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Non-conference play highlights the majority of the college football action this Saturday in the Big 12. Two teams take on opponents from the ACC (Virginia vs. TCU and Maryland vs. West Virginia), while Kansas travels to Northern Illinois and Baylor takes on Louisiana-Monroe. The biggest game of the Week 4 slate in the Big 12 is Oklahoma hosting Kansas State.

Other Week 4 Previews and Predictions

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

Big 12's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 4

1. What does Kansas State need to do in order to upset Oklahoma?
Outside of the 2003 Big 12 Championship, the Wildcats haven’t had much success against Oklahoma. Kansas State has lost its last four games by at least 12 points to the Sooners, while its last victory in a regular season matchup came in 1997. Needless to say, the odds aren’t in the Wildcats’ favor for Saturday’s game. For Kansas State to knock off Oklahoma, its secondary has to play its best game of the year, while the offense has to move the ball through the air. Collin Klein is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, but he managed only 150 yards in last season’s meeting against the Sooners. While Klein has carried the team on his back, he needs other players to step up. Running back John Hubert opened the year with back-to-back 100-yard efforts, while receiver/return specialist Tyler Lockett has just nine touches on offense this season. If the Wildcats open up the offense some, they should be able to move the ball on Oklahoma. However, can they stop the Sooners? Kansas State has allowed 251 passing yards per game this year – a bad sign after playing Missouri State, Miami and North Texas.

2. Will Maryland’s defense slow down West Virginia’s offense?
The Mountaineers have been nearly flawless through the first two weeks of the season, averaging 55.5 points and 612 yards per game. Quarterback Geno Smith has thrown only nine incompletions, while tossing nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. However, will Smith and West Virginia’s offense struggle against Maryland this Saturday? The Terrapins rank sixth nationally in pass defense and are allowing only 19 points a game. A deeper look into those numbers suggests the Terrapins have yet to be tested. Temple and Connecticut both attempted less than 20 passes against Maryland, and neither possesses the firepower that the Mountaineers have. Although the Terrapins’ defensive line could create a few issues for Smith, the only thing that could slow down West Virginia’s offense at this point is turnovers and penalties. 

3. Can Oklahoma slow down Collin Klein once again?
In last season’s 58-17 win over Kansas State, Oklahoma limited Klein to just 150 overall yards. There’s no question Klein is the most valuable member of the Wildcats’ offense, so stopping him will be crucial for the Sooners. Oklahoma’s defense features a revamped front seven, which is allowing 134 rushing yards per game through their first two games of 2012. Expect the Sooners to try and make Klein one-dimensional and force Kansas State to win this game through the air. If the Wildcats can establish Klein and running back John Hubert, they should be able to control the clock and hang around this game deep into the fourth quarter.

4. Can Baylor avoid the upset?
Considering what has transpired the first two weeks of the season, the Bears certainly won’t take Louisiana-Monroe lightly. The Warhawks knocked off Arkansas in Week 2 and nearly won at Auburn last Saturday. Baylor is coming off a sluggish performance against Sam Houston State, as it trailed at halftime before rallying for a 48-23 victory. Louisiana-Monroe is a dangerous opponent for the Bears, especially with the confidence it has developed playing SEC teams over the last two weeks. Expect quarterback Kolton Browning to test Baylor’s secondary, especially since it ranks 113th nationally by allowing 323.5 yards per game. The Bears should be able to move the ball against Louisiana-Monroe’s defense, but this is a game where a turnover or key play on special teams could swing the momentum in favor of the underdog.

5. Will TCU’s defense continue to dominate?
With only five returning starters, some expected the Horned Frogs would take a while to find the right pieces on defense. However, this defense has been dominant through the first two games of the season, shutting out Grambling in the season opener and holding Kansas to six points last week. Sophomore linebacker Joel Hasley has been one of the season’s biggest surprises, recording 17 tackles and two sacks, while freshman defensive end Devonte Fields has 3.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. The competition steps up a notch this Saturday, as Virginia visits Fort Worth. The Cavaliers have scored only 18.5 points a game against BCS teams this season and rank 107th nationally in rushing offense. Virginia has struggled on the offensive line, which is bad news against TCU’s disruptive defensive line.  Although the Cavaliers should present the toughest offense TCU has played against this year, the Horned Frogs still have a decided edge in this matchup.

6. Will Kansas’ defense slow down Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch?
Although the Jayhawks are allowing 433.7 yards per game, they are giving up just 20.7 points each contest. A big reason why the defense has been able to hold opponents out of the end zone has been turnovers and sacks. The defense has generated six sacks and 12 turnovers through the first three games, which is crucial for a unit that lacks depth, speed and talent. Northern Illinois lost to Kansas 45-42 last season and will present another tough challenge for the Jayhawks once again. Quarterback Jordan Lynch recorded 467 overall yards in the win over Army and has 10 overall scores through the first three weeks of the season. The Huskies have been struggling to establish a consistent ground attack from its running backs, but Lynch has been a difference marker on the ground and has been hitting a few big plays in the passing game. Kansas will allow some yards to Lynch, but it cannot allow the junior quarterback to run wild on Saturday.

7. Will Lache Seastrunk receive more playing time?
One of the biggest surprises in the Big 12 through the first three weeks of the season has been the lack of playing time for Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk. The Oregon transfer has been productive with his limited opportunities, averaging 13.5 yards per rush on four attempts. Starter Jarred Salubi is averaging 5.8 yards per rush on 30 attempts and is clearly the No. 1 back for Baylor. However, Seastrunk is an important weapon and his big-play ability would be an extra boost to an offense that is already one of the best in the Big 12. Is Friday night the game Seastrunk has a breakout performance?

8. Where does James Sims fit in for Kansas’ offense?
The Jayhawks are averaging 178.3 yards per game on the ground and should get a boost with the return of James Sims this weekend. Sims missed the first three games due to a suspension but led the team with 727 yards and nine rushing scores last year. Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox have been solid, but Sims is the most complete back on the roster. With three capable running backs, Charlie Weis needs to find a way to get plenty of opportunities for each player and get them onto the field at the same time. Sims could reclaim the starting job at some point this year, but Pierson and Cox will likely handle the bulk of the workload in Week 3.

Week 4 Big 12 Predictions

Big 12 Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Baylor at ULM ULM 42-35 Baylor 38-24 Baylor 41-31 Baylor 38-24
Maryland at W. Virginia WVU 52-10 WVU 41-21 WVU 45-17 WVU 41-10
Virginia at TCU TCU 21-17 TCU 31-21 TCU 30-13 TCU 27-17
Kansas at Northern Illinois N. Illinois 14-10 N. Illinois 31-28 Kansas 31-27 N. Illinois 31-30
K-State at Oklahoma K-State 21-17 Oklahoma 34-24 Oklahoma 38-27 Oklahoma 36-21
Last Week: 8-0 8-0 8-0 8-0
Season Record:  23-2 22-3 22-3 23-2


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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Post-Week 3 Bowl Projections

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<p> Big 12 Week 4 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 05:59
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College football's Week 4 slate features some intriguing games, including the ACC showdown between Clemson and Florida State and the showdown of Notre Dame and Michigan. Athlon's editors correctly hit on the Notre Dame win over Michigan State and the Ball State victory over Indiana last week. Here are a few upset picks to watch in Week 4:

College Football's Week 4 Upset Picks

David Fox (@DavidFox615): Kansas State (+14) over Oklahoma
Time to start buying into Kansas State. It’s easy not to sometimes -- the talent disparity, the feeling the Wildcats won 10 games last season on luck. And this is a risky pick with Oklahoma defeating K-State 58-17 in Manhattan last season, but one interesting development has been the Wildcats' passing game so far this season. Collin Klein passed for 210 yards against Miami and 230 yards against North Texas. Those numbers would have been Klein’s third- and fourth-most passing yards all season in 2011. Elsewhere, Tramaine Thompson is developing into an intriguing playmaker, already doubling his touchdowns from a year ago (three receiving and one on a punt return). Meanwhile, I’m still a little worried about an Oklahoma team that struggled to put away UTEP in the opener.

Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Michigan (+6) over Notre Dame
There are three major upsets that I am keeping an eye on this weekend (stay tuned for the Week 3 edition of Betting Against the Spread on Friday for more), but I will go with the Michigan Wolverines over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Brian Kelly's bunch is flying high after a strong 3-0 start led by its defense. But Denard Robinson is back on track after a tough Week 1 performance. He has rushed for 324 yards and has accounted for eight touchdowns in two wins since losing to Alabama and enters this game with three straight 200-yard passing efforts for the first time in his career. He is 3-0 against Notre Dame and his dynamic skillset can negate the powerful Irish front seven. I'm a big fan of Everett Golson but he will make one key freshman mistake in a tightly-played, physical Midwestern rivalry game that should live up to the hype.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Syracuse (+2) over Minnesota
It’s hard to call a two-point spread much of an upset. Then again, there’s not a ton of games that have upset potential in Week 4. Syracuse started 0-2 with close losses to Northwestern and USC but had a sluggish win over Stony Brook last Saturday. The Golden Gophers are a much-improved team in Jerry Kill’s second season but could be without starting quarterback MarQueis Gray. Backup Max Shortell has experience, but Gray’s dual-threat ability will be missed. Syracuse’s offense – led by quarterback Ryan Nassib and receivers Alec Lemon and Marcus Sales – will test a Minnesota defense that allowed 27 points to UNLV in the season opener. The Orange will struggle to stop the Golden Gophers’ offense, but Nassib should make just enough plays to win. 

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Ball State (+10) over South Florida
The Cardinals return home after their big 41–39 win over in-state rival Indiana — their third straight victory vs. IU — to take on an inconsistent South Florida team. The Bulls dropped to 2–1 with a 23–13 loss at home to Rutgers last Thursday night. They were fortunate to win in Week 2, rallying to beat Nevada 32–31 with two touchdown passes of more than 50 yards in the final three minutes. Ball State is 2–1 with wins over Eastern Michigan and Indiana sandwiched around a 52–27 loss at Clemson. The Cardinals have been able to move the ball in every game; they had 380 yards (including 252 on the ground) vs. Clemson and 440 yards (200-plus through the air and on the ground) vs. Indiana. This is a solid team that is good enough to beat South Florida straight up. Ball State 34, South Florida 31

Mark Ross: Fresno State (+5.5) over Tulsa
Both teams enter this game 2-1 and ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation in both total and scoring offense, as each is averaging more than 500 yards and 43 points per game. Both also are coming off of wins last week in which they scored more than 66 points. That said, there are two reasons why I am picking Fresno State to beat home favorite Tulsa. The first has to do with level of competition. Fresno's only loss so far came on the road against Oregon, who is currently the No. 3-ranked team in the country, while Tulsa lost its opener at Iowa State. Both teams made strong showings in defeat, but I'm a little more impressed by what the Bulldogs were able to do against the Ducks, finishing with 365 yards of total offense and 25 points. The other reason I like Fresno over Tulsa is I trust the Bulldogs' defense a little more as far as being able to slow down the Golden Hurricane offense. Removing the Oregon game, in which Fresno surrendered 532 yards to the No. 7 offense in the nation, the Bulldogs have only given up an average of 276 yards per game. Tulsa on the other hand yielded 441 yards to Iowa State (which is No. 49 in total offense) and last week gave up 370 to FCS member Nicholls State. Both teams should be able to move the ball and score on the other, but in the end I like Fresno to end up on the winning side of what should be an entertaining match up.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): BYU (+7.5) over Boise State
Selecting winners in all three weeks of our upset predictions has obviously filled my head with enough confidence to make me go loco, because this week I’m picking against a squad that is 74-7 under its current coach and 75-3 in its last 78 home games. However I believe the aggressive BYU defense can frustrate Boise State and new quarterback Joe Southwick, and that the Cougars will shock the Broncos on the absolute eyesore that is the blue turf. Bronco Mendenhall’s bunch suffered a frustrating loss at Utah last week, but BYU outgained the Utes and should have won after a late rally. Boise State looked good against Miami (Ohio), but BYU’s defense is closer to the Michigan State group that the Broncos faced in their season-opening loss. It may be crazy for going against Boise State at home, but I’ll take BYU to pull off a 20-17 upset.

 

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Big 12 Week 4 Preview and Predictions

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College Football Week 4 Upset Predictions

The 15 Worst BCS Teams Since 1998

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<p> College Football Week 4 Upset Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 20, 2012 - 05:43
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We have surprised ourselves by including names like James Franklin, Tajh Boyd, and Alex Carder on the Bench list in the same week.  However, we feel that there are safer options available to fantasy owners, especially when Week Four features games rich with fantasy potential for quarterbacks (Baylor at UL-Monroe, Arizona at Oregon, and Marshall at Rice). 

Start

Johnny Manziel, QB-Texas A&M vs South Carolina St

Manziel looks as if he should be a must-start every week except when the Aggies play Alabama and LSU later in the season.

Taylor McHargue, QB-Rice and Rakeem Cato, QB-Marshall Marshall at Rice

This game has the second-highest Vegas total on the board.  Expect a lot of scoring from both offenses and solid fantasy production from their quarterbacks.

Connor Halliday, QB-Washington St vs Colorado

The Cougars’ offense may not be on par with some of the PAC-12’s elite, but expect big numbers from Halliday as he faces a defense giving up over 40 points and 476 yards per game.

Kolton Browning, QB-Louisiana-Monroe vsBaylor

After impressive games against Arkansas and Auburn to start the season, Browning faces a Baylor defense ranked 117th nationally against the pass.

LaDarius Perkins, RB-Mississippi St vs South Alabama

Perkins has had a nice start to the 2012 season, averaging over 100 yards rushing per game and scoring four touchdowns.

Shawn Southward, RB-Troy at North Texas

After rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns last week against Mississippi State, Southward’s fantasy owners should be excited about Troy’s upcoming five-game conference slate.

Antonio Andrews, RB-Western Kentucky at Southern Miss

We’re not expecting him to duplicate his 34-125-3 numbers from a week ago, but he should come close.

Cody Getz, RB-Air Force vs New Mexico St

Getz may be a forgotten man because the Falcons did not play last week, but don’t get caught sleeping on a guy that has rushed for 348 yards and six touchdowns.

Andy Cruse, WR-Miami (OH) vs UMass

The 6-4 senior seems to be picking up the slack in the absence of fellow receiver Nick Harwell, who has been bothered by a leg injury.

Gabe Marks, WR-Washington St vs Colorado

Marks received a lot of attention throughout fall camp and he made a name for himself on the national stage last week with a six-catch, 126-yard game at UNLV.

Chad Bumphis, WR-Mississippi St vs South Alabama

Bumphis only has ten receptions on the season, but five of those have been for touchdowns and he is averaging 23 yards per catch.

Eric Ebron, TE-North Carolina vs East Carolina

Ebron’s eleven receptions are second-best on the team and his three receiving touchdowns lead the team.

 

Bench

James Franklin, QB-Missouri at South Carolina

Franklin may be the best fantasy option on the Missouri roster this week, but the Gamecocks are seventh-best against the run nationally (53.0 ypg) and are only allowing 9.7 points per game.

