement in Hauck’s third season. The Rebels took Minnesota to overtime in the opener and lost to Washington State by eight points. UNLV has conference wins over Air Force and New Mexico, along with a five-point loss to Nevada. The Rebels have never won more than two games under Hauck, so the next three games of the season are more opportunities to show the program is headed in the right direction. Matchups against Colorado State, Wyoming and Hawaii are winnable, which should be enough for Hauck to return for 2013.

13. Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut
Last Week’s Rank: 14
Record at Connecticut: 8-13 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
A promising start has quickly eroded into a disaster for Connecticut. The Huskies opened 2-1 with a solid road victory over Maryland. However, it’s been all downhill since. Connecticut has only one win in its last five games – a 24-17 victory over 2-7 Buffalo. Dating back to last season, the Huskies have lost five consecutive Big East games and still have to play Pittsburgh, Louisville and Cincinnati this season. Connecticut will probably give Pasqualoni one more season to turn things around. However, there’s very little to suggest the veteran coach deserves another year in Storrs.

14. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank: 17
Record at Colorado: 4-18 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-8
The season finale against Utah can’t get here soon enough for Colorado. The Buffaloes were soundly defeated by Stanford 48-0 on Saturday. The loss dropped Embree to 4-18 overall and the last three Pac-12 losses have come by at least 40 points. Although Colorado is committed to giving Embree more help next season, the second-year coach hasn’t shown much to suggest he deserves more time. The Buffaloes have been largely uncompetitive for two seasons and rank statistically as one of the worst teams in the nation.

15. Skip Holtz, South Florida
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at South Florida: 16-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
The Bulls snapped a six-game losing streak in Big East play with a 13-6 win over Connecticut on Saturday. However, the victory was costly, as quarterback B.J. Daniels was lost for the year with a leg injury. Although the Bulls are just 3-6 and played a bad Connecticut team, beating the Huskies was a much-needed confidence-booster for this team. With Miami, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh remaining on the schedule, South Florida will need to play its best game to have a shot to win any of those three contests. Holtz’s huge contract extension may keep him around another year but finishing with a 3-9 record would only increase the calls for his job at the end of the season.

16. Tom O'Brien, NC State
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at NC State: 38-34 (6 years)
2012 Record: 5-4
Thanks to an inexplicable 33-6 loss to Virginia on Saturday, O’Brien makes his first appearance in the hot seat watch. Considering the talent O’Brien had coming back to Raleigh this year, there’s really no excuse for this team to lose to Virginia at home. And the grumblings within the fan base have only gotten louder over the last two weeks, especially after a loss to North Carolina on a late punt return for a touchdown. With Wake Forest, Clemson and Boston College the final three games on the NC State schedule, the Wolfpack should finish 7-5. If O’Brien can lead this team to that record, it would be the first time since 2000-02 that NC State had at least seven wins in three consecutive seasons. Although O’Brien’s record isn’t bad (38-34), there is plenty of doubt about his future.

17. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 15
Record at Western Michigan: 51-45 (8th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
The Broncos haven’t had much luck this season, but they scored a key win on Saturday, defeating rival Central Michigan 42-31. The victory over the Chippewas gave Western Michigan a two-game winning streak in the series, which is its first since 2002-03. The Broncos finish the year with Buffalo and Eastern Michigan, two games that are very winnable and could be enough to land another bowl appearance. Cubit’s teams at Western Michigan have underachieved but losing quarterback Alex Carder in late September was a difficult setback for this team.

18. Mack Brown, Texas
Last Week’s Rank: 18
Record at Texas: 148-41 (15th season)
2012 Record: 7-2
After a disappointing performance against Kansas, Saturday’s 31-22 victory over Texas Tech was a critical win for Brown. Although he’s not really in any danger of losing his job, Brown needed a solid victory to help bolster this team's hopes for a late run at 10 wins. The Longhorns take on Iowa State and TCU in Austin for their next two games, before finishing the season at Kansas State. Although Brown is taking a lot of heat for this team not contending for a Big 12 title, finishing with a 9-3 or 10-2 record is a step in the right direction.

19. June Jones, SMU
Last Week’s Rank: 20
Record at SMU: 28-33 (5th season)
2012 Record: 4-5
The Mustangs had their two-game winning streak snapped with a 42-17 loss against UCF in Week 10. SMU’s three wins in Conference USA play have come against UTEP, Houston and Memphis – not exactly the most difficult of opponents. However, the Mustangs could still get bowl eligible, especially with Southern Miss visiting Dallas this Saturday and a trip to Rice on Nov. 17. Jones has led SMU to three consecutive bowl games but he hasn’t improved the program to the level some expected. Don’t be surprised if the veteran coach takes a look at potential openings around the nation this offseason.

20. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Iowa: 100-72 (14 seasons)
2012 Record: 4-5
Ferentz has done a lot of good things at Iowa, but the program seems to be trending in the wrong direction. The Hawkeyes have watched their win total decline since posting 11 victories in 2009 and could miss out on a bowl game this year. Iowa lost 24-21 to Indiana on Saturday, its first defeat to the Hoosiers since 2007. Ferentz received a huge contract extension after the 2009 season, which won’t make it easy for Iowa to make a coaching change. Even if the Hawkeyes lose their final three games of the season, Ferentz won’t be fired. However, 19-16 record over the last three years isn’t sitting well with the fan base.
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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College Football Week 10 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 10 Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:10
Path: /college-football/8-college-football-coaches-who-could-run-president
Body:

Election Day always brings out strong opinions across the United States, especially when it comes to choosing a president. College football coaches aren't going to run for the Oval Office anytime soon but what if they did? Athlon examined the coaching ranks in college football and found a handful of candidates that could make a run at the White House. And just like when it comes to choosing a president or any other representative, it's perfectly fine to disagree with our choices.

8 College Football Coaches Who Could Run for President

Al Golden, Miami
Age:
43

When it comes to appearing "presidential", no other college football coach can match Golden. The 43-year-old Miami coach was also born on July 4 – doesn’t that count for something?

Golden’s overall record at Miami isn’t great (11-10), but he didn’t exactly inherit a full cupboard in Coral Gables. The New Jersey native seems to have the Hurricanes going in the right direction, especially since the program could make its first appearance in the ACC title game this year. Also, Golden’s previous body of work at Temple is strong, resurrecting one of the worst college football programs into a winner during his last two years.  

And it’s never a bad idea to have a candidate from a swing state (Florida) on the board.


Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Age:
41

Any coach that downs Red Bull and coffee like its water automatically has our interest. Holgorsen’s penchant for chugging on a Red Bull before a game makes us confident he would have no trouble burning the midnight oil required in the Oval Office.

The Iowa native spent most of his time in the Midwest, but his stop at West Virginia has added some East Coast experience to his resume. Holgorsen’s high-scoring offense is innovative and exciting, which leads us to believe he can help deliver some fresh ideas on how to jumpstart the economy.

Holgorsen is a bit of a wild card and was reportedly escorted from a casino in May of 2011. However, it’s hard to ignore one of the top offensive minds in the nation. And let's be honest - there would probably never be a dull day with Holgorsen in charge.
 

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Age:
51

Kelly has some political experience in his background, so making a run at the White House is a logical move. The Massachusetts native has gathered experience as a head coach at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan, Cincinnati and Notre Dame, with a solid record of 196-66-2.

In addition to his excellent overall record, Kelly has the personality to work with boosters or students, which would translate well to working with both sides of the political spectrum.

Kelly’s teams at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati thrived on offense. However, Notre Dame’s defense ranks as one of the best in college football this season. This clearly shows Kelly is willing to adapt to whatever is necessary to succeed.


Nick Saban, Alabama
Age:
61

College football’s No. 1 coach is really a no-brainer when it comes to this opportunity. Saban is 64-12 in six seasons with Alabama and has won two national championships during his time in Tuscaloosa. The West Virginia native’s success isn’t just limited to Alabama, as Saban went 48-16 in five years at LSU and was 34-24-1 during his time at Michigan State.

Considering Saban’s ability to coordinate some of the nation’s best defenses, there’s no question national defense would be a strength under his watch. Saban is demanding, but he’s also the best of the best.

Even if some people may have SEC fatigue, Saban is capable of producing instant results. That’s all that really matters right?
 

Bill Snyder, Kansas State
Age:
73

Considering everything Snyder touches seems to turn to gold, why not make a run at Washington, D.C.? In 21 seasons at Kansas State, Snyder has recorded an impressive 168-83-1 record. His winning mark is even more impressive when you consider how difficult it was for a coach to win at Kansas State before his arrival.

The only thing that works against Snyder? His age. At 73 years old, Snyder is the oldest candidate on this list. However, the Missouri native is known as a relentless worker and has a clear plan for how to govern: 16 goals for success. And that plan just happens to be more than most politicians propose throughout their career.
 

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Age:
48

Sumlin is a rising star in the coaching ranks and could rank among the nation's best by 2016. The Alabama native has working experience in all parts of the country, making stops as an assistant at Washington State, Wyoming, Minnesota, Purdue, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Sumlin has worked for five years as a head coach (Houston, Texas A&M) and has compiled a 42-19 record.

If you are looking for something new and exciting, Sumlin is your man. He’s got experience from all parts of the nation and his offense would be entertaining, leading to a boost in the stands, which will only help the local economy. 
 

Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Age:
48

When it comes to producing results, it’s hard to find a coach with the track record of Urban Meyer. The Ohio native went 17-6 in two years at Bowling Green, 22-2 in two years at Utah, 65-15 in six years at Florida an 10-0 in his only season at Ohio State. Meyer also won a national title during his time with the Gators and has experience as an assistant at Notre Dame, Bowling Green and Illinois State.

Meyer’s offenses have been some of the best in college football, so if you are looking for a candidate with innovation and creativity, the Buckeyes’ coach is the right choice.

Considering Meyer got burned out during his time at Florida, he would need to surround himself with the best possible staff to help manage his tenure in the Oval Office.
 

Mack Brown, Texas
Age: 61

Is there really any doubt Brown is the perfect candidate to run for political office? The Tennessee native is the ultimate CEO of a college football program, knows how to lobby and never has a problem recruiting top-notch talent.