Tajh Boyd, QB-Clemson at Florida St

This move could come back to haunt many fantasy owners, but we are not risking our week against the nation’s #1 rated defense.  Be on the lookout for our Emergency Starters list at the end of the week.

Alex Carder, QB-Western Michigan vs Connecticut

We have Carder listed at #30 in our weekly quarterback rankings because he’ll face a defense highly-rated against the pass (5th nationally) and points allowed (11th).

Rex Burkhead, RB-Nebraska vs Idaho St

Coach Pelini has indicated that Burkhead should play this weekend, but we are guessing that he’ll get just enough work to shake off the rust and then rest for next week’s matchup against Wisconsin.

Kevin Parks, RB-Virginia at TCU

The season is still young, but the TCU defense may be a lot better than we thought after three weeks.

Kendial Lawrence, RB-Missouri at South Carolina

Lawrence has been productive over the first three weeks of the season rushing for 224 yards and four touchdowns, but this week the Tigers travel east and face a defense that has not given up more than 70 yards rushing in a game this season.

LaRod King, WR-Kentucky at Florida

King is the best fantasy option on the Wildcats’ roster, but we wouldn’t take a chance against a tough Gators defense.

Alec Lemon, WR-Syracuse at Minnesota

Lemon is being overshadowed by the reemergence of fellow receiver Marcus Sales and has yet to find the end zone.

 

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

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

thecffsite.com

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Colorado is off to an awful 0-3 start and with a daunting upcoming schedule, an 0-12 record seems likely. The Buffaloes' early struggles and a loss to FCS opponent to Sacramento State made us wonder: Who are the worst BCS teams since 1998?

Washington State, Baylor, Duke, Rutgers and Syracuse each had multiple mentions on this list, with Washington's 2008 squad ranking among the top-five worst BCS teams since 1998. 

Needless to say, if the Buffaloes continue at their current pace, they could rank as the No. 1 team on this list. 


College Football's Top 15 Worst BCS Teams Since 1998

1. 2008 Washington State
Final Record:
2-11
Don’t be fooled by the two wins on the resume: Washington State was awful in 2008. The Cougars were outscored by an average of 48-14 each game and its only victories came against a bad FCS team (Portland State) and a Washington team that was without quarterback Jake Locker and finished with a 0-12 record. The Cougars were shutout in three Pac-10 games and scored only a field goal against California and UCLA. 

2. 2006 Duke
Final Record:
0-12
One year after posting a 1-10 record, Duke’s struggles on the gridiron continued with an 0-12 season. The Blue Devils lost 13-0 in the opener against Richmond and were outscored 73-0 by Virginia and Virginia Tech. There were signs of progress from 2005, as Ted Roof’s team lost by one to North Carolina and Wake Forest and was defeated by five points to Miami in mid-October.

3. 2003 Temple
Final Record:
1-11
Temple was largely uncompetitive from the moment it joined the Big East in 1991. The Owls won just 15 overall games from 1991-99 and went winless in conference play in 1996. The 2003 season included a loss to FCS opponent Villanova, with the only victory coming on the road at MTSU. Temple did have a close call in Big East play, losing 24-23 to Virginia Tech in mid-November. The Owls were booted from the Big East due to their struggles on the field and low attendance after the 2004 season but returned to the conference in 2012. 

4. 2000 Duke
Final Record:
0-11
Finding success on the gridiron hasn’t been easy for Duke. However, the 2000-01 seasons were possibly the worst in school history. The Blue Devils were not only winless but largely uncompetitive. Duke was shutout in the opener against East Carolina and lost by at least 30 points five times. The Blue Devils also managed only 155 points, their lowest offensive output in the BCS era. 

5. 2008 Washington
Final Record:
0-12
Tyrone Willingham failed to record a winning record during his four-year tenure at Washington, and 2008 was a rock-bottom point for this program. The Huskies went 0-12, which included a 16-13 loss to rival Washington State in Pullman. Washington was largely uncompetitive in Pac-10 play, with only two games decided by a touchdown or less. Losing quarterback Jake Locker certainly didn’t help Washington’s chances, but the Huskies’ leading rusher had just 338 yards, and the defense allowed 38.6 points a game. 

6. 1999 Baylor
Final Record:
1-10
Kevin Steele was brought in to replace Dave Roberts after back-to-back two-win seasons, but his tenure was a major disappointment. The Bears went 1-11 in 1999 and was defeated by an average score of 38-13. Baylor’s only win that season came against North Texas, but the lowlight of the year came in a loss against UNLV. Baylor led 24-21 with less than 20 seconds left and just had to take a knee to seal the victory. Instead of lining up in the victory formation, the Bears ran the ball and fumbled, which was returned 99 yards for a touchdown. Although Steele was trying to set an attitude or mindset for the team, it was a huge error on his part. Baylor won only one Big 12 game during Steele’s four years in Waco.

7. 2001 Duke
Final Record:
0-11
After a disastrous 2000 season, the Carl Franks tenure at Duke didn’t get much better in 2001. The Blue Devils failed to record a win for the second season in a row and suffered blowout losses at the hands of Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and North Carolina. Franks’ 2001 team was a little better but still one of the worst in BCS history. 

8. 1999 Rutgers
Final Record:
1-10
After going 0-11 in 1997, Rutgers showed some signs of life with a 5-6 record in 1998. However, the Scarlet Knights regressed to a dismal 1-10 record in 1999. The only win of the season was a surprise 24-21 upset over Syracuse, but Rutgers lost 56-28 to a 2-9 Temple in late October. Outside of the victory against the Orangemen, the Scarlet Knights had only two losses decided by 14 points or less and was defeated by an average score of 39-14.

9. 2005 Duke
Final Record:
1-10
After four miserable seasons under Carl Franks, Duke turned to Ted Roof to help turn the program back in the right direction. Roof had some initial momentum, but things quickly went downhill. The Blue Devils went 1-10 in 2005, with the one win coming over a VMI team that finished 3-8. Duke had a point differential of -231 and had only one ACC loss was decided by less than 25 points. 

10. 2000 Baylor
Final Record:
2-9
After a disappointing 1-10 record in Kevin Steele’s first season in 1999, the Bears weren’t much better in 2000. The Bears won just two games, beating a North Texas team that went 3-8 and South Florida, who was just in its second season of football. Baylor’s offense was virtually invisible in October, as it was shutout in three consecutive games and never scored more than 22 points in Big 12 play. 

11. 2007 Syracuse
Final Record:
2-10
The 2005 Syracuse team was bad, but the 2007 version was worse. The Orange doubled their win total from 2005, which isn’t saying much when you won only one game. Syracuse beat Louisville 38-35 and Buffalo 20-12 for its only wins of 2007 and lost by 30 points or more four times, including a 35-0 defeat to Iowa in the second game of the season.

12. 2006 Stanford
Final Record:
1-11
After leading Pittsburgh to five consecutive winning seasons from 2000-04, Walt Harris was picked as the coach to lead Stanford back to the Rose Bowl, especially after three uninspiring seasons under Buddy Teevens. Harris’ tenure was short lived, as he lasted just two seasons, including a horrendous 1-11 record in 2006. The Cardinal lost by an average score of 31-11 and only one loss was decided by eight points or less. Hiring Harris was clearly a mistake, but Stanford got it right by hiring Jim Harbaugh to take over the program in 2007. 

13. 2002 Rutgers
Final Record:
1-11
Greg Schiano went 2-9 in his debut season at Rutgers but followed that up with a worse record (1-11) in 2002. The Scarlet Knights’ only victory came against Army, a team that went 1-11 and lost to a 4-8 Holy Cross team. As if winning one game wasn’t bad enough, Schiano’s team was beat handily by Buffalo 34-11 – a team that won just one game that season. Rutgers was defeated by an average score of 33-14 and lost six out of their seven Big East games by 20 points or more. Considering how bad Rutgers was when he inherited the program, Schiano probably doesn’t get enough credit for turning the Scarlet Knights into a consistent bowl team. 

14. 2009 Washington State
Final Record:
1-11
Paul Wulff’s first season at Washington State resulted in a 2-11 record, so the expectations were low heading into 2009. However, the Cougars were worse than expected, winning only one game – SMU 30-27 in mid-September. Washington State didn’t strike much fear in opponents the rest of the way, as it was outscored by an average of 45-9 over the final nine games of the season. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Cougars were shut out by rival Washington in the season finale 30-0.

15. 2005 Syracuse
Final Record:
1-10
Paul Pasqualoni was fired after going 16-20 in his final three years at Syracuse. However, the Orange probably wished for Pasqualoni back after recording a 1-10 record in Greg Robinson’s first season. Syracuse’s only victory came against Buffalo, a team that also went 1-10 that season. The Orange lost by an average score of 27-14 and suffered five losses of more than 20 points. 

Honorable Mentions

1999 South Carolina (0-11)
2007 Minnesota (1-11)
2011 Indiana (1-11)
2011 Kansas (2-10)
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven
 

 

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Post date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 06:36
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Thanks to wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee, Florida has gone from a fringe top-25 team to one that is ranked among the top 10-15 teams in the nation. The Gators were expected to show improvement after a disappointing 2011 season, but this team has been better than expected. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is improving, while the defense is allowing only 17 points a game.

Although the Gators have made significant progress under coach Will Muschamp, should they be considered one of the frontrunners to win the SEC East title?

Can Florida Win the SEC East?

Coach Pat Dye, former head coach of the Auburn Tigers, and current voting member of the Legends Poll:
Well, I do.  You've got to be impressed with what they've done the last couple of weeks against Texas A&M and Tennessee.  I think the emergence of the quarterback, and him getting settled has been the key.  He looked good against Texas A&M, but he looked really good against Tennessee. I think it will be between Florida and Georgia. And Florida may have an advantage because they're playing Georgia in what really is a home game for them in Jacksonville.

David Fox (@DavidFox615): 
The East still tilts in favor of South Carolina and Georgia, two teams with elite defenses and at least one reliable centerpiece on offense -- Marcus Lattimore for South Carolina and Aaron Murray for Georgia. Florida is getting to the same place, but the Gators aren’t quite there yet even with back-to-back SEC road wins. With only one true SEC road game left (at Vanderbilt), Florida could be in position to play for an East title when it faces South Carolina and Georgia in back-to-back weeks in October. A healthy Mike Gillislee has proven he can anchor the Florida rushing attack and Jeff Driskel is getting more confident as a passer and runner each week. For an SEC East contender you’ve got to love a team that’s strong in the fourth quarter and on the road, two traits Florida discovered the last two weeks. I’d still pick South Carolina or Georgia, but Florida is a clear No. 3 that’s probably closer to the Gamecocks and Bulldogs than the rest of the division. 

Braden Gall (@BradenGall):
Absolutely. What did we know about Florida before SEC play began? The Gators have a nasty defense that has loads of speed, the road schedule is front-loaded with few late-season tests and no Alabama, and that the SEC West was going to be tougher. What didn't we know about Florida? Does this team have a quarterback who can make key throws and be a leader on offense? Is Will Muschamp capable of coaching at an elite level in the pressure-packed SEC? Will the early schedule knock the Gators out of the race by Week 3? Well, consider all three questions answered definitively. Jeff Driskel was brilliant in Knoxville, the coaching staff made tremendous halftime adjustments two weeks in a row, and Florida returns home 2-0 after two brutal road tests in the SEC. Florida has owned Georgia and it gets LSU, South Carolina and Mizzou in The Swamp. There is one road trip outside of the state left: at Vanderbilt. All signs point to the Gators being right in the middle of the SEC East race.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): 
Florida has been one of the most impressive teams through the first three weeks of the season and is absolutely a threat to win the SEC East. The opener against Bowling Green wasn’t the team’s best effort, but the Gators have scored back-to-back road wins against Texas A&M and Tennessee. The biggest question mark heading into this season for Florida was the offense, which has grown up over the last two weeks. Quarterback Jeff Driskel hasn’t posted huge numbers but has yet to throw for an interception and has 113 rushing yards. The defense has been solid and can only get better as the young players get more experience in the SEC. I still think Georgia is the frontrunner in the division, but Florida hosts South Carolina, LSU and Missouri and has only one road conference game the rest of the year. The Gators have closed the gap and the Oct. 27 game against the Bulldogs in Jacksonville, Fla., could decide the East crown.

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): 
Sure, Florida can win the SEC East. I’d still favor Georgia, who I believe has the most complete roster in the division, but the Gators have made a significant statement in the last two weeks. Right now, I’d consider Florida to be a bigger threat to Georgia than South Carolina. Will Muschamp’s team has been strong on defense (as expected) and has made significant progress on offense since struggling in a Week 1 win over Bowing Green. The quarterback position, considered a weakness before the season, is now a strength with Jeff Driskel showing everyone Saturday night why he was so highly rated coming out of high school. The Gators still lack elite talent at wide receiver, but this team now looks capable of contending for the SEC East title.

Mark Ross: 
Florida has already demonstrated what this team is capable of as the Gators have gone into both College Station and Knoxville and come out victorious. However, there's still plenty of work left to be done, as dates with LSU, Missouri, South Carolina and Georgia remain. Florida's defense appears to be capable of shutting down any opponent, as evidenced by its second-half performances against the Aggies and Volunteers, but the offense is not on the same level. Quarterback Jeff Driskel continues to make strides and has been impressive in his own right in the Gators' two SEC wins, but this team doesn't seem to have enough weapons to complement him. Florida can win the East because they hold their fate in their hands with their remaining schedule. However, the meat of their conference schedule, which starts with LSU on the first Saturday in October and finishes with a three-game stretch of South Carolina, Georgia and Missouri on consecutive Saturdays, will be too much for this relatively young team to get through with no fewer than two losses. I still have Georgia winning the East, but the fact that Florida is even in the hunt should give Gator fans plenty of reasons to be hopeful about the program's future under the leadership of Will Muschamp.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): 
Absolutely. The Gators already have two league wins on the road, and an athletic defense should keep UF in every game. The LSU contest in Gainesville will be difficult, but taking care of business versus the division is the key for Will Muschamp’s bunch. Florida will have the chance to claim an SEC East crown on successive Saturdays in late October, with South Carolina coming to the Swamp and then the Cocktail Party in Jacksonville against Georgia. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is showing an ability to make more plays each week, and running back Mike Gillislee is a physical presence who can wear down defenses. With offensive coordinator Brent Pease finding ways to effectively use weapons like Trey Burton, Frankie Hammond and Jordan Reed, the Gators offense is showing solid potential. Muschamp’s emphasis on the trenches is producing success in the second half of games, and that factor may be the difference when Florida battles rivals South Carolina and Georgia.

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 3
Post-Week 3 Bowl Projections

Post-Week 3 Heisman Contenders

College Football Post-Week 3 Recap

Teaser:
<p> Florida Football: Can the Gators Win the SEC East Title?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 06:11
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-using-vegas-odds-determine-best-week-4-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 4

Best Fantasy Matchups (Games with the most fantasy potential)

Baylor at UL-Monroe

Line:  Baylor -7.5(O/U-68.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Baylor 38-31

Best plays:

Baylor (QB-Nick Florence, RB-Jared Salubi, WR-Terrence Williams, Tevin Reese, K-Aaron Jones)

LA-Monroe (QB-Kolton Browning, WR-Brent Leonard)

Also consider:

Baylor (WR-Lanear Sampson)

LA-Monroe (RB-Jyruss Edwards)

theCFFsite projects:  UL-Monroe 38-34

 

Marshall at Rice

Line:  Marshall -2.5(O/U-70)

Projected score based on point spread:  Marshall 37-34

Best plays:

Marshall (QB-Rakeem Cato, WRs-Aaron Dobson, Tommy Shuler)

Rice (QB-Taylor McHargue, K-Chris Boswell)

Also consider:

Marshall (TE-Eric Frohnapfel)

Rice (RB-Charles Ross, WR-Jordan Taylor)

theCFFsite projects:  Marshall 41-34

 

Fresno St at Tulsa

Line:  Tulsa -5.5(O/U-69.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Tulsa 38-32

Best plays:

Fresno St (QB-Derek Carr, RB-Robbie Rouse, WRs-Davante Adams, Isaiah Burse)

Tulsa (QB-Cody Green, WR-Keyarris Garrett)

Also consider:

Fresno St (K-Quentin Breshears)

Tulsa (RBs-Trey Watts, JaTerian Douglas)

theCFFsite projects:  Fresno St 35-34

 

Arizona at Oregon

Line:  Oregon -24(O/U-76.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oregon 50-26

Best plays:

Arizona (QB-Matt Scott, RB-KaDeem Carey, WRs-Dan Buckner, Austin Hill)

Oregon (QB-Marcus Mariota, RBs-Kenjon Barner, DeAnthony Thomas)

Also consider:

Arizona (WR-Richard Morrison, K-John Bonano)

Oregon (TE-Colt Lyerla)

theCFFsite projects:  Oregon 59-31

 

Troy at North Texas

Line:  PICK(O/U-61)

Projected score based on point spread:  30-30 TIE

Best plays:

Troy (RB-Shawn Southward, WR-Chip Reeves)

North Texas (RB-Brandin Byrd)

Also consider:

Troy (QB-Corey Robinson, WR-Eric Thomas)

North Texas (RB-Antoinne Jimmerson, WR-Brelan Chancellor)

theCFFsite projects:  Troy 35-28

 

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

Florida Atlantic at Alabama

Line:  Alabama -50(O/U-57)

Projected score based on point spread:  Alabama 54-3

Stay away from:

FAU (All players)

theCFFsite projects:  Alabama 52-6

 

Eastern Michigan at Michigan St

Line:  Michigan St -33(O/U-46.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Michigan St 40-7

Stay away from:

Eastern Michigan (QB-Alex Gillett)

theCFFsite projects:  Michigan St 31-10

 

South Alabama at Mississippi St

Line:  Mississippi St -34.5(O/U-48)

Projected score based on point spread:  Mississippi St 42-7

Stay away from:

South Alabama (RB-Demetre Baker)

theCFFsite projects:  Mississippi St 49-14

 

UAB at Ohio St

Line:  Ohio St -37.5(O/U-57.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Ohio St 48-10

Stay away from:

UAB (QB-Jonathan Perry)

theCFFsite projects:  Ohio St 52-14

 

UMass at Miami (OH)

Line:  Miami (OH) -26.5(O/U-51)

Projected score based on point spread:  Miami (OH) 39-12

Stay away from:

UMass (RB-Michael Cox)

theCFFsite projects:  Miami (OH) 35-13

 

Must Watch Games (The games with the biggest headlines)

Clemson at Florida St

Line:  Florida St -14.4(O/U-58)

Projected score based on point spread:  Florida St 36-22

Outlook:  Are the Seminoles as good on the defensive side of the ball as many believe?  They may not play another opponent this season with the offensive skill talent as the Tigers.  Home field will prove valuable in a game that should go down to the wire.

theCFFsite projects:  Florida St 30-24

 

Michigan at Notre Dame

Line:  Notre Dame -6 (O/U-51.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Notre Dame 29-23

Outlook:  The Wolverines will look to atone for the Big Ten’s early-season struggles, but the Irish are trying to prove that they’re relevant again.

theCFFsite projects:  Notre Dame 31-21

 

Kansas St at Oklahoma

Line:  Oklahoma -14(O/U-58.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma 46-32

Outlook:  We won’t be shocked if the Wildcats leave Norman with a victory, but the Sooners have had an extra week to prepare for this matchup and should escape 3-0.

theCFFsite projects:  Oklahoma 34-28

 

theCFFsite in Must Watch games:

2012 Season:  Straight Up (5-3)  ATS: (3-5)

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

 

by Joe DiSalvo, thecffsite.com

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Using Vegas Odds to Determine Best Week 4 Plays</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 04:20
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-3-rankings-2
Body:

Week 3 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 easily ranks as the No. 1 coach on the hot seat after a disappointing loss to Western Kentucky. SEC foe Tennessee lost to Florida on Saturday, which only adds to the pressure under coach Derek Dooley. Colorado was blown out by Fresno State, allowing Jon Embree to jump into the top five of our hot seat rankings after three weeks.

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 3 Rankings

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week’s Rank:
1
Record at Kentucky: 12-16 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-2
Phillips’ seat has officially gone from hot to scalding hot. Kentucky rallied from a 17-0 deficit to Western Kentucky to force overtime, but it wasn’t enough, as the Hilltoppers matched the Wildcats’ score in overtime and won on a two-point conversion on the final play of the game. It’s hard to fault Phillips for all of Kentucky’s woes, but the schedule is only going to get more difficult the rest of the way. The Wildcats have only more guaranteed win (Samford) and open SEC play at Florida this Saturday. Kentucky needs to show progress the rest of the way for Phillips to return, but that’s no guarantee considering the upcoming schedule.

2. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank:
2
Record at Boston College: 21-21 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
A week after breaking into the win column against Maine, Boston College failed to build on that momentum and lost 22-13 to Northwestern. Despite the 1-2 record, there have been a few positives for the Eagles. New offensive coordinator Doug Martin has been able to spark the passing attack, but the Eagles rank a disappointing 109th nationally in rushing. The next stretch of games could decide Spaziani’s future in Chestnut Hill. Boston College hosts Clemson on Sept. 29, before traveling to Army on Oct. 6. The schedule doesn’t get any easier following those two games, as the Eagles have road dates at Florida State and Georgia Tech. Spaziani faces an uphill battle to return next season but could save his job if the Eagles pull off an upset or two in the next few weeks.

3. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank:
6
Record at Colorado: 3-13 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 0-3
Considering this is Embree’s second season with Colorado, he deserves a chance to turn things around in 2013. However, it’s hard to ignore how bad the Buffaloes have been under his watch. Colorado closed out last season by winning two out of its final three games but has opened 0-3 in disastrous fashion. The Buffaloes lost to in-state rival Colorado State in the opener, followed up by a loss to FCS opponent Sacramento State and a blowout defeat to Fresno State. Colorado is playing a lot of young players, so some growing pains can be expected. However, the Buffaloes haven’t shown much progress through three games and could finish 0-12.

4. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank:
3
Record at Central Michigan: 7-19 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-1
The Chippewas had a bye week in Week 3 and head into Saturday’s game at Iowa with a 1-1 record. Under Enos’ watch, Central Michigan has yet to beat a team with a BCS record and is 0-3 against teams from the Big Ten. Needless to say, the Chippewas will need to play their best game of the season if they want to have any shot at beating the Hawkeyes.

5. Robb Akey, Idaho
Last Week’s Rank:
8
Record at Idaho: 19-46 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-3
It’s hard to place any blame on Akey after Saturday’s 63-14 loss to LSU. After all, the Vandals were heavy underdogs and didn’t have much of a shot to win. While Akey has a tough job, Idaho has won only one game against FBS competition in its last 13 contests and is off to a 0-3 start. One promising sign for Akey has to be the play of quarterback Dominique Blackman, who threw for 352 yards and one touchdown against Bowling Green in Week 2. The Vandals host Wyoming this Saturday.

6. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank:
5
Record at UNLV: 4-24 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-3
The weekly hot seat watch has been harsh on Hauck the first two weeks, so it’s time to give him a little credit after Friday’s game against Washington State. After a disappointing loss to Northern Arizona in Week 2, the Rebels played the Cougars tough and lost 35-27. Of course, Hauck needs wins to keep his job, but this team has a few pieces to build around, including quarterback Nick Sherry and running back Tim Cornett. UNLV opens Mountain West play this Saturday against Air Force and a win against the Falcons would be a huge boost after opening the season 0-3.

7. Rick Stockstill, MTSU
Last Week’s Rank: 4
Record at MTSU: 37-41 (7th season)
2012 Record: 2-1
After opening up the 2012 season with a loss to McNeese State, the Blue Raiders have won back-to-back games, allowing Stockstill’s seat to cool going into Week 4. MTSU has a bye in Week 4 and returns to action against Georgia Tech in Week 5. Stockstill doesn’t necessarily need a winning season to save his job, but the Blue Raiders can’t afford to go 3-9 and struggle to compete against Sun Belt competition. 

8. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Record at Rice: 24-40 (6th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
A week after upsetting Kansas on the road, the Owls failed to build upon that momentum and lost 56-37 at Louisiana Tech. There have been positive signs for Rice through the first three weeks, as quarterback Taylor McHargue ranks 36th nationally with 273 total yards per game. Although Rice upset the Jayhawks and the offense has been solid, this team still has a long ways to go. The Owls rank 118th nationally in scoring defense and are allowing 531.3 yards per game. Rice opens C-USA play this week against Marshall and hosts rival Houston in Week 5.

9. Tony Levine, Houston
Last Week’s Rank:
10
Record at Houston: 1-3
2012 Record: 0-3
Houston continued to slide under Levine, losing 37-6 at UCLA on Saturday. While the Cougars weren’t expected to win, the defense was gashed for over 500 yards, and the offense had six turnovers and failed to generate much of a passing attack. After firing offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt, Houston’s offense showed signs of life in a 56-49 loss to Louisiana Tech but looked out of sync against the Bruins. Levine’s tenure is off to a disastrous start, but the Cougars still have a chance to win Conference USA’s West Division, starting next Saturday against Rice.

10. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank:
7
Record at California: 80-50 (11th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
Thanks to California’s solid performance at Ohio State, Tedford slides down the hot seat watch by a few spots. Despite hanging tough against the Buckeyes, the Golden Bears own a 1-2 record, and the schedule won’t get easier with a road trip to USC this Saturday and a home date against Arizona State in Week 5. California has a tough schedule, and considering the personnel in place, getting to 7-5 or 8-4 would be a good season for this team. However, would 7-5 or even 6-6 be enough for Tedford to return in 2013?

11. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Last Week’s Rank:
11
Record at Maryland: 4-11 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 2-1
Edsall was the center of attention this week, as he took on his former team (Connecticut). The Terrapins had a chance to win late but lost 24-21, which snapped their two-game winning streak. Edsall seems to have this team on the right track, but Maryland still has a long way to go in order to be a bowl team this season. The Terrapins face an uphill battle to win this Saturday, as they play at West Virginia. The matchup against the Mountaineers is the final non-conference game for Maryland, and it will be interesting to see how far this team has come once ACC play arrives on Oct. 6 against Wake Forest.

12. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank:
20
Record at Tennessee: 13-15 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-1
Dooley nearly fell out of our top 20 coaches on the hot seat, but Saturday’s loss to Florida is enough to jump into the top 15 of the rankings. Tennessee jumped out to a 14-10 lead at halftime but was outscored 27-6 in the second half. Both sides of the ball struggled in the final two quarters, including a defense that allowed two scores of over 75 yards. Tennessee should get back into the win column with Akron visiting Knoxville this Saturday. However, the schedule only gets tougher with SEC games against Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina coming up.

13. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank:
13
Record at Auburn: 31-12 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
The Tigers managed to avoid at upset at the hands of Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday but that’s not enough to move Chizik down the hot seat rankings. Auburn was largely unimpressive and anytime a SEC team needs overtime to beat a Sun Belt team, it’s never good news for the head coach. Chizik has recruited as well as anyone in the country over the last few years, but the results on the field aren’t adding up.

14. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
Last Week’s Rank:
14
Record at Syracuse: 18-22 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
After losing close games to Northwestern and USC to open the season, Saturday’s 28-17 victory over Stony Brook was a much-needed win for Marrone. The victory was not only crucial to get into the win column for 2012 but snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Orange. Barring a complete collapse this season, Marrone will probably return for 2013. However, getting to a bowl game and winning more than one contest in Big East play would certainly help earn more job security.

15. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank:
15
Record at Iowa: 98-67 (14th season)
2012 Record: 2-1
It wasn’t the most glamorous victory, but Iowa eased the disappointment over the loss to Iowa State with a 27-16 win over Northern Iowa in Week 3. The Hawkeyes had more injuries at running back, as Damon Bullock and Greg Garmon were banged up and did not return. Quarterback James Vandenberg was steady, completing 18 of 28 passes for 228 yards, but he is still looking for his first touchdown pass of the season. Ferentz and the Hawkeyes should move to 3-1 with a matchup against Central Michigan this Saturday.

16. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank:
16
Record at Buffalo: 6-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-1
The Bulls had a bye in Week 3 and return to action on Wednesday night against Kent State. Buffalo has some momentum after beating Morgan State in Week 2 but needs to show some progress in MAC games for Quinn to feel secure about keeping his job in 2013. Oddly enough, even though Kent State and Buffalo are in the same division (MAC East), this will be the first meeting between these two teams since 2009.

17. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank:
18
Record at New Mexico State: 10-31 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
As we have mentioned in the hot seat column in previous weeks, it’s hard to fault Walker for what’s going on at New Mexico State. The Aggies have only one winning season since 2002 and have failed to record a season of more than four wins since 2004. The Aggies dropped to 1-2 thanks to a 41-28 loss to UTEP. Up next for New Mexico State is rival New Mexico, a team the Aggies have beat for three consecutive seasons.

18. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 19
Record at Western Michigan: 48-41 (8th season)
2012 Record: 1-2
The Broncos were close but not good enough to beat to Minnesota in Week 3. Western Michigan has another shot to beat a BCS team in Week 4, as Connecticut visits Kalamazoo this Saturday. The Broncos were picked by many as the favorites to win the MAC West crown, so it’s hard to judge how hot Cubit’s seat can get until conference play arrives on Sept. 29 against Toledo.

19. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at Texas Tech: 16-12 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-0
So far, so good for Texas Tech this season. The Red Raiders seem to have a much-improved defense, while the offense will be one of the best in the Big 12. The competition hasn’t been great, but Tuberville has to be pleased with his team so far. Thanks to Texas Tech’s 3-0 start to begin the season, Tuberville has fallen from a spot in the top 10 of the hot seat rankings to nearly out of the list.