Brown has experience from all across the nation, as he has spent time as an assistant at Florida State, Iowa State, Oklahoma, LSU and Appalachian State.

Although Brown has had a few down years at Texas, he’s still capable of building a winner and would have no trouble winning the press conference or working the room with fellow politicians.

Others to Consider:

Bill O’Brien, head coach, Penn State – O’Brien inherited a difficult situation at Penn State and has quickly resurrected the Nittany Lions’ passing offense into one of the best in the Big Ten.

Pat Fitzgerald, head coach, Northwestern – Just like Bill O’Brien, Fitzgerald inherited a difficult situation at Northwestern. The Illinois native is 47-38 in his seven years with the Wildcats and has led Northwestern to four consecutive bowl games. Considering what Fitzgerald has done at Northwestern, he’s well-prepared for any opportunity on a bigger stage.

Chip Kelly, Oregon - Kelly's up-tempo offense is definitely innovative, so expect the former New Hampshire native to bring some fresh ideas to the nation.

Chris Petersen, head coach, Boise State – Considering his success at Boise State, imagine what Petersen could do on a larger scale with more resources.
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

Post-Week 10 ACC Power Rankings
Post-Week 10 Big East Power Rankings

Post-Week 10 Big 12 Power Rankings

Post-Week 10 Big Ten Power Rankings

Post-Week 10 Pac-12 Power Rankings

Post-Week 10 SEC Power Rankings

College Football Week 10 Recap

Teaser:
<p> 8 College Football Coaches Who Could Run for President</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:09
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-10-waiver-wire-report
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The fantasy playoffs are right around the corner and owners at the bottom of the standings have just about thrown in the towel.  As a result, there is not as much competition for waiver wire claims with the season drawing to a close.  Take a look at some late-season waiver gems as we head into Week 10.

Ryan Griffin, QB-Tulane

Since his return from injury, Griffin has passed for 1,100 yards and ten touchdowns in three games.  Fantasy owners should get solid production from the senior quarterback as the Green Wave play Rice, Memphis, East Carolina, and Houston to close the season.
 

Ray Holley, RB-Louisiana Tech

Holley isn’t a bad acquisition if you play in a deep league because the senior running back is averaging over 95 total yards from scrimmage, three receptions, and a touchdown per game 


Damon Bullock, RB-Iowa

Damon Bullock opened the season as the starter, but Mark Weisman took over when Bullock was lost for several weeks due to a head injury.  Now, Weisman is the one that is injured and the running back position in Ames may be Bullock’s once again.
 

Jalen Saunders, WR-Oklahoma

We are going to use the logic that we did a couple of weeks ago with Bronson Hill of Eastern Michigan when he ran for 283 yards against Toledo.  When a receiver catches 15 passes for 181 yards in a single game at this point of the season, you should claim him off of waivers and keep Saunders away from other owners. 
 

Eric Monette, WR-Western Michigan

Last week, we identified Josh Schaffer as the favorite target of quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen, but with fellow receiver Jamie Wilson sidelined with a groin injury, Monette has posted two consecutive eight-catch games. 
 

Bryan Underwood, WR-North Carolina St

Underwood only has 28 catches, but he has caught at least one touchdown in every game this season and has posted back-to-back 100-yard games. 
 

Myles White, WR-Louisiana Tech

White is the second-leading receiver for the Bulldogs behind Quinton Patton and has at least 100 yards receiving and a touchdown in back-to-back games.
 

Ryan Grant, WR-Tulane

Grant’s success has a lot to do with the return of Ryan Griffin at quarterback.  Over the past two weeks, the junior receiver has caught 12 passes for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
 

Did you miss last week’s waiver report?  See it here.


By Joe DiSalvo, thecffsite.com

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Email:  joe@thecffsite.com

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Post-Week 10 Waiver Wire Report</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 03:28
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Kentucky Wildcats, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/25-coaches-replace-fired-joker-phillips-kentucky
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The first domino in the college football coaching carousel fell on Sunday, as Joker Phillips was fired at Kentucky. Phillips led the Wildcats to a 6-7 mark in his first season but the program was never able to get back to the postseason. Kentucky was 5-7 last year and is 1-9 through 10 games in 2012. Although the Wildcats had some signs of life on offense in this season, Phillips was never able to show enough progress to save his job.

Although Kentucky is one of college basketball’s top jobs, the football program is one of the toughest in the SEC. In a division with Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, finding success isn’t easy.  The Wildcats have not won more than eight games since 1984 but had a streak of four seasons with at least seven wins from 2006-09.

What should Kentucky look for in the next coach? How about youth, energy and a background in offense? The Wildcats need to be creative on offense to fill the stands, as well as to compete in the SEC. 

25 Coaching Candidates to Replace Joker Phillips at Kentucky

Neal Brown, offensive coordinator, Texas Tech – Brown fits the profile of what Kentucky should be looking for in its next head coach. The Kentucky native has a background on offense and is only 32 years old, which should bring some much-needed energy to the fanbase. Brown played at Kentucky from 1998-2000 and has been Texas Tech’s offensive coordinator since 2010. The only drawback to Brown is a lack of head coaching experience.
 