20. George O’Leary, UCF
Last Week’s Rank:
17
Record at UCF: 52-52 (9th season)
2012 Record: 2-1
The Knights jumped out to a 23-0 lead against FIU and cruised to a 33-20 victory on Saturday night. UCF’s only loss came against Ohio State, and the Knights appear to be Conference USA’s No. 1 team after three games. The biggest news out of UCF wasn’t on the field this week, as it has officially decided to appeal its postseason ban for 2012. The appeal may not be heard before the end of 2012, which would allow the Knights to play in a bowl game this year. However, if UCF loses the appeal after the season, it would have to miss out on the postseason in its first Big East campaign in 2013. 

Honorable Mention

John L. Smith, Arkansas
Record at Arkansas: 1-2
2012 Record: 1-2
As we mentioned last week with Smith, he's essentially on a one-year deal and the odds of him returning to Fayetteville were slim for 2013. However, Smith's tenure in Arkansas has not gone well, and the Razorbacks are a disappointing 1-2 after three games. Smith can't be blamed for everything, especially since quarterback Tyler Wilson did not play against Alabama.


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Sept. 18, 2012)

Related College Football Content

College Football's Post-Week 3 Bowl Projections
ACC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
College Football Week 3 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 3 Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 06:05
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-3-bowl-projections
Body:

College football's bowl season is still a few months away, but it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With only three weeks of results in the books, it's hard to make long-term projections about teams, especially with several teams still playing overmatched non-conference games. 

With very little data to work with, the post-Week 3 bowl projections are a mixture between preseason projections, how things would look if the season ended today, and a small dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks, especially as we see how teams perform in conference games. 

2012-2013 Post-Week 3 College Football Bowl Projections

Bowl Date Tie-In Projected Matchup
New Mexico Dec. 15 MWC vs. Pac-12 Utah vs. Wyoming
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 Vanderbilt* vs. Louisiana Tech*
New Orleans Dec. 22 Sun Belt vs. C-USA UL Lafayette vs. Southern Miss
Las Vegas Dec. 22 MWC vs. Pac-12 Washington vs. Boise State
Hawaii Dec. 24 C-USA vs. MWC Fresno State vs. SMU
Little Caesars Dec. 26 Big Ten vs. MAC Purdue vs. Toledo
Military Dec. 27 ACC vs. Army Marshall* vs. Miami
Belk Dec. 27 ACC vs. Big East Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati
Holiday Dec. 27 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 UCLA vs. TCU
Independence Dec. 28 ACC vs. SEC Wake Forest vs. Arkansas
Russell Athletic Dec. 28 ACC vs. Big East Clemson vs. Rutgers
Meineke Car Care Dec. 28 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Texas Tech vs. Iowa
Armed Forces Dec. 29 C-USA vs. MWC Nevada vs. UTEP
Kraft Fight Hunger Dec. 29 Pac-12 vs. Navy Navy vs. Arizona State
Pinstripe Dec. 29 Big East vs. Big 12 Baylor vs. Connecticut
Alamo Dec. 29 Big 12 vs. Pac-12 Stanford vs. Kansas State
Buffalo Wild Wings Dec. 29 Big Ten vs. Big 12 Oklahoma State vs. N'Western
Music City Dec. 31 SEC vs. ACC Virginia vs. Missouri
Sun Dec. 31 ACC vs. Pac-12 Arizona vs. NC State
Liberty Dec. 31 SEC vs. C-USA Texas A&M vs. East Carolina
Chick-fil-A Dec. 31 ACC vs. SEC Virginia Tech vs. Miss. State
TicketCity Jan. 1 Big Ten vs. C-USA Illinois vs. Tulsa
TaxSlayer.com Gator Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Tennessee vs. Wisconsin
Capital One Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Georgia vs. Michigan State
Outback Jan. 1 SEC vs. Big Ten Nebraska vs. Florida
Cotton Jan. 4 Big 12 vs. SEC West Virginia vs. So. Carolina
BBVA Compass Jan. 5 SEC vs. Big East Auburn vs. South Florida
GoDaddy.com Jan. 6 MAC vs. Sun Belt Arkansas State vs. Ohio
       
BCS Bowls      
Rose Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Michigan vs. USC
Orange Jan. 1 BCS vs. BCS Florida State vs. Texas
Sugar Jan. 2 BCS vs. BCS LSU vs. Notre Dame
Fiesta Jan. 3 BCS vs. BCS Oklahoma vs. Louisville
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.


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Sept. 18, 2012)

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 2 Ranks
ACC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
College Football Week 3 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football Post-Week 3 Bowl Projections</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 06:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-3-waiver-wire-report
Body:

The beginning of every fantasy week is the time to rebuild or reload.  If you need to rebuild your roster, you’re in luck.  In this week’s Waiver Wire edition you will notice some familiar names that may have been recycled through your league’s waiver system since draft day, particularly Jawan Jamison, Antonio Andrews, and Josh Stewart. 

Post-Week 3 College Fantasy Waiver Wire Report

J.W. Walsh, QB-Oklahoma St
After starting quarterback Wes Lunt left last week’s game with a leg injury, Walsh stepped in and accounted for 420 yards and five touchdowns.  As long as Lunt’s status is unknown, Walsh should be near the top of many fantasy owners’ waiver list.

Kolton Browning, QB-UL-Monroe
Browning has passed for 649 yards and six touchdowns and rushed for 127 yards and two scores in the Warhawks’ first two games on the road against SEC schools.

Rakeem Cato, QB-Marshall
Cato leads the nation in passing yards (1,222) and passing yards per game (407.3).

Terrance Owens, QB-Toledo
The Rockets are 2-0 since Owens became the full-time starter and the offense should continue to roll this week against Coastal Carolina.

Jawan Jamison, RB-Rutgers
Not only did Jamison make a statement Thursday night on national television by carrying the ball 41 times for 151 yards at South Florida, but the Scarlet Knights proved that they are contenders in the Big East.

Dareyon Chance, RB-Western Michigan
The diminutive five-foot-five, 169-pound back shined in his first start of the season, running for 144 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries against Minnesota.

Antonio Andrews, RB-Western Kentucky
We were a big fan of Andrews on draft day, but he started the season splitting carries with Keshawn Simpson and some owners may have released him.  After carrying the ball 34 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns in a 32-31 win over Kentucky on Saturday, Andrews showed why we ranked him #34 in our preseason running back rankings.

Jordan Hall, RB-Ohio St
Fantasy owners may have passed on drafting Hall because of a preseason injury, but he returned last week and ran for 87 yards on 17 carries.

Tevin King, RB-Louisiana Tech
After two games, the freshman running back leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 316 yards and has added three touchdowns.

Andre Davis, WR-South Florida
Davis has emerged as quarterback B.J. Daniels’ favorite target and has hauled in 20 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games.

Devin Smith, WR-Ohio St
Now with two straight games with at least five catches, Smith is emerging as the play-making receiver that the Buckeyes need.

Josh Stewart, Oklahoma St
Since a quiet Week One against Savannah State, Stewart has caught 18 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns.

Antavian Edison, WR-Purdue
Edison has recorded at least five catches, 50 yards, and a touchdown in every game this season.

Marquelo Suel, WR-Akron
Suel has at least six receptions in every game this season and has two 99-yard receiving games and three touchdowns.

Mike Evans, WR-Texas A&M
Evans followed up his seven-catch, 60-yards performance against Florida in the Aggies’ opener with a six-catch, 123-yard day against SMU this past weekend.

Chris Coyle, TE-Arizona St
Coyle leads the nation in receiving yards for tight ends and has led the Sun Devils in receiving yards or receptions in every game this season.
 

Last Week’s Waiver Wire Suggestions

Connor Halliday, QB-Wash St (378 pass yards, 4 TDs @ UNLV)

Brett Hundley, QB-UCLA (320 pass yards, 2 TDs vs Houston)

Venric Mark, RB-Northwestern (18 carries for 77 yards, 7 receptions for 42 yards vs BC)

Todd Gurley, RB-Georgia (10 carries for 111 yards, TD vs FAU)

Isaiah Burse, WR-Fresno St (3 receptions for 107 yards, TD vs Colorado)

Austin Franklin, WR-New Mexico St (7 receptions for 107 yards, 2 TDs at UTEP)

Jamison Crowder, WR-Duke (7 receptions for 84 yards, TD vs NC Central)

Rolandan Finch, RB-Boston College (19 yards rushing, 16 yards receiving @ NWestern)

Cody Getz, RB-Air Force (Bye)

Damien Williams, RB-Oklahoma (Bye)

Leighton Settle, RB-NIU (5 carries for 19 yards at Army)

Alex Neutz, WR-Buffalo (Bye)
 


by Joe DiSalvo

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If there were any doubts Florida State was ready to make a run into national title contention, those should be erased after Saturday’s win over Wake Forest. The Seminoles beat Wake Forest 52-0, which included impressive performances on both sides of the ball. Virginia Tech was a surprise loser in Week 3, dropping a 35-17 game to Pittsburgh. Georgia Tech handled Virginia, while North Carolina’s late rally fell short against Louisville in an ACC-Big East showdown.

Offensive Player of the Year

1. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson – Ellington has been used sparingly the last two weeks due to the competition. The senior has 328 yards and four touchdowns through the first three games.

2. Bryn Renner, QB, North Carolina – Renner has been sharp in the first year under new coach Larry Fedora. Through three weeks, he has thrown for 870 yards and nine touchdowns and completed 62.5 percent of his throws.

3. Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State – Thompson was quiet through the first two weeks of the season but exploded for 197 yards and two scores against Wake Forest.
 

Defensive Player of the Year

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner and fellow end Tank Carradine dominated the line of scrimmage against Wake Forest. Werner recorded four tackles and two sacks in the win over the Demon Deacons.

2. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – Vellano was relatively quiet in the loss to Connecticut, recording four tackles and no sacks.

3. David Amerson, CB, NC State – Amerson has rebounded after a rough start and recorded three tackles and one interception in NC State’s win over South Alabama.


Coach of the Year

1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – The Seminoles passed their first big test of the season, dominating Wake Forest for a 52-0 win.

2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – The Tigers notched an easy win over Furman, but Swinney has a chance to jump to the top of this list with a win over Florida State in Week 4.

3. Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech – With losses by Wake Forest (Jim Grobe), Virginia Tech (Frank Beamer) and North Carolina (Larry Fedora), there are few options for the third spot. The Yellow Jackets lost a key Week 1 game to Virginia Tech but crushed Virginia in Week 3.

 

ACC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings

1. Florida State (3-0, 1-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
1
Week 3 result: Beat Wake Forest 52-0
Consider the Seminoles’ first test of 2012 a huge success. After playing Savannah State and Murray State in the first two weeks of the season, Florida State was still somewhat of a mystery. However, the Seminoles erased any doubts surrounding this team, destroying Wake Forest 52-0 to earn their first ACC win. Running back Chris Thompson ran wild against the Demon Deacons, rushing for a career high 197 yards on nine carries. Florida State’s defense also suffocated Wake Forest, allowing just 126 yards and seven first downs.
Next Game: Clemson

2. Clemson (3-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
2
Week 3 result: Beat Furman 41-7
The Tigers cruised to a 41-7 victory over Furman in the final tune-up before ACC play. Quarterback Tajh Boyd continued his strong start to the season by throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. And the offense got a boost with the return of receiver Sammy Watkins, who caught four passes for 52 yards and took one rush for a 50-yard score against the Paladins. One area of concern for Dabo Swinney and his staff has to be the defense, especially after allowing 352 yards and generating no sacks.
Next Game: at Florida State

3. Georgia Tech (2-1, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
4
Week 3 result: Beat Virginia 56-20
Even though it was only the second ACC game of the season, beating Virginia was crucial for any shot the Yellow Jackets had of winning the division crown. Quarterback Tevin Washington had a standout performance against the Cavaliers, throwing for 125 yards and one touchdown, while adding 93 yards and three scores on the ground. Georgia Tech’s defense held Virginia’s rushing attack to only 98 yards, while forcing two interceptions. The Yellow Jackets are still a game behind Virginia Tech in the Coastal standings, so every conference game the rest of the year (at least for now) is essentially a must-win situation.
Next Game: Miami

4. Virginia Tech (2-1, 1-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
3
Week 3 result: Lost to Pittsburgh 35-17
One of the most surprising results from Week 3 was Virginia Tech’s 35-17 loss at Pittsburgh. The Panthers lost to Youngstown State and Cincinnati in the first two weeks of the season and were considered a heavy underdog. The problems for the Hokies started on offense, as the rushing attack never found its rhythm, and quarterback Logan Thomas tossed three picks. The defense gave up 254 rushing yards and recorded just one sack against a suspect Pittsburgh offensive line. While this loss knocks Virginia Tech out of the national title discussion, the Hokies are still in control of the Coastal Division.
Next Game: Bowling Green

5. NC State (2-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
6
Week 3 result: Beat South Alabama 31-7
After playing Tennessee and Connecticut in the first two weeks of the season, South Alabama was the perfect Week 3 get well opponent for the Wolfpack. Quarterback Mike Glennon had his best performance on the season, throwing for 257 yards and three scores. The defense held the Jaguars without a score until the fourth quarter and recorded seven sacks. NC State should have another easy win in Week 4 against FCS opponent Citadel.
Next Game: Citadel

6. Virginia (2-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
5
Week 3 result: Lost to Georgia Tech 56-20
There’s really no way to sugarcoat it: Georgia Tech simply dominated the Cavaliers on Saturday. Virginia’s offense never generated much of a rushing attack, and the defense couldn’t stop the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option offense. Georgia Tech rushed for 461 yards and seven scores, while quarterback Tevin Washington threw for 133 yards and one touchdown. After a sluggish performance by Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco, Alabama transfer Phillip Sims may get extended snaps in the Week 4 matchup against TCU.
Next Game: at TCU

7. Wake Forest (2-1, 1-1 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
7
Week 3 result: Lost to Florida State 52-0
Even after losing to Florida State 52-0, it’s hard to penalize the Demon Deacons in the power rankings. Few candidates in the ACC are deserving of a promotion, and Wake Forest simply ran into a buzzsaw in Tallahassee. The Demon Deacons gained only 126 yards, while the defense was gashed for 385 yards and four touchdowns by Florida State’s rushing attack. Wake Forest should bounce back this Saturday against Army and has a favorable matchup in Week 5 against Duke.
Next Game: Army

8. North Carolina (1-2, 0-1 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
8
Week 3 result: Lost to Louisville 39-34
It was a tale of two halves for North Carolina against Louisville on Saturday. The Tar Heels were awful in the first half, trailing 36-7 before the start of the third quarter. However, quarterback Bryn Renner rallied North Carolina in the second half, giving the Tar Heels a chance to win in the final minutes. Renner finished with 363 yards and five touchdowns, but the ground attack stalled without Giovani Bernard. North Carolina’s secondary continued to struggle, allowing 279 yards and three touchdowns to Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater.
Next Game: East Carolina