David Cutcliffe, head coach, Duke – Cutcliffe isn’t a flashy or exciting hire, but he has won at Ole Miss and Duke. In seven seasons with the Rebels, he recorded a 44-29 record and went to five bowl appearances. Cutcliffe is 21-37 in five years at Duke but has the Blue Devils poised to make their first postseason game since 1994. Cutcliffe is not regarded as an elite recruiter but is considered one of college football’s top developers of quarterback talent.
 

Dave Doeren, head coach, Northern Illinois – Doeren is quietly flying under the radar this year but expect his name to get into the mix for BCS coaching jobs after the season. The Kansas native is 20-4 in two years with Northern Illinois and led the Huskies to a MAC title last season. Doeren has experience as an assistant at Montana, Kansas and Wisconsin but has never coached in the SEC. Although his background is on defense, Doeren’s offenses at Northern Illinois have each averaged over 38 points per game. 
 

Sonny Dykes, head coach, Louisiana Tech – Dykes has been on a steady climb through the coaching ranks and is expected to be one of the hottest names in the rumor mill this offseason. He coached at Kentucky in 1997 and 1999 under Hal Mumme and has stops at Texas Tech and Arizona as an offensive coordinator. Dykes was named Louisiana Tech’s head coach in 2010 and has led the Bulldogs to a 21-13 record. Dykes also runs a high-scoring offense, which should be one of the top attributes Kentucky is looking for with this hire. Unless he isn't interested in the job, Dykes should be one of the first phone calls from athletic director Mitch Barnhart.
 

Phil Fulmer, former Tennessee head coach – Fulmer has been relatively quiet since being forced out at Tennessee in 2008. During his career with the Volunteers, Fulmer recorded a 152-52 record and led Tennessee to 15 bowl games. Although it wouldn’t be a flashy hire, Fulmer would be a similar situation to when Kentucky brought in Rich Brooks. Fulmer is a longshot for the job, but his record and success at Tennessee is hard to ignore. 
 

Darrell Hazell, head coach, Kent State – Hazell has shined in his first head coaching gig and is in position for a quick rise in the coaching ranks. He served as an assistant at Western Michigan, Army, West Virginia, Rutgers and Ohio State from 1986-2010, before jumping at the opportunity to coach Kent State in 2011. Hazell is 13-8 in two years with the Golden Flashes and should lead this program to its first bowl appearance since 1972 in 2012.
 

Mark Helfrich, offensive coordinator, Oregon – If Kentucky is looking to make a splash and turn the offense into one of the SEC’s best, why not give Helfrich a call? The 39-year-old offensive coordinator is in his fourth season at Oregon and has stops as an assistant at Boise State and Arizona State. Helfrich has no head coaching experience, but his background on offense should be very attractive for Kentucky.
 

Mark Hudspeth, head coach, Louisiana-Lafayette – Hudspeth is a name familiar in coaching circles in the SEC. The Mississippi native spent time at Mississippi State under Dan Mullen and led North Alabama to a 66-21 mark during his tenure from 2002-08. Hudspeth is 14-7 through two years at Louisiana-Lafayette and should lead the Ragin’ Cajuns to back-to-back bowl appearances.
 

Kliff Kingsbury, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M – Kingsbury is only 33 years old, but he is one of the rising stars in college football. The former Texas Tech quarterback spent time in the NFL with the Patriots, Saints, Broncos, Jets and Bills, before getting into coaching. Kingsbury started his career at Houston in 2008 and was named co-offensive coordinator in 2010. He left Houston to join Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M in 2011 and has led the Aggies' offense to an average of 559.6 yards per game. The lack of head coaching experience is the only downside in Kingsbury’s resume, as his offense would help Kentucky recruit top quarterbacks and skill players to Lexington.
 

Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator, Atlanta Falcons – Koetter’s name has generated some early buzz in the rumor mill. He fits the bill as an offensive-minded head coach, but his previous tenures haven’t been particularly impressive. Koetter went 26-10 in two years at Boise State and 40-34 in six seasons at Arizona State. The Idaho native has NFL experience but has never coached in the SEC.
 

Pete Lembo, head coach, Ball State – Lembo is only 42 years old and has three stops as a head coach. He went 44-14 in five seasons at Lehigh and 35-22 in five years at Elon. Lembo is in his second year with Ball State and has a 12-9 record and should lead the Cardinals to a bowl appearance this season. Lembo doesn’t have experience in the SEC but he is a proven winner and his offense at Ball State is averaging over 470 yards per game. If Kentucky wants to hire an up-and-coming option, Lembo would be a good fit.
 

Mike MacIntyre, head coach, San Jose State – MacIntyre’s overall record at San Jose State (13-21) may not be impressive, but he has helped to turn the Spartans into a bowl team in a short amount of time. The Spartans went 1-12 in his first year but went 5-7 in 2011 and are off to a 7-2 start this season. MacIntyre played at Vanderbilt for two seasons and has experience as an assistant at Georgia, Temple, Ole Miss and Duke.
 

Gus Malzahn, head coach, Arkansas State – Malzahn nearly became the Vanderbilt head coach two years ago and is off to a 6-3 start in his first season at Arkansas State. The Texas native was one of the masterminds behind Auburn’s national championship and runs an exciting offense that would help to fill the stands in Lexington each Saturday. Even if Kentucky wants Malzahn, he could be more interested in what happens at Arkansas or Auburn.
 

Trent Miles, head coach, Indiana State – Miles is an under-the-radar candidate who should get a look for FBS jobs over the next few years. The Indiana native has stops as an assistant at Oklahoma, Northern Illinois, Hawaii, Fresno State, Stanford, Notre Dame and Washington and one year in the NFL with the Packers. Miles inherited an awful situation at Indiana State, as the Sycamores were just 1-32 in the three seasons prior to his arrival. During his five seasons at Indiana State, Miles has a 20-34 record, including three consecutive winning records.
 

Todd Monken, offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State – Monken has never been a head coach but has filled a solid resume with stops as an assistant at Notre Dame, Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, Oklahoma State, LSU and in the NFL with the Jaguars. Monken helped to lead Oklahoma State’s offense to rank No. 3 overall nationally in yards per game last season (545.9 ypg) and despite playing three quarterbacks, has kept the Cowboys’ attack going this year. Monken’s lack of head coaching experience is a concern, but his offensive background has to be intriguing to Kentucky.
 

Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson – Morris is another up-and-coming offensive mind in college football. The Texas native has no FBS head coaching experience but has engineered dynamic offenses at Tulsa and Clemson. The Tigers rank seventh nationally in scoring and are averaging 522.4 yards per game. Morris is making $1.3 million as Clemson’s offensive coordinator, so Kentucky will have to pay big to get him to Lexington.
 

Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas head coach – Before his firing in the spring, Petrino was one of college football’s best coaches. In four years at Louisville, Petrino went 41-9 and was 34-17 at Arkansas. Although he has been very successful and wants to get back into coaching, Petrino could aim higher than Kentucky’s vacancy. The early rumor mill suggests Petrino won’t be in the mix in Lexington, but Wildcats’ athletic director Mitch Barnhart should at least inquire.
 

Greg Roman, offensive coordinator, San Francisco 49ers – Roman is a name starting to generate buzz in coaching circles. The New Jersey native has made stops as an assistant in the NFL with the Panthers, Texans, Ravens and 49ers, while spending two years at Stanford with Jim Harbaugh. Roman’s offensive background is a plus for Kentucky, but he has no experience as a head coach.
 

Kirby Smart, defensive coordinator, Alabama – While Kentucky should be looking at offensive coaches, Smart is a candidate if it chooses to go with defense. Although Nick Saban plays a huge role in coordinating Alabama’s defense, Smart deserves a chance to run his own program. He played at Georgia and has experience from stops at Valdosta State, Florida State, LSU and in the NFL with the Dolphins. He also won the 2009 Broyles Award for the nation’s top assistant coach.
 

Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky – Kentucky fans are certainly familiar with Taggart’s success, as Western Kentucky won in Lexington this season. Taggart has turned in the Hilltoppers into a Sun Belt contender and has an overall record of 15-18. While the overall mark isn’t particularly impressive, Taggart inherited a difficult situation and is 13-8 over the last two years. He also spent three seasons working under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford. While Taggart would be a home-run hire for Kentucky, he’s a longshot to take the job. Not only is Taggart a Western Kentucky alum, but he can probably reach a little higher on the coaching ladder.
 

Five Other Names to Watch

Bryan Harsin, offensive coordinator, Texas – Harsin has made a quick rise through the coaching ranks. He worked as Boise State’s offensive coordinator from 2006-10 and jumped to Texas in 2011. The Longhorns’ offense hasn’t been as prolific as some may have expected, but Harsin is due for his chance to run a program in the near future.

June Jones, head coach, SMU – Jones has underachieved at SMU but is still one of college football’s top offensive minds.

Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State – Narduzzi has quickly emerged as one of the Big Ten’s brightest defensive minds. The Connecticut native started his coaching career at Rhode Island and worked as the defensive coordinator at Miami (Ohio) and Cincinnati, before taking the job in East Lansing.

Mark Stoops, defensive coordinator, Florida State – Stoops has returned Florida State’s defense to among college football’s elite group. However, he has no head coaching experience.

Brent Venables, defensive coordinator, Clemson – Venables has spent most of his coaching career in the Midwest and played at Kansas State in the early 1990s. He worked as an assistant with the Wildcats under Bill Snyder and at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, before leaving to work at Clemson for 2012. 
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

Related College Football Content

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College Football Week 10 Recap

Teaser:
<p> 25 Coaches to Replace Fired Joker Phillips at Kentucky</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:43
Path: /college-football/acc-post-week-10-power-rankings
Body:

The Coastal Division has been one of college football’s most difficult races to figure out this season but there could be some clarity after Miami’s win over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. The Hurricanes own a 4-2 record in ACC play and finish with matchups against Duke and Virginia. Florida State remains the conference’s No. 1 team, with Clemson a close second at 8-1 overall.

ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard and North Carolina were off in Week 10, but the sophomore continues to maintain a commanding lead for the No. 1 spot. Bernard needs 70 rushing yards to reach 1,000 and has 15 total scores this year.