9. Miami (2-1, 1-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
9
Week 3 result: Beat Bethune-Cookman 38-10
A week after suffering a 52-13 beatdown against Kansas State, the Hurricanes rebounded with a 38-10 win over FCS opponent Bethune-Cookman. It was far from a perfect effort from Miami, but freshman running back Duke Johnson scored four touchdowns, and the defense allowed only three points in the second half. Miami’s defense has been a concern all year and while it allowed only a field goal in the last two quarters, Bethune-Cookman managed 233 rushing yards. Considering the Hurricanes’ next opponent (Georgia Tech), specializes in the ground game, Miami’s defensive staff could have a lot of sleepless nights this week.
Next Game: at Georgia Tech

10. Duke (2-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
10
Week 3 result: Beat N.C. Central 54-17
The Blue Devils jumped out to 17-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in Saturday’s win over N.C. Central. Led by quarterback Sean Renfree’s 274 passing yards, Duke scored at least 10 points in every quarter and improved to 2-1 for the first time under coach David Cutcliffe. The rushing attack remains a concern for Cutcliffe, as the Blue Devils managed only 128 yards and one touchdown in Saturday’s win. Duke has another must-win game next week against Memphis.
Next Game: Memphis

11. Boston College (1-2, 0-1 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Week 3 result: Lost to Northwestern 22-13
The Eagles were close, but not good enough to beat Northwestern. Quarterback Chase Rettig had another steady performance, throwing for 291 yards and one touchdown on 24 completions. However, the rushing attack managed only 25 yards, and the defense had no answer for Northwestern’s offense. The Eagles have a bye this Saturday, which comes at a good time with the team searching for answers on both sides of the ball. Boston College returns to play on Sept. 29 against Clemson.
Next Game: Clemson (Sept. 29)

12. Maryland (2-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last Week’s Rank:
12
Week 3 result: Lost to Connecticut 24-21
Just like the Terrapins’ first two games, Saturday’s matchup against Connecticut wasn’t the easiest to watch. Maryland’s offense managed a season-low 205 yards against the Huskies and committed two turnovers. The Terrapins had a shot to win in the final minutes, but Connecticut’s defense held late in the fourth quarter. Through three weeks, Maryland’s offense ranks 119th nationally in total yards per game (258.3) and 105th in turnover margin. The Terrapins have made some progress in Randy Edsall’s second season but beating West Virginia in Week 4 will be a tall task.
Next Game: at West Virginia


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

Related College Football Content

Big East Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
College Football Week 3 Recap

Teaser:
<p> ACC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, September 17, 2012 - 06:49
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-3-power-rankings
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Week 3 featured a pedestrian slate of games in the Big 12. TCU-Kansas was the only conference game, while Texas easily handled Ole Miss on the road and Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma State cruised to victories. The Horned Frogs were victorious in their first Big 12 game, but the Jayhawks showed signs of progress in defeat.

Big 12 Post-Week 3 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia – Smith has been unstoppable through the first two games, tossing just as many touchdowns (9) as incompletions (9).

2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State – Klein continues to be a one-man wrecking crew, recording nine touchdowns and 819 yards through the first two weeks.

3. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State – Randle has three 100-yard efforts to open the season and has caught nine passes for 77 yards.
 

Big 12 Post-Week 3 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State – Brown shook off a leg injury in the win over North Texas to record 13 tackles. Through three weeks, he has 28 tackles and one sack.

2. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Jeffcoat recorded only one tackle but also picked up his second sack of the season against Ole Miss.

3. Isaiah Bruce, LB, West Virginia – The competition hasn’t been great, but it’s hard to ignore Bruce’s performance through the first two games. He has 25 tackles, three tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery so far this year.
 

Big 12 Post-Week 3 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State - Rhoads has led Iowa State to back-to-back 3-0 starts and won’t be an easy out in Big 12 play.

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State – The Wildcats are 3-0 but largely untested. Kansas State opens Big 12 play against Oklahoma this Saturday.

3. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia – Behind quarterback Geno Smith and receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, the Mountaineers’ offense has been unstoppable through the first two games of 2012.

 

Post-Week 3 Power Rankings

1. Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
1
Week 3 Result: Did not play
The Sooners did not play in Week 2 and will return to action in Week 4 against Kansas State. Oklahoma has a strange schedule over the next couple of weeks, as it hosts the Wildcats, then has another bye week before playing at Texas Tech on Oct. 6.  The Sooners have defeated Kansas State five times in a row, including a 58-17 victory in Manhattan last season.
Next Game: Kansas State

2. Texas (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
2
Week 3 Result: Beat Ole Miss 66-31
While it wasn’t a conference road test, traveling to Oxford to play Ole Miss was a key game for Texas. The Longhorns surprisingly gave up 31 points to the Rebels but were never in any danger of losing. Quarterback David Ash turned in a solid performance, throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns. The ground attack punished Ole Miss for 350 yards on 54 attempts. Texas has a bye week to prepare for its Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State. The Longhorns will have to take a wait-and-see approach on preparing for the Cowboys offense, as starting quarterback Wes Lunt was injured in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State (Sept. 29)

3. West Virginia (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
3
Week 3 Result: Beat James Madison 42-12
The Mountaineers hold steady in the power rankings after cruising to an easy 42-12 victory over FCS opponent James Madison. Quarterback Geno Smith was nearly flawless, completing 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns. With Matt Barkley’s performance against Stanford, Smith has to be considered the frontrunner to win the Heisman after three weeks. Receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin each went over 100 yards and caught double-digit passes. As expected West Virginia’s defense had a much better performance than it had in Week 1, as the Dukes’ only touchdown came with less than a minute remaining.
Next Game: Maryland

4. TCU (2-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 3 Result: Beat Kansas 20-6
The Horned Frogs capped a historic weekend with a 20-6 win over Kansas in their first Big 12 game. TCU easily outgained the Jayhawks (507 to 379) but it was far from a complete performance. The Horned Frogs had four turnovers and went 2 of 9 on third-down conversions. Quarterback Casey Pachall passed for 335 yards, with Brandon Carter his preferred target (eight receptions, 141 yards and two scores). TCU’s defense had question marks about its back seven coming into the year, and Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist threw for 303 yards. Although it wasn’t a perfect effort for Gary Patterson’s team, it’s a good way to start life in the Big 12.
Next Game: Virginia

5. Kansas State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 3 Result: Beat North Texas 35-21
Bill Snyder wasn’t particularly pleased with his team after Saturday’s 35-21 win over North Texas. However, the Wildcats are 3-0 and have made it through the first three weeks without a major injury. Kansas State allowed the Mean Green to hang around, largely due to the strong performance of quarterback Derek Thompson (25 of 28, 208 yards). The defense struggled with missed tackles, while the offense had two turnovers and running back John Hubert never got on track (38 yards, 12 attempts). Kansas State opens Big 12 play in Week 4 with a huge test at Oklahoma.
Next Game: at Oklahoma

6. Oklahoma State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
6
Week 3 Result: Beat Louisiana-Lafayette 65-24
Despite losing quarterback Wes Lunt on the first series of the game, the Cowboys rolled to an easy 65-24 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. Lunt suffered a knee injury and did not return. His long-term status is uncertain, but Oklahoma State has a bye week before playing Texas on Sept. 29. With Lunt sidelined, J.W. Walsh shined, throwing for 347 yards and adding 73 yards on the ground. Running back Joseph Randle was solid as usual, rushing for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 21 attempts. Oklahoma State’s defense held the Ragin’ Cajuns without a point in the first half, before allowing 24 in the final two quarters. Lunt’s injured knee will be watched closely over the next two weeks, but if he can’t go, Walsh is more than capable of leading the Cowboys to a win over the Longhorns.
Next Game: Texas (Sept. 29)

7. Baylor (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 3 Result: Beat Sam Houston State 48-23
One of the biggest surprises from the Big 12's Week 3 action was Sam Houston State leading Baylor 20-10 at halftime. However, the Bears took control in the second half and won 48-23. Quarterback Nick Florence was solid, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding a 60-yard rush. As expected, Baylor’s offense stepped up in the second half, but the defense held the Bearkats to just three points in the final two quarters. The Bears have a short week to prepare for a trip to Louisiana-Monroe on Friday night, before playing at West Virginia to open Big 12 play.
Next Game: at Louisiana-Monroe (Friday)

8. Iowa State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 3 Result: Beat Western Illinois 37-3
The Cyclones are 3-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2000-01. Iowa State dominated Western Illinois on Saturday, jumping out to a 21-0 lead at halftime and cruising to a 37-3 win. The Cyclones got a strong performance from quarterback Steele Jantz (19 of 26 for 209 yards and three touchdowns), while the defense allowed only 178 total yards. Iowa State is halfway to bowl eligibility thanks to its 3-0 start, but the schedule is only going to get tougher the rest of the way with only Big 12 opponents.
Next Game: Texas Tech (Sept. 29)

9. Texas Tech (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 3 Result: Beat New Mexico 49-14
The Red Raiders haven’t had to sweat much through the first three weeks of the season and cruised to an easy 49-14 win over New Mexico. Quarterback Seth Doege was sharp, throwing for 340 yards and six touchdowns, while the offense had three players rush for at least 60 yards. The defense was a concern going into the year but has played well so far. Texas Tech allowed 30 points through the first three games and ranks second nationally in total defense. The competition is going to get better, but the first three weeks are a good sign for Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Iowa State

10. Kansas (1-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week:
10
Week 3 Result: Lost to TCU 20-6
A week after a disappointing loss to Rice, the Jayhawks dropped their Big 12 opener to TCU. Although Kansas has not won a Big 12 game since Nov. 6, 2010, it didn’t fade late and had chances to pull closer. The Jayhawks defense forced four turnovers but allowed quarterback Casey Pachall to throw for 335 yards. Quarterback Dayne Crist matched Pachall with a 300-yard effort, but the Jayhawks’ offense was unable to capitalize off TCU’s four turnovers. Kansas’ offense will get an extra weapon back this week, as running back James Sims will return from a three-game suspension.
Next Game: at Northern Illinois


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

Related College Football Content

Big East Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
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Teaser:
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Post date: Monday, September 17, 2012 - 06:29
All taxonomy terms: Oklahoma State Cowboys, Big 12, News
Path: /news/wes-lunt-injures-knee-oklahoma-state-win
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Oklahoma State starting quarterback Wes Lunt was injured during Saturday's win over Louisiana-Lafayette, and his long-term status for the rest of the season is up in the air. However, early reports have indicated Lunt's injury may not be significant, and he could return for the Sept. 29 matchup against Texas.

If Lunt is unable to return, the Cowboys will turn to J.W. Walsh. The redshirt freshman completed 21 of 30 passes for 347 yards and four scores against the Ragin' Cajuns. He also rushed for 73 yards and one touchdown.

Although Oklahoma State would have liked to get Lunt more comfortable in the offense with Big 12 play coming up, Walsh's performance was encouraging and shows the Cowboys are still a Big 12 title contender even if Lunt can't play for a couple of games.

Oklahoma State also has the potent combination of Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith at running back, while the defense is solid. 

The extent of Lunt's injury probably won't be known for a few days, but as the video below shows, it could have been a lot worse. 

Oklahoma State's next game isn't until Sept. 29, so the true freshman has plenty of time to heal. However, even if Lunt misses time, Walsh showed he is capable of leading the Cowboys to a victory over Texas.

Teaser:
<p> Wes Lunt's Injury A Big Loss for Oklahoma State</p>
Post date: Saturday, September 15, 2012 - 17:20
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College football's Week 3 slate is full of interesting action. Arkansas had a surprising defeat to Louisiana-Monroe last week but has a chance to knock off No. 1 Alabama this Saturday. The Razorbacks are heavy underdogs and could be without starting quarterback Tyler Wilson. The action in the SEC isn't limited to Arkansas-Alabama, as Florida-Tennessee meet in Knoxville for a crucial East Division showdown. Notre Dame-Michigan State, USC-Stanford, BYU-Utah and North Carolina-Louisville are some of the other top games to monitor this weekend.

Top Storylines to Watch in Week 3

1. Will Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson play against Alabama?
With or without Tyler Wilson, Arkansas has an uphill battle to beat Alabama on Saturday. The Razorbacks have lost their last five games against the Crimson Tide, including a 38-14 matchup last season. In addition to preparing for college football’s No. 1 team, Arkansas is still reeling from last week’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe. If Wilson can’t go, redshirt freshman Brandon Allen or junior Brandon Mitchell will get the start. The offense isn’t the only side of the ball dealing with question marks, as the Razorbacks have to play better on defense to beat Alabama. Even if Wilson plays, this matchup has all of the makings of an Alabama blowout.

2. SEC East Showdown
The Tennessee-Florida rivalry isn’t quite ready to become nationally relevant once again, but it’s getting closer. Both teams are off to 2-0 starts, and the winner of this game could challenge Georgia or South Carolina in the East. The Volunteers’ passing attack (353.5 yards per game) will be challenged by a Florida secondary that has yet to allow a passing touchdown this season. While Tennessee should be able to move the ball on the Gators’ secondary, it needs to establish the ground game and bring some balance to the offense. When Florida has the ball, all eyes will be on Jeff Driskel. The sophomore finished with 162 passing yards against Texas A&M but didn’t throw an interception. For the Gators to win, Driskel needs to be efficient, while running back Mike Gillislee needs to get to at least 100 yards.

3. Can Matt Barkley finally beat Stanford?
The only Pac-12 team Matt Barkley hasn’t defeated during his illustrious USC career is Stanford. The Cardinal have won the last three games in this series and had a convincing 50-13 win over Duke last week. While Stanford has had success against the Trojans in recent years, Barkley should be able to win his final matchup against the Cardinal. Stanford’s secondary is allowing 290 yards a game and has yet to play a passing attack as skilled and talented as the Trojans'. The Cardinal’s rushing attack will test USC’s defense, but the Trojans simply have too much firepower on offense.

4. Can Michigan State remain unbeaten?
With Michigan and Nebraska losing in the first two weeks of the season, Michigan State is the Big Ten’s best shot at reaching the national title. The Spartans had a sluggish showing in the opener against Boise State but as expected, had a convincing win over Central Michigan last week. Michigan State takes on Notre Dame this Saturday, a team it has defeated two times in a row in East Lansing. The Irish handled the Spartans 31-13 in South Bend last year. Quarterbacks will be in the spotlight in this game, as Michigan State wants to see progress from Andrew Maxwell, while this will be Everett Golson’s toughest challenge as Notre Dame’s quarterback. Golson did not finish last Saturday’s game against Purdue but has thrown for 433 yards and two touchdowns on 49 attempts thus far. With two young quarterbacks still finding their rhythm, look for a low-scoring, defensive game. Turnovers will play a large role in determining the outcome of this matchup, while it’s also important for both quarterbacks to get on track early in the game.

5. The Holy War
The Holy War is one of the nation’s top rivalry games and Saturday’s game will be an important one for both BYU and Utah. The Cougars lost 54-10 to the Utes last season and need to go unbeaten to have any shot at a BCS game. Utah is reeling a bit, as it lost to in-state foe Utah State last Friday and lost quarterback Jordan Wynn for the season with a shoulder injury. The stakes are always high when these two teams meet, but there’s an extra sense of urgency. The Utes need a good showing to erase last week’s disappointing effort, especially with Pac-12 play beginning on Sept. 22 at Arizona State. For the Cougars, it’s all about revenge and keeping BCS hopes alive. With both teams ranked in the top 20 in total defense, points could be at a premium on Saturday.
 