2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd has tossed 10 touchdowns over the last two weeks and ranks fourth nationally in pass efficiency.

3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Hopkins is having an outstanding season so far, catching 62 passes for 1,037 yards and 13 scores through nine contests.
 

ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner had an off date in Week 10 but remains tied for the ACC lead in sacks and ranks second in tackles for a loss (12.5).

2. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – Vellano recorded only one tackle in Saturday’s loss to Georgia Tech.

3. Ross Cockrell, CB, Duke – Cockrell and Duke’s defensive backs have struggled the last two weeks, allowing 48 points to Florida State and 56 to Clemson.
 

ACC Coach of the Year Standings

1. David Cutcliffe, Duke – The Blue Devils have lost back-to-back games but remains on track to make their first bowl appearance since 1994.

2. Al Golden, Miami – Even though Miami’s overall record (5-4) isn’t particularly impressive, the Hurricanes are in position to win their first Coastal title.

3. Larry Fedora, North Carolina – Despite a bowl ban hanging over this team, Fedora has been able to keep the Tar Heels on track and should have the best record in the Coastal Division at the end of the year.
 

Post-Week 10 Power Rankings

1. Florida State (8-1, 5-1 ACC)
Last Week: 1
Week 10 Result: Bye Week
The Seminoles were off in Week 10 and return to action on Thursday night against Virginia Tech. Florida State still controls its destiny in the Atlantic Division but cannot afford another loss with Clemson also 5-1 in conference play. The Seminoles have to travel to Blacksburg this Thursday, a place they have not won at since 1989. Even though Virginia Tech is struggling, this is still a dangerous game for Florida State.
Next Game: at Virginia Tech (Thursday)

2. Clemson (8-1, 5-1 ACC)
Last Week: 2
Week 10 Result: Beat Duke 56-20
With 98 points in the last two weeks, it’s pretty clear the Tigers' offense is hitting on all cylinders. Clemson’s offense had its way against Duke, leading the team to a 56-20 win and improving its overall record to 8-1. Quarterback Tajh Boyd threw three picks but tossed five touchdown passes. Receiver DeAndre Hopkins was Boyd’s favorite target, catching four passes for 129 yards and three scores. Clemson has scored at least 40 points four times in ACC play this season and has a shot to make a BCS bowl if it wins its final three games.
Next Game: Maryland

3. North Carolina (6-3, 3-2 ACC)
Last Week:
3
Week 10 Result: Bye Week
The Tar Heels were off in Week 10, allowing them a little more time to celebrate last week’s 43-35 win over rival NC State. North Carolina should be favored to win its last three games – Georgia Tech, at Virginia and Maryland. However, the Tar Heels are ineligible to play in a bowl game, which has put a damper on a promising first season by new coach Larry Fedora.
Next Game: Georgia Tech

4. Miami (5-4, 4-2 ACC)
Last Week: 7
Week 10 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 30-12
The Hurricanes moved one step closer to an ACC Coastal title with a 30-12 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night. Miami struggled to move the ball at times, but the defense forced three turnovers and blocked a punt to setup a scoring drive. Freshman running back Duke Johnson had a huge performance, rushing for 100 yards and one touchdown, while adding an 81-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. The Hurricanes have two more conference games remaining – at Virginia and at Duke – and wins in both contests would send this team to its first appearance in the ACC Championship game.
Next Game: at Virginia

5. Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 5
Week 10 Result: Lost to Miami 30-12
A season that began with a lot of promise has quickly eroded into a battle just to get bowl eligible. The Hokies came off the bye week with a chance to gain control of the Coastal Division but lost 30-12 to Miami on Thursday night. Quarterback Logan Thomas had a few bright moments (a 73-yard touchdown run), but the junior also tossed two picks and completed only 19 of 37 throws. In addition to Thomas’ inconsistency, the Hokies didn’t get much production from their running backs. Virginia Tech needs two wins to get bowl eligible and should be able to beat Boston College and Virginia in the last two weeks of the season. However, a 6-6 record would be a major disappointment in Blacksburg.
Next Game: Florida State (Thursday)

6. Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
6
Week 10 Result: Lost to Clemson 56-20
The last two weeks have taken a toll on Duke’s defense. The Blue Devils gave up 48 points in a loss to Florida State and was gashed for 56 points by Clemson in Week 10. Duke’s offense was able to hang with the Tigers early on, but the Blue Devils simply didn’t have enough firepower to close the gap in the second half. Although Duke dropped to 3-3 in ACC play, the next two matchups – at Georgia Tech and Miami – will decide if this team can win the Coastal Division.
Next Game: Bye Week

7. NC State (5-4, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week:
4
Week 10 Result: Lost to Virginia 33-6
The Wolfpack’s 33-6 loss to Virginia has to be one of the year’s most puzzling scores. NC State was a double-digit favorite to the Cavaliers, yet suffered an embarrassing loss. The Wolfpack managed only 216 yards on offense and surrendered 446 on defense. The loss to Virginia essentially knocks NC State out of the mix for the ACC Atlantic title and casts doubt on the future of coach Tom O’Brien. Although the Wolfpack are 22-13 over the last three years, there’s plenty of unrest in the fanbase. NC State will likely finish 7-5 but Saturday’s loss to Virginia won’t sit well at the end of the season.
Next Game: Wake Forest