6. Intriguing Off-the-Radar Games

Wake Forest at Florida State – This is the first real test for Florida State. Games against Murray State and Savannah State didn’t give much insight into the Seminoles, who are expected to challenge for the national title. The Demon Deacons are a big underdog but are 2-2 in their last four games against Florida State. One area to watch for the Seminoles on Saturday will be a revamped offensive line.

Virginia at Georgia Tech – It’s only Week 3, but this is a crucial game for the Yellow Jackets. With an opening week loss to Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech needs to win to keep its ACC Coastal title hopes alive. With a win over the Yellow Jackets, Virginia would be positioned to be the top challenger to the Hokies.

Arkansas State at Nebraska – After allowing 36 points to UCLA last Saturday, the Red Wolves won’t be an easy out for Nebraska. Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin ranks eighth nationally in total offense, while Tennessee transfer David Oku is averaging 96 yards a game on the ground. The Red Wolves may not win, but will give Nebraska all it can handle.

Connecticut at Maryland – Otherwise known as the Randy Edsall Bowl. Edsall had a messy departure from Connecticut and hasn’t won over all Maryland fans after a 4-10 start to his tenure in College Park. While Edsall facing his old team will be intriguing, the real matchup to watch is the Huskies’ defense against the Terrapins’ offense. Connecticut’s defense has allowed 10 points through the first two games of this year and could make life difficult on Maryland true freshman quarterback Perry Hills.

North Carolina at Louisville – The Tar Heels struggled to stop Wake Forest last week, allowing 327 passing yards to quarterback Tanner Price. North Carolina’s secondary will be under fire once again, as it looks to slow down Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater.

Arizona State at Missouri – These two teams met for a 37-30 shootout last season, and there should be no shortage of points this Saturday. The Sun Devils are off to a fast start under new coach Todd Graham, while Missouri dropped its SEC opener to Georgia last week.

TCU at Kansas – The Jayhawks are reeling, especially after losing to Rice last week. The Horned Frogs easily took care of Grambling last Saturday, but this will be their first Big 12 game in school history. TCU should win without much trouble, but this is a historic moment in the program’s history.

Washington State at UNLV – The Rebels shouldn’t pose much of a threat to the Cougars, especially after losing to Northern Arizona last week. However, it will be interesting to watch Washington State’s offense. Surprisingly, the Cougars have yet to get on track, and will likely have a new quarterback under center (Connor Halliday).
 

7. Five Players to Watch

Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State – Thanks to two strong performances, Miller has thrown his name into the Heisman mix. The sophomore has back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts, while throwing for 362 yards and three scores. Miller should shine once again against California, but Urban Meyer would like to reduce his carries this Saturday.

David Ash, QB, Texas – Saturday’s game at Ole Miss will be Ash’s second start on the road. Although the competition hasn’t been great, the sophomore has thrown for 377 yards and three touchdowns in two games and has yet to throw an interception. If Ash has another solid performance in Oxford, it would help ease the concerns about the offense going into Big 12 play.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson – After sitting out the first two games of the year due to a suspension, Watkins will be back in the lineup against Furman. The Tigers shouldn’t need Watkins to win, but it’s a crucial time to have the sophomore back in the lineup. With Florida State up next, Clemson needs Watkins and quarterback Tajh Boyd to be on the same page.

Kiehl Frazier, QB, Auburn – Auburn’s offense ranks among the worst in the SEC and it may not get much better if Frazier doesn’t improve along the way. The sophomore has thrown for 319 yards in the first two games but has also tossed four picks. It’s important that Frazier gain some measure of confidence before the Tigers play LSU on Sept. 22.

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – Manziel was solid in his college debut, throwing for 173 yards, while rushing for 60 yards and a touchdown. He should get better with more experience and should have a huge day against a SMU defense allowing 532.5 yards per game.
 

8. Desperate for a Win

Auburn (0-2) – With a schedule that features LSU, Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M in the upcoming SEC slate, Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe is a must-win game for Auburn. The Tigers are struggling to find the right mix on offense, but the defense has to tackle better and stop opposing team’s rushing attacks.

Colorado (0-2) – Coach Jon Embree inherited a tough situation at Colorado, but he has done little to show the Buffaloes are on the right track. After losing to Colorado State and Sacramento State, Colorado desperately needs to beat Fresno State this Saturday.

Penn State (0-2) – The Nittany Lions nearly broke into the win column against Virginia last week but missed a last-second field goal for the victory. Penn State gets a Navy team that’s always difficult to prepare for, but the Nittany Lions’ defense should be up to the task.

Pittsburgh (0-2) – The Panthers were a popular sleeper pick in the preseason, but they are off to a disappointing 0-2 start, which includes a 31-17 loss at the hands of Youngstown State. Getting into the win column for Pittsburgh won't be easy, especially with a tough matchup against Virginia Tech this Saturday.

Wisconsin (1-1) – The Badgers have not looked like a Big Ten title contender through the first two weeks of the season, barely beating Northern Iowa in Week 1 and losing to Oregon State in Week 2. Wisconsin faces a dangerous Utah State team on Saturday, and it will be interesting to watch how the Badgers' offensive line plays, especially after line coach Mike Markuson was fired after last week’s game.
 

9. Injuries to Monitor

Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois – Scheelhaase did not play in the loss to Arizona State but is expected to play against Charleston Southern this Saturday.

Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina – Shaw missed last week’s game against East Carolina due to a shoulder injury, but backup Dylan Thompson threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in his absence. Shaw is getting closer to a return, but the Gamecocks may hold him out until next week’s SEC game against Missouri.

Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State – Tuel suffered a knee injury against Eastern Washington and is unlikely to play in Friday’s game against UNLV.

Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas – Wilson suffered a concussion in last week’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe and is questionable to play on Saturday. Even if Wilson plays, it will be tough for Arkansas to beat Alabama.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard missed last week’s game against Wake Forest due to a knee injury but is back at practice and is expected to play on Saturday.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska – Burkhead missed last week’s game against UCLA due to a sprained MCL and may not play once again this week. The Cornhuskers should be able to establish their ground attack against Arkansas State without Burkhead, so they can afford to allow him another week of rest. 

Mike Gillislee, RB, Florida – Gillislee has been a key factor in Florida’s 2-0 start this season, rushing for 231 yards and four touchdowns so far. He suffered a groin injury against Texas A&M, but it is not expected to sideline him against Tennessee this Saturday.

Nick Harwell, WR, Miami (Ohio) – Harwell is battling a knee injury, which is a concern for the RedHawks’ passing attack with Boise State on tap for this Saturday.

Khaled Holmes, C, USC – Holmes left last Saturday’s game against Syracuse with a leg injury, and his status for this week’s game against Stanford is uncertain. The senior is one of the nation’s best centers, so if he is forced to miss any time, it will be a huge blow to USC’s offense.
 

10. Upset Picks to Watch

Ball State at Indiana (-2.5)
The Hoosiers are off to a 2-0 start, but their schedule has been very soft. Quarterback Tre Roberson was lost for the year due to a leg injury against UMass, which means junior college recruit Cameron Coffman will step into the starting role. Ball State upset Indiana last season, so a victory this Saturday wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
Pick: Ball State 31-27

Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn (-16.5)
Thanks to their upset win against Arkansas last Saturday, the Warhawks have been in the spotlight all week. Can they make it two in a row? Auburn’s defense is capable of playing better than it has so far this year, which will make life tough for ULM quarterback Kolton Browning. If the Tigers struggle on offense once again, the Warhawks will have a shot at the upset.
Pick: Auburn 30-24

Utah State at Wisconsin (-13)
The Badgers have not impressed through the first two weeks of the season, and coach Bret Bielema isn’t waiting long to make changes. Line coach Mike Markuson was fired, which is yet another change to a coaching staff that went through many personnel changes following the 2011 season. Utah State is coming off an upset over Utah last week and if it doesn’t suffer much of a hangover from beating the Utes, it could pull off another one this Saturday.
Pick: Wisconsin 34-27

Western Kentucky at Kentucky (-7)
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips desperately needs to win this Saturday. The Wildcats were handled by in-state rival Louisville in the season opener and can’t afford to lose to the Hilltoppers this week. Western Kentucky doesn’t have an explosive offense, but its defense picked up six sacks against Alabama last week.
Pick: Western Kentucky 24, Kentucky 20
 

11. Five Games to Avoid

James Madison at West Virginia
This game should be an opportunity for West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith to pad his stats for a run at the Heisman.
Pick: West Virginia 58-7

UMass at Michigan
Even though the Wolverines are allowing 33 points a game, UMass’ offense should pose little threat after scoring six points through the first two contests.
Pick: Michigan 52-7

Idaho at LSU
After losing to Eastern Washington in the season opener, the Vandals played better in Week 2 against Bowling Green. However, Idaho is simply overmatched against LSU.
Pick: LSU 52-3

FAU at Georgia
The Owls barely squeaked by FCS opponent Wagner in the season opener and lost to MTSU in Week 2. The Bulldogs might have a bit of a letdown after winning at Missouri last week, but they will still pull away for one-sided victory on Saturday.
Pick: Georgia 50-7

Tennessee Tech at Oregon
The Ducks haven’t had to sweat much through the first two weeks of the season and should have another breather against Tennessee Tech. The only intrigue surrounding this matchup will be former Tennessee receiver Da’Rick Rogers (now at Tennessee Tech) taking on the Ducks’ secondary.
Pick: Oregon 62-10


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

Week 3 ACC Preview and Predictions
Week 3 Big East Preview and Predictions

Week 3 Big 12 Preview and Predictions

Week 3 Big Ten Preview and Predictions

Week 3 Pac-12 Preview and Predictions

Week 3 SEC Preview and Predictions

Week 3 Upset Predictions

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 2

Post-Week 2 Bowl Projections

Post-Week 2 Heisman Contenders

Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 3 Preview: Match-Ups, Upset Picks and Storylines to Watch</p>
Post date: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 06:06
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-week-3-emergency-starters
Body:

The end of the week is upon us and you just don’t have the warm fuzzies about your Week Three starters.  We’ve teamed up with Steven Lassan of Athlon Sports and scoured the schedule looking for some one-week wonders. 

Emergency Starters—Week 3
 

Quarterback

Jordan Rodgers-Vanderbilt vs Presbyterian

Mike Glennon, NC St vs South Alabama

Cody Green-Tulsa vs Nicholls St

Dalton Williams-Akron vs Morgan St

Munchie Legaux-Cincinnati vs Delaware St

 

Running Backs

Adam Muema-San Diego St vs North Dakota

Shontrelle Johnson-Iowa St vs Western Illinois

Jawon Chisholm-Akron vs Morgan St

Leighton Settle-Northern Illinois at Army

Josh Ferguson-Illinois vs Charleston Southern

Rolandan Finch-Boston College at Northwestern

Mustafa Greene-NC St vs South Alabama

 

Receivers

Antavian Edison-Purdue vs Eastern Michigan

Marquelo Suel-Akron vs Morgan St

Myles White-Louisiana Tech vs Rice

Chris Coyle-Arizona St at Missouri

 

Steven Lassan(@AthlonSteven)
 

Quarterback

Steele Jantz-Iowa St vs Western Illinois

Ryan Katz-San Diego St vs North Dakota

Andrew Manley, New Mexico St vs UTEP

Dalton Williams-Akron vs Morgan St

 

Running Backs

DeLeon Eskridge-San Jose St vs Colorado

LaDarius Perkins-Mississippi St at Troy

Jerrell Rhodes-Memphis vs MTSU

Bishop Sankey, Washington vs Portland St

 

Receivers

Alex Amidon-Boston College at Northwestern

Jamison Crowder-Duke vs NC Central

Aaron Horne-Iowa St vs Western Illinois

Marquelo Suel-Akron vs Morgan St

Kenbrell Thompkins-Cincinnati vs Delaware St

 

Joe DiSalvo

The College Fantasy Football Site

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 3 Emergency Starters</p>
Post date: Friday, September 14, 2012 - 00:38
Path: /college-football/sec-week-3-preview-and-predictions
Body:

It's another big week in the SEC, as Arkansas hosts Alabama and Florida travels to Knoxville in a crucial East Division matchup. The Razorbacks could be without quarterback Tyler Wilson and are reeling after a disappointing loss to ULM. The Crimson Tide didn't have a flawless effort against Western Kentucky but should be ready for Arkansas' offense on Saturday. Two games to keep an eye on: Western Kentucky at Kentucky and ULM at Auburn. Both games are trendy upset picks this week, especially after ULM beat Arkansas in Little Rock last Saturday.

Other Week 3 Previews and Predictions

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

SEC's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 3

1. Can Tennessee run the ball against a quality opponent?
The Vols are averaging 187.5 yards rushing through two games — a major improvement from last season, when they ranked 12th in the league and 116th in the nation with 90.1 yards per game. But the sample size is still very small, and one of their opponents, Georgia State, is among the worst FCS programs in the nation. The first significant test will come this weekend when Florida visits Neyland Stadium. The Gators have some injury issues in the front seven, but this is still a formidable group. Last week, Florida held Christine Michael of Texas A&M to 33 yards on 13 carries and limited the Aggies as a team to a modest 3.5 yards on their 38 rushing attempts. Tennessee boasts one of the nation’s most explosive passing attacks, but the Vols must get something going on the ground this week to beat Florida.

2. Can Jeff Driskel continue to play mistake-free football?
There a lot of things that Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease had to like about Driskel’s performance in the Gators’ 20–17 win at Texas A&M. The sophomore quarterback improved his efficiency, completing 81.3 percent and averaging 10.1 yards per attempt in Week 2 after completing 62.5 percent and averaging 7.1 per attempt against Bowling Green. He also did some damage on the ground, running for 56 positive yards (though he lost 48 while taking eight sacks). But the biggest positive? He didn’t throw an interception — and hasn’t done so in 32 pass attempts this season. Pease would no doubt like to see his quarterback take fewer sacks and have more success throwing the ball down the field, but if Driskel can continue to protect the football and the Gators continue to get solid production from tailback Mike Gillislee, this team will win a lot of games in 2012.

3. Kiehl Frazier vs. Kolton Browning
The UL Monroe vs. Auburn game Saturday features one of the nation’s hottest quarterbacks (Browning) vs. one of the most maligned (Frazier). Browning, a former 3-star recruit (Scout) who had no BCS offers, threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 69 more and one score in the Warhawks’ thrilling overtime win at Arkansas last weekend. Meanwhile, Frazier, a consensus top-100 national recruit two years ago, is struggling mightily in his first season as the starter. The Arkansas native has completed less than 50 percent of his passes and has one touchdown and four interceptions in the Tigers’ losses to Clemson and Mississippi State. To be fair, Frazier has faced arguably the most difficult schedule in the nation to date, but there is no denying that his performance has been a disappointment. Auburn has little depth at the quarterback position and pretty much has all of its eggs in the Frazier basket. The Tigers desperately need him to emerge as a competent quarterback — for this season and the future of the program. 

4. Can Arkansas stop Alabama?
When you think Arkansas vs. Alabama, the first matchup that comes to mind is the Razorbacks’ potent offense (if Tyler Wilson is healthy) vs. the Tide’s stout defense. But the key to Arkansas being competitive with the No. 1 team in the nation will be the Hogs’ ability to slow down the Bama offensive attack. After two games, Arkansas ranks 86th in the nation in total defense and 85th in scoring defense — and that is after playing Jacksonville State from the FCS ranks and UL Monroe of the Sun Belt. The Hogs have been especially bad defending the pass, allowing their two opponents to throw for an average of 319.5 yards and a combined five touchdowns. Alabama, meanwhile, has been the most efficient passing team in the SEC to date. This doesn’t look like a good matchup for Arkansas — on many fronts. 

5. Missouri’s banged-up offensive line
Missouri boasts one of the SEC’s most dynamic quarterbacks in junior James Franklin and a nice collection of skill players. But the Tigers will struggle to win games unless they can shore up their offensive line. The Tigers lost two projected starters in the preseason when left guard Travis Ruth suffered a torn triceps (out for the season) and right guard Jack Meiners injured his left knee (out indefinitely). Then, in the second quarter of Saturday’s loss to Georgia, sixth-year senior Elvis Fisher went down with an MCL injury in his right knee. This week against Arizona State, MU will start a true freshman at left guard (Evan Boehm), a redshirt freshman at center (Brad McNulty) and a former walk-on at right guard (Max Copelan).

7. Who will give up more points — if any — this week, Georgia (vs. Florida Atlantic) or LSU (vs. Idaho)?
The two participants of the 2011 SEC Championship Game take on two of the worst FBS teams in the nation this weekend. Florida Atlantic is 1–1 with a 7–3 win over Wagner and a 31–17 loss to Middle Tennessee (which lost to McNeese State the week before). Idaho is 0–2 with a 20–3 loss at home to Eastern Washington and a 21–13 loss at Bowling Green. The Vandals have scored one touchdown in eight quarters. Both Georgia and LSU could sit their starters for the entire game and still win with ease.

8. Can Bo keep it going?
Ole Miss sophomore Bo Wallace has been a pleasant surprise at quarterback for first-year coach Huge Freeze. The junior college transfer has completed 76.1 percent of his passes for 438 yards with five touchdowns and one interception and has also rushed for 135 yards and two scores. Those stats, however, were accumulated against Central Arkansas and UTEP. Now, the Tennessee native will test his mettle against a ferocious Texas defense that has allowed a total of 17 points in two games. Ole Miss, which hasn’t defeated a team from an AQ conference since October 2010 (Kentucky), is a 10.5-point underdog at home. Wallace will have to play extremely well to give the Rebels a chance to win.

9. Can Kentucky avoid the unthinkable — a loss to Western Kentucky?
After losing its first two games in the series by an average of 36.5 points (in ’08 and ’10), Western Kentucky made the boys from Big State U sweat in last season’s opener played in Nashville. The final score was 14–3, but Kentucky didn’t put the game away until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. WKU outgained the Cats 234 to 190 and controlled the time of possession, 34:00 to 26:00. Can the Hilltoppers break through and upset Kentucky — and deliver a crippling blow to Joker Phillips in the process? It could happen, especially if Kentucky continues to struggle on defense. The Cats beat Kent State 47–14 last weekend but gave up 409 yards to a team that only picked 267 the week before vs. Towson State. It was only the second time in the past 15 games that Kent State topped the 400-yard mark. Western Kentucky scored 49 points in a Week 1 win over FCS foe Austin Peay and then was shut out 35–0 at Alabama. The Toppers did, however, have modest success in the air vs. the Tide as Kawaun Jakes completed 20-of-31 for 178 yards. Jakes is good enough to do some damage against the suspect Kentucky defense. 

10. Can Mississippi State handle prosperity?
The Bulldogs are fresh off one of their most impressive wins in years, a 28–10 beatdown of SEC West rival Auburn. The Bulldogs are only 2–0, but the majority of their fans are all but certain that MSU will be 5–0 when Tennessee visits on Oct. 13. That is why this week’s trip to Troy is a bit dangerous. The Bulldogs have struggled in recent years with some teams from so-called lesser conferences. They beat Louisiana Tech last season and UAB in 2010 by an average of 5.5 points and lost to Houston 31–24 in ’09 and Louisiana Tech 22–14 in ’08. Dan Mullen  is well aware of what his team can accomplish this season and will do everything in his power to be sure the Bulldogs are mentally ready to take care of business at the venue formerly known as Movie Gallery Stadium.   

SEC Week 3 Predictions

SEC Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
ULM (+16.5) at Auburn  Auburn 28-24 Auburn 38-31 Auburn 30-24 Auburn 30-17
Presbyterian at Vandy Vandy 35-10 Vandy 27-7 Vandy 45-3 Vandy 41-0
Texas A&M at SMU (+12.5) TAMU 38-14 TAMU 34-3 TAMU 41-20 TAMU 38-20
Alabama at Arkansas (+21) Alabama 38-10 Alabama 38-14 Alabama 34-10 Alabama 31-17
Florida (+3) at Tennessee Tennessee 21-17 Tennessee 27-21 Tennessee 24-20 Florida 24-21
Miss. State at Troy (+16) Miss. State 35-14 Miss. State 31-13 Miss. State 38-14 Miss. State 33-14
Arizona State (+6.5) at Mizzou Mizzou 31-17 Mizzou 34-24 Mizzou 34-27 Mizzou 32-24
WKU (+7) at Kentucky WKU 14-10 WKU 21-17 WKU 24-20 Kentucky 20-10
UAB (+33) at S. Carolina S. Carolina 42-7 S. Carolina 34-13 S. Carolina 41-13 S. Carolina 38-0
FAU (+42.5) at Georgia Georgia 56-3 Georgia 41-10 Georgia 50-7 Georgia 38-3
Idaho (+43) at LSU LSU 63-3 LSU 48-3 LSU 52-3 LSU 48-3
Texas at Ole Miss (+9.5) Texas 31-7 Texas 38-17 Texas 38-10 Texas 20-10
Last Week: 6-5 8-3 9-2 7-4
Season Record: 17-6 20-3 20-3 19-4


by Mitch Light

@athlonmitch

 

Related College Football Content

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 2
Post-Week 2 Bowl Projections

Post-Week 2 Heisman Contenders

Teaser:
<p> SEC Week 3 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 06:00
Path: /college-football/acc-week-3-preview-and-predictions
Body:

With most of the teams in the ACC playing non-conference games, it was a relatively quiet Week 2 slate. The top three teams in the ACC - Florida State, Clemson and Virginia Tech - all won handily, while Virginia and NC State beat BCS competition. The stakes are on the rise in conference play this Saturday, as Florida State hosts Wake Forest and Virginia takes on Georgia Tech. The ACC also has a chance to earn a few solid non-conference wins, with North Carolina playing at Louisville and Maryland hosting Connecticut.

Other Week 3 Previews and Predictions

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

ACC's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 3

1. Can Wake Forest upset Florida State?
Considering Florida State has beat Murray State and Savannah State through the first two weeks of the season, the Seminoles are still somewhat of a mystery. Wake Forest struggled in Week 1 against Liberty but upset North Carolina last Saturday. The Demon Deacons are dealing with a couple of injuries that could affect this week’s matchup, including nose guard Nikita Whitlock. Whitlock was ruled out for Saturday's game on Thursday night, which is a huge setback for Wake Forest’s defensive line, especially against an unproven and young Florida State offensive line. The Demon Deacons will need a big game from quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro, who will look to challenge unproven sophomore Nick Waisome at cornerback. However, just like Wake Forest will look to exploit Florida State’s offensive line, the Demon Deacons are largely untested up front, which is bad news against one of the nation’s top defensive lines. Wake Forest may hang around early, but Florida State shouldn’t be too concerned about an upset.

2. The return of Sammy Watkins
Clemson won’t need Sammy Watkins to beat Furman, but the Tigers are getting the sophomore back in the lineup at a crucial time. With Florida State up next, Clemson needs to get Watkins back into the flow of the offense and allow him to knock some of the rust off from the offseason. The Paladins are allowing 254 passing yards per game, so quarterback Tajh Boyd should have plenty of opportunities to hit Watkins for big plays. Don’t expect Watkins to play a ton of snaps in Week 3, but his return only adds another playmaker to the ACC’s No. 1 ranked offense after two games (527 yards).

3. Can Virginia Tech stop Pittsburgh’s Ray Graham?
It’s early in the season, but it’s a surprise to see Virginia Tech ranked 80th nationally against the run. Allowing 192 yards rushing to Georgia Tech in the opener wasn’t a surprise, but FCS opponent Austin Peay recorded 159 yards on the ground on 41 attempts last week. Although Pittsburgh is off to an 0-2 start, this is a team Virginia Tech should not take lightly. The Panthers have the Big East’s best stable of running backs, led by senior Ray Graham and freshman Rushel Shell. Graham isn’t fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered last season, but he has 174 yards through two games. Shell was impressive in limited snaps last week, earning 31 yards on eight carries. The Hokies should be able to pull away in the second half, but if they struggle to stop Pittsburgh’s rushing attack, this game could be close in the fourth quarter.

4. Can North Carolina slow down Louisville’s passing attack?
With only two starters back and inexperienced players stepping into key roles, the Tar Heels had question marks about the secondary coming into the season. North Carolina allowed only 128 yards to Elon in the opener but was torched for 362 yards by Wake Forest last week. This unit will be under pressure once again on Saturday, as Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has completed 49 of 60 passes for 576 yards and two touchdowns through the first two weeks of 2012. The Cardinals also have a solid group of receivers, led by sophomores DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers. Although North Carolina’s offense should be able to move the ball on Louisville, if its secondary can’t stop Bridgewater, the Tar Heels will suffer back-to-back losses.

5. Will Giovani Bernard play for North Carolina?
One of the biggest surprises from last week’s games was the absence of North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard. The sophomore wasn’t believed to be seriously injured in the win over Elon, but he did not play against Wake Forest. The Tar Heels managed 157 yards on the ground with Bernard on the sidelines, but there’s no doubt he was missed. The sophomore is participating in practice, and all signs seem to point to a return to the field on Saturday. Louisville will be tough to beat at home, and the Tar Heels need Bernard at full strength to win.

6. Key game in the ACC Coastal: Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
It’s only the second ACC game of the season for Georgia Tech, but it could have an impact on the Coastal Division race. With a loss to Virginia Tech in the opener, the Yellow Jackets can’t afford to drop to 0-2. The Cavaliers have yet to play an ACC game but with a win, can become the clear No. 1 challenger to the Hokies. These two teams have split the last four games, with Virginia winning 24-21 last season in Charlottesville. The key matchup to watch will be how well the Cavaliers can slow down Georgia Tech’s option attack. The Yellow Jackets are averaging 330.5 yards per game on the ground, but Virginia is giving up only 74.5 yards rushing per game. Georgia Tech won’t pass much but will try to hit a few big plays to keep the defense honest. With no go-to receiver for quarterback Tevin Washington, the Cavaliers should be able to focus their attention on stopping the option. Considering both teams are relatively even, don’t be surprised if a late turnover decides this game.

7. Must-win for Boston College?
For Frank Spaziani to return in 2013, the Eagles need to make a bowl game and finish with at least six victories. If Boston College wants to return to the postseason after missing out last year, the Eagles need to win on Saturday at Northwestern. With an upcoming schedule that features games against Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Maryland in October, Boston College doesn’t have much room for error. The Eagles will have their hands full against the Wildcats, especially as they try to stop an offense that is averaging 32.5 points a game.

8. Can Maryland’s offense move the ball against Connecticut?
While it hasn’t been pretty, Maryland is 2-0 and seems to be building confidence after beating Temple 36-27 last weekend. Much of the discussion for this week’s game between Maryland and Connecticut will center on Randy Edsall, who left Storrs to take over the Terrapins at the end of the 2010 season. While Edsall’s messy departure from Connecticut will be discussed, the real battle to focus on will be the Huskies defense against Maryland’s offense. Connecticut’s defense has allowed only 10 points through the first two weeks of the season and is averaging four sacks a game. The Terrapins are averaging only 285 yards per game, while freshman quarterback Perry Hills will be tested against a stingy Connecticut secondary. Allowing Hills the opportunity to make plays through the air is critical, but the Terrapins have to win the turnover battle. Considering both teams have struggled to move the ball on offense this year, look for a low-scoring game that could be decided on a last-minute field goal.

9. Miami and NC State get easy non-conference victories
Non-conference games against Bethune-Cookman and South Alabama are coming at the right time for Miami and NC State. The Hurricanes were thoroughly dominated in a 52-13 loss to Kansas State, while NC State is coming off a 10-7 win over Connecticut. Although the Wolfpack won last week, this team has a few areas to address, including an offensive line that is allowing 3.5 sacks per game. The Hurricanes have been awful on defense so far, and the opportunity to play against a FCS team should help build some confidence before ACC play starts again. Similar to Miami, NC State can use this week’s game and next (Citadel) to build some confidence and find a few answers on both sides of the ball.

10. Can Duke find a running game?
Developing a consistent rushing attack has been an issue for years at Duke. The Blue Devils' last 1,000-yard rusher was Chris Douglas in 2003, and the ground game isn’t off to a good start in 2012. Josh Snead leads the team with 52 yards on 11 attempts, while Juwan Thompson ranks second with 45 yards. In order for Duke to make a bowl game this year, the offense has to have better balance. Saturday’s opponent (NC Central) should allow the Blue Devils to work on the ground game, especially with ACC play opening up on Sept. 29 against Wake Forest.

ACC Week 3 Predictions

Week 3 ACC Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Wake Forest at Florida State FSU 28-21 FSU 38-17 FSU 34-13 FSU 30-17
Bethune-Cookman at Miami Miami 38-21 Miami 31-10 Miami 45-13 Miami 38-10
Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh VT 42-21 VT 38-17 VT 34-13 VT 27-17
Connecticut at Maryland UConn 13-10 Maryland 17-10 UConn 20-17 UConn 13-10
Furman at Clemson Clemson 56-10 Clemson 45-13 Clemson 52-10 Clemson 44-7
Boston College at N'Western N'Western 31-17 N'Western 27-14 N'Western 31-24 N'Western 30-21
Virginia at Georgia Tech GT 21-14 GT 27-21 GT 27-24 GT 28-21
North Carolina at Louisville Louisville 27-13 Louisville 27-21 Louisville 31-27 Louisville 24-20
South Alabama at NC State NC State 35-7 NC State 31-7 NC State 44-13 NC State 41-10
NC Central at Duke Duke 28-10 Duke 31-10 Duke 41-7 Duke 37-13
Last Week: 9-2 10-1 9-2 8-3
Season Record: 18-3 20-1 18-3 18-3

 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

Teaser:
<p> ACC Week 3 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 05:59
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-3-preview-and-predictions
Body:

Week 3 is not the most glamorous slate of action in the Big 12. TCU-Kansas is the only conference game, while Texas-Ole Miss is the only other matchup featuring two BCS teams. Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Texas Tech play teams from non-AQ conferences, while West Virginia, Baylor and Iowa State have games against FCS foes. It's a light week of action, but there are still plenty of storylines and matchups to watch this Saturday.