8. Georgia Tech (4-5, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
8
Week 10 Result: Beat Maryland 33-13
After an awful showing in last week’s 41-17 loss to BYU, the Yellow Jackets bounced back into the win column with a 33-13 victory over Maryland. Georgia Tech’s defense has struggled all year and the Terrapins’ 13 points was the fewest allowed against a FBS opponent. Of course, Maryland’s quarterback issues had something to do with the defensive performance but this should help the Yellow Jackets build some momentum for the next few games. Georgia Tech could make a bowl game but needs to win two out of its last three contests – at North Carolina, Duke and at Georgia.
Next Game: at North Carolina

9. Maryland (4-5, 2-3 ACC)
Last Week: 9
Week 10 Result: Lost to Georgia Tech 33-13
The Terrapins dropped their third game in a row, losing 33-13 to Maryland on Saturday. With the injuries mounting at quarterback, converted linebacker Shawn Petty made his first start. The freshman completed 9 of 18 attempts for 115 yards and two touchdowns but struggled to get into a rhythm in the first half. Maryland’s defense has had a good season but allowed nearly 400 rushing yards to Georgia Tech. The Terrapins’ bowl hopes are slipping away, as this team needs two wins in matchups against Clemson, Florida State and North Carolina to get eligible for the postseason.
Next Game: at Clemson

10. Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4 ACC)
Last Week: 10
Week 10 Result: Beat Boston College 28-14
The Demon Deacons moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a 28-14 win over Boston College. Wake Forest’s passing attack was the difference in the game, with quarterback Tanner Price completing 39 of 57 passes for 293 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Michael Campanaro tied an ACC record with 16 receptions, with three catches going for scores. Wake Forest’s defense had a solid effort against the Eagles’ offense, recording three sacks and four turnovers. The Demon Deacons conclude ACC play with a game at NC State next Saturday.
Next Game: at NC State

11. Virginia (3-6, 1-4 ACC)
Last Week:
12
Week 10 Result: Beat NC State 33-6
The Cavaliers have been one of the ACC’s most disappointing teams so far this season but got a little redemption in Week 10. Virginia manhandled NC State 33-6 to snap a six-game losing streak and claim its first win in ACC play this year. The Cavaliers’ offense has struggled to find their rhythm all year but recorded over 400 yards and finally found a spark on the ground. Kevin Parks rushed for 115 yards and Perry Jones chipped in 67 on 11 carries. The defense also did its part on Saturday, forcing five turnovers and picking up five sacks. Virginia still has slim bowl hopes and needs to win its final three games to get to six victories.
Next Game: Miami

12. Boston College (2-7, 1-5 ACC)
Last Week:
11
Week 10 Result: Lost to Wake Forest 28-14
With Saturday’s 28-14 loss to Wake Forest, Boston College clinched back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1997-98. The Eagles trailed 21-7 at halftime but pulled within seven in the third quarter. However, Boston College could never get closer, largely due to four turnovers and an inability to find an answer for Wake Forest receiver Michael Campanaro. The Eagles could be looking at a 2-10 final record, especially with matchups against Notre Dame, Virginia Tech and NC State remaining.
Next Game: Notre Dame
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

College Football Week 9 Recap
Big 12 Post-Week 9 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 9 Power Rankings

Big Ten Post-Week 9 Power Rankings

Pac-12 Post-Week 9 Power Rankings

SEC Post-Week 9 Power Rankings

Teaser:
<p> ACC Post-Week 10 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 5, 2012 - 05:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-10-power-rankings
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Kansas State’s march to an undefeated season continued with a 44-30 win over Oklahoma State. The Wildcats climbed to 9-0 with the victory and remain squarely in the hunt for the national championship. Quarterback Collin Klein continued his Heisman run but suffered an injury against the Cowboys. Oklahoma bounced back after last week’s loss to Notre Dame, while TCU upset West Virginia in overtime. Baylor recorded its first win in Big 12 play, and Texas knocked off Texas Tech 31-22. 

Post-Week 10 Big 12 Power Rankings

1. Kansas State (9-0, 6-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
1
Week 10 Result: Beat Oklahoma State 44-30
The Wildcats inched closer to an undefeated season with a 44-30 victory over Oklahoma State. The Cowboys managed to record 504 yards, but Kansas State’s defense forced five turnovers and held Oklahoma State to just three third-down conversions on 12 attempts. Although the Wildcats moved to 9-0, the win came at a price with quarterback Collin Klein suffering an undisclosed injury. Klein’s availability for next week’s game against TCU is uncertain.
Next Game: at TCU

2. Oklahoma (6-2, 4-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 2
Week 10 Result: Beat Iowa State 35-20
The Sooners erased the bad feelings from last week’s loss to Notre Dame with a 35-20 win over Iowa State. Quarterback Landry Jones tossed two picks but threw for 405 yards and four touchdowns. Oklahoma’s defense also did its part in the victory, holding the Cyclones to 99 rushing yards and only 191 yards through the air. The Sooners remain in the hunt for the Big 12 title but need two losses by Kansas State to claim an outright championship.
Next Game: Baylor

3. Texas (7-2, 4-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 10 Result: Beat Texas Tech 31-22
After struggling to beat Kansas, the 31-22 victory over Texas Tech was a much-needed result for Mack Brown and the Longhorns. Quarterback David Ash bounced back after an awful performance against the Jayhawks, throwing for 264 yards and three touchdowns. In addition to Ash’s solid performance, the offense had plenty of help on the ground, led by true freshman Johnathan Gray (106 yards, 20 carries). Texas’ defense has struggled in recent weeks but held the Red Raiders to 441 yards – the second-lowest total allowed by the Longhorns in Big 12 play this year.
Next Game: Iowa State

4. Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 10 Result: Lost to Texas 31-22
The Red Raiders dropped their second consecutive game, losing 31-22 to Texas on Saturday. Since scoring 49 points against West Virginia and 56 against TCU, Texas Tech has managed only 46 over its last two contests. Quarterback Seth Doege has at least 300 passing yards in four consecutive Big 12 games, but the defense has tailed off during the two-game losing streak. Injuries have played a part in the defensive struggles, but the Red Raiders are also only generating 1.2 sacks per game. Texas Tech hosts Kansas this Saturday.
Next Game: Kansas

5. TCU (6-3, 3-3 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 10 Result: Beat West Virginia 39-38
Thanks to the play of freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin late in the fourth quarter, and a well-timed trick play, the Horned Frogs evened their Big 12 record to 3-3 this season. Boykin hit Josh Boyce for a 94-yard score with less than two minutes remaining to tie the game, while receiver Brandon Carter hit Corey Fuller on a 25-yard scoring pass in the second overtime to setup the game-winning two-point conversion. The win over the Mountaineers was crucial for TCU’s bowl hopes, especially with an upcoming schedule that features games against Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma.
Next Game: Kansas State

6. Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 10 Result: Lost to Kansas State 44-30
The Cowboys had their three-game winning streak snapped with a 44-30 loss at Kansas State. Oklahoma State outgained the Wildcats but committed five turnovers and was just 3 of 12 on third downs. Quarterback Wes Lunt left due to a concussion, which forced Clint Chelf into his first major action of the season. The Cowboys had a chance to climb into Big 12 title discussion with a win over the Wildcats but are tied for third after eight games. Oklahoma State hosts former offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia this week, before closing out the year with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor.
Next Game: West Virginia

7. West Virginia (5-3, 2-3 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 10 Result: Lost to TCU 39-38
Even though West Virginia’s defense showed some small signs of improvement, it wasn’t enough for the Mountaineers to get back into the win column. West Virginia dropped its third consecutive game with a 39-38 defeat to TCU in double overtime. Quarterback Geno Smith threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns, but the offense hasn’t been the same since Stedman Bailey injured an ankle against Texas Tech. The Mountaineers take on Oklahoma State and Oklahoma the next two weeks, before finishing the year with Iowa State and Kansas.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State

8. Iowa State (5-4, 2-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 10 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 35-20
The Cyclones hung tough against Oklahoma but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory. Iowa State’s offense stalled out after recording 557 yards against Baylor, and the defense struggled to contain the Sooners’ passing attack. Cyclones’ quarterback Steele Jantz threw for only 191 yards, and the rushing attack had only 99 overall yards. Iowa State needs one more win to get bowl eligible and plays Texas, Kansas and West Virginia to close out the 2012 season.
Next Game: at Texas

9. Baylor (4-4, 1-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 10 Result: Beat Kansas 41-14
The Bears earned their first victory in Big 12 play with a 41-14 win over Kansas on Saturday. Quarterback Nick Florence leads the nation in total offense per game and gashed the Jayhawks for 367 passing yards and three scores. Oregon transfer Lache Seastrunk had his best performance at Baylor, rushing for 103 yards and adding 91 yards and one touchdown on five receptions. The Bears need two more wins to get bowl eligible, which won’t be easy with remaining games against Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
Next Game: at Oklahoma

10. Kansas (1-8, 0-6 Big 12)
Last Week:
10
Week 10 Result: Lost to Baylor 41-14
The Jayhawks remained winless in Big 12 play with a 41-14 loss to Baylor on Saturday. The lone bright spot for this team has been the play of running back James Sims, as he recorded his fifth consecutive 100-yard game. Although Sims has been able to find plenty of room on the ground, the passing attack has been stuck in neutral. With upcoming matchups against Texas Tech, Iowa State and West Virginia, the possibility of a winless Big 12 season for the second year in a row is very likely.
Next Game: at Texas Tech


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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Trailing 10-7 early in the second quarter, Cincinnati reached into its bag of tricks to score the go-ahead touchdown against Syracuse. 

Running back George Winn took the handoff and appeared as if he was ready to run for the first down. However, Winn stopped and threw a short jump pass to tight end Travis Kelce, which caught the Syracuse defense off guard. Kelce rumbled for a 37-yard score, giving Cincinnati a 14-10 lead. The Bearcats held on for a 35-24 victory.

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