Other Week 3 Previews and Predictions

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

Big 12's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 3

1. Will Oklahoma State bounce back after last week’s loss?
It’s tough enough to win on the road against a good team, but it’s nearly impossible to win when you commit 15 penalties and four turnovers. That’s the obstacle Oklahoma State had to overcome last Saturday against Arizona. The Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but Arizona followed that up with 30 unanswered points and eventually claimed a 59-38 victory. While the Cowboys are disappointed with the loss, the good news was true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt wasn’t intimidated. He completed 37 of 60 throws for 436 yards and four touchdowns. Louisiana-Lafayette visits Stillwater this Saturday, a team Oklahoma State defeated by 26 points in 2010 and 27 in 2011. However, the Ragin’ Cajuns won’t be an easy out, as they are off to a 2-0 start and return 12 starters from last season’s team that won nine games. Barring another game filled with turnovers and penalties, the Cowboys should comfortably win this one and with Texas coming up next (Sept. 29), it’s an important game to get Lunt and any of the new starters ready for Big 12 play.

2. How will David Ash fare on the road against Ole Miss?
So far, so good for Texas’ David Ash. The sophomore quarterback has completed 36 of 49 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the first two games of the year. While the competition hasn’t been elite, Ash has made good decisions and is completing a high percentage of throws. The competition steps up this Saturday, as Texas travels to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. The Rebels are improved under new coach Hugh Freeze, but the defense allowed 27 points to FCS opponent Central Arkansas in the opener and is giving up 260.5 passing yards per game. Ash has made only one road start in his career, throwing for 158 yards and one interception in a 17-5 loss to Missouri. With the Longhorns owning one of college football’s top defenses and a deep stable of running backs, Ash doesn’t need to have a monster performance for Texas to win on the ground. However, this is a key test for the Longhorns, especially with Big 12 play beginning on Sept. 29 at Oklahoma State.

3. TCU plays first Big 12 game
The Horned Frogs were impressive in a 56-0 rout over Grambling last Saturday. However, the competition steps up a notch this week, as TCU heads to Lawrence to open Big 12 play. It’s another historic moment for the school, especially after opening a renovated and impressive Amon G. Carter Stadium last week. The Horned Frogs are big favorites against Kansas, who was upset by Rice in Week 2. While it’s a new environment for TCU, it should have no trouble beating the Jayhawks, as they are allowing over 407 yards a game. The Horned Frogs’ offense should be able to move the ball at will against Kansas, but the key battle to watch will be on defense. TCU has only four returning starters back from last season, which should be put to the test with the Jayhawks averaging 229 rushing yards per game. Life in the Big 12 will be tougher than it was in the Mountain West, but expect TCU to open play in its new conference with a convincing win.

4. Will Dayne Crist get on track for Kansas?
Outside of last week’s loss to Rice, the biggest surprise at Kansas has been the play of quarterback Dayne Crist. Through two weeks, he has completed 33 of 64 throws for 313 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Although Crist wasn’t expected to challenge for All-America honors, his familiarity with Charlie Weis’ offense should have sparked the Kansas’ passing attack. Instead, the Jayhawks rank as the Big 12’s worst passing team through the first two weeks of the season and now face a TCU defense that allowed 26 passing yards to Grambling in the season opener. Crist doesn’t have a ton of playmakers at receiver, but he needs to play better for Kansas to have a chance to win this Saturday against the Horned Frogs.

5. Time for Geno Smith to pad the Heisman resume
West Virginia’s much-anticipated Big 12 opener isn’t until Sept. 29 against Baylor, so Geno Smith will have two more opportunities to shine in non-conference play, starting this Saturday against James Madison. Smith threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns against Marshall and checks in No. 2 in Athlon’s Heisman voting after the second week of the season. He should have no trouble matching those numbers against the Dukes, a team that allowed 277 passing yards to North Carolina’s Bryn Renner in the season opener last year. While James Madison is off to a 2-0 start, West Virginia’s offense has too much firepower and should pull away for an easy win. The most important aspect for the Mountaineers this week? Avoid injuries and continue to get comfortable with the new 3-4 scheme on defense.

6. What will Nick Florence do for an encore?
Baylor quarterback Nick Florence was nearly flawless in his debut, completing 21 of 30 throws for 341 yards and four touchdowns against SMU. The Bears have another non-conference game this Saturday, taking on FCS opponent Sam Houston State. The Bearkats are one of the better FCS teams but will have their hands full trying to slow down Florence and Baylor’s receivers. Florence won’t match Robert Griffin’s rushing stats at the end of the year, but he’s plenty capable of keeping the Bears in the mix for a finish in the top half of the Big 12. Expect the senior to have another big statistical showing on Saturday, while Baylor should cruise to its third consecutive 2-0 start under Art Briles.

7. One more non-conference game for Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech
Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech each look to close out their non-conference schedule with a perfect 3-0 slate. The Cyclones host FCS opponent Western Illinois, the Red Raiders take on New Mexico, while the Wildcats match up against North Texas. All three teams should win comfortably, but these matchups are all about staying healthy and getting as many snaps as possible for some of the new starters. Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz is off to a good start, but this game is a solid confidence-builder before taking on Texas Tech on Sept. 29. The Red Raiders seem to be improved on defense, but the competition has been soft. While the Lobos were shutout in a loss to Texas last week, this is another opportunity for Texas Tech to work out some of the kinks on defense before Big 12 play begins. Kansas State was impressive in a 52-13 blowout win over Miami (Fla.) last week and would like to keep the workload light on Saturday for quarterback Collin Klein. With Kansas State playing at Oklahoma next week, Klein needs to be 100 percent if the Wildcats want to have any shot at winning in Norman.

 

Week 3 Big 12 Predictions

Big 12 Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
UL Lafayette (+22) at Okla. State Ok State 31-21 Ok State 41-21 Ok State 45-24 Ok State 44-28
TCU at Kansas (+21) TCU 35-10 TCU 35-17 TCU 38-13 TCU 34-13
James Madison vs. WVU WVU 63-7 WVU 51-10 WVU 58-7 WVU 44-17
North Texas (+28.5) at K-State K-State 31-10 K-State 49-10 K-State 38-10 K-State 31-10
New Mexico (+33.5) at Tex. Tech TTU 35-24 TTU 31-10 TTU 48-17 TTU 41-14
Sam Houston St. at Baylor Baylor 56-14 Baylor 41-13 Baylor 52-17 Baylor 48-10
Western Illinois at Iowa State ISU 31-7 ISU 34-10 ISU 45-3 ISU 37-7
Texas at Ole Miss (+10) Texas 31-7 Texas 38-17 Texas 38-10 Texas 20-10
Last Week: 6-2 5-3 5-3 6-2
Season Record: 15-2 14-3 14-3 15-2


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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Teaser:
<p> Big 12 Week 3 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 05:51
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-3-upset-predictions
Body:

There were few upset picks that jumped out on the Vegas lines early last week, but there's a handful of intriguing college football upset possibilities for Week 3. Utah State upset Utah last Friday night and should give Wisconsin all it can handle. Ball State, Notre Dame and Memphis are popular picks with Athlon's editors for this week, while Western Kentucky against Kentucky is another matchup to watch.

College Football's Week 3 Upset Picks

David Fox (@DavidFox615): BYU (+4) at Utah
Utah is adapting to a career-ending shoulder injury to quarterback Jordan Wynn, the second time in two seasons the Utes have turned to backup Jon Hays. Perhaps I’m a little over optimistic, but I have trouble seeing Utah fall to third in the state after losing to Utah State a week ago Last season, Jon Hays was uneven in stepping in for Wynn, but he mistakes were fewer as the season went on and Utah was a realistic threat to represent the South in the Pac-12 title game. Wynn threw six interceptions in his first two conference starts (against Washington and Cal), but he threw only one more pick the rest of the season as Utah took the burden off his shoulder sand put it on John White’s. Travis Wilson, a 6-7 highly regarded freshman, could also be a nice change of pace at quarterback. I’m also not totally bought into BYU, whose best days last season came against some weak competition. The same could be said for BYU’s season-opening win over Washington State I’m sticking with the home underdog here.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Ball State (+2.5) at Indiana
I’m tempted to take Western Kentucky to beat Kentucky, but I think Ball State picks off Indiana for the second year in a row. The Cardinals knocked off the Hoosiers 27-20 in the season opener last season and are just under a three-point underdog. Ball State won its opener against Eastern Michigan but fell in Week 2 to Clemson. Indiana is improving under second-year coach Kevin Wilson, but the Hoosiers suffered a setback with the loss of quarterback Tre Roberson for the season in the win over UMass last week. Expect a lot of points between these two teams, but I have to give an edge to Ball State, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Indiana's quarterback situation. 

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Utah State (+14) over Wisconsin
One team is fresh off one of its best wins in school history. The other must regroup after a surprising loss on the road. Utah State snapped a 12-game losing streak to hated rival Utah, knocking off the Utes, 27–20, in overtime Friday night. Meanwhile, Wisconsin managed a total of 207 yards of total offense — including a shocking 35 on the ground — in a 10–7 loss at Oregon State. Danny O’Brien hasn’t been very Russell Wilson-like at quarterback, and Monte Ball, the nation’s leading rusher last season, has netted only 181 yards and one touchdown on 47 carries. Last week, Utah State did a solid job against John White, limiting the Utes’ senior tailback to 96 yards on 27 carries (3.6 per). If the Aggies can keep Ball from going crazy — which he hasn’t done yet this year — they’ve got a decent chance to escape Madison with a win. Utah State 24, Wisconsin 23

Mark Ross: Memphis (+3.5) over Middle Tennessee State
Yes, MTSU has made it into the win column, something Memphis has yet to do this season, but I think that changes on Saturday night at home in the Liberty Bowl as these two in-state mid-majors meet. Both teams lost their season openers to FCS teams at home and even though MTSU beat FAU last Saturday, I would make the argument that Memphis showed more improvement in its loss to Arkansas State. The Red Wolves are the favorites to repeat as champions of the Sun Belt, which is also MTSU's conference, and they needed a late touchdown to hold off the Tigers, 33-28, in Jonesboro, Ark. MTSU is nowhere near as explosive on offense as Arkansas State is, so I think Memphis will be able to hang with the Blue Raiders throughout the game. The Tigers will then make the big play or two that matters most in the fourth quarter, earning Tigers head coach Justin Fuente his first career victory.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): Notre Dame (+6) over Michigan State
Road dogs Ohio and Iowa State were winners in the first two weeks, and I’m going for another one in Week 3 with Notre Dame to upset Michigan State in East Lansing. Purdue stacked the box against the Irish and dared quarterback Everett Golson to throw, and he responded with 289 passing yards while accounting for two touchdowns. On defense, Notre Dame’s strength — the front seven — should match up well with Michigan State power running game. The Irish won the rushing battle in last year’s 31-13 win, and the Spartans do not have Kirk Cousins to sling it around this season. This game should be close late, but I’ll take the big play ability of the Irish to surprise the Spartans, 24-23.

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Ranking College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat After Week 2

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Teaser:
<p> College Football Week 3 Upset Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 05:48
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-week-3-sit-or-start
Body:

Starting next week, conference play will start dominating the schedule.  Therefore, you must take advantage of the mismatches littering the schedule this week.  Still, there are some tough calls and we’re here to help you with some additional insight.

Start

Brett Hundley, QB-UCLA vs Houston

The dual-threat freshman quarterback should be a must-start in what figures to be a fantasy-rich contest between the Bruins and Cougars.

Terrence Owens, QB-Toledo vs Bowling Green

Owens was awarded the starting job last week and responded with a three-touchdown, 300-yard performance in a win at Wyoming.

Colby Cameron, QB-Louisiana Tech vs Rice

Cameron was 34 of 52 for 353 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s track meet at Houston.  Expect much of the same this weekend when the Owls visit Ruston.

Ryan Nassib, QB-Syracuse vsStony Brook

Nassib has thrown for 806 yards and six touchdowns in back-to-back games against Northwestern and USC.  This week, the competition gets much easier when Stony Brook comes into the Carrier Dome.

Logan Thomas, QB-Virginia Tech at Pitt

We’re expecting Thomas to put together a solid dual-threat performance against a struggling Pitt defense that has given up 30-plus points in both games this season.

Casey Pachall, QB-TCU at Kansas

Pachall was a perfect 9-for-9 for 201 yards and three touchdowns last week against Grambling State.  He should get a lot more playing time this week on the road at Kansas and receiver Skye Dawson should return to compliment Josh Boyce on the outside.

Jahwan Edwards, RB-Ball St at Indiana

After losing starting quarterback Tre Roberson for the season, it will be interesting to see how the Hoosiers respond to sophomore Cameron Coffman under center.  Either way, expect Edwards to shoulder the load for the Cardinals on the road.

Nathan Jeffery, RB-UTEP vs New Mexico St

If we knew that Jeffery would be 100%, he would be in our top ten.  However, you can never be sure with college injuries, but Jeffery has practiced and should be ready to roll.

Joe Bergeron, RB-Texas at Ole Miss

The sophomore running back is making the most of his carries and should get a heavier workload this week on the road at Ole Miss.

Venric Mark, RB-Northwestern vs Northwestern

After rushing for 123 yards last week against Vanderbilt, Mark has become a must-start in deeper leagues.

George Winn, RB-Cincinnati, vs Delaware St

Winn flew under the radar last Saturday because of Cincinnati’s Week One bye.  This week, he’ll fly into a lot of starting roster spots.

Jarred Salubi, RB-Baylor vs Sam Houston St

Baylor had a bye last week, but don’t forget about Salubi’s 91-yard performance against SMU in Week One.

Mike Evans, WR-Texas A&M at SMU

Get used to the freshman quarterback-receiver combination of Johnny Manziel-to-Mike Evans in College Station.

Matt Miller, WR-Boise St vs Miami, OH

After a rough opening game at Michigan State and a bye week, the Broncos offense should start taking form.
 

Bench

Kolton Browning, UL-Monroe at Auburn

Can Browning come close to duplicating is 38-point Week Two?  We’re not willing to risk our Week Three on it.

Rio Johnson, QB-ECU at Southern Miss

After two starts, Johnson has thrown four interceptions and could get a quick hook if he struggles early at Southern Miss.

Bo Wallace, QB-Ole Miss vs Texas

The sophomore quarterback has accounted for seven touchdowns so far, but the Longhorns will be a much tougher test than Central Arkansas and UTEP.

Knile Davis, RB-Arkansas vs Alabama

Too many other good matchups around the country to settle for average production from your top back.

Garrett Gilbert, QB-SMU vs Texas A&M

Gilbert has only completed 55.8% of his passes this season and that percentage won’t improve much this weekend against the Aggies.

Kedrick Rhodes, RB-FIU at Central Florida

Losing carries last week to Darian Mallary has fantasy owners second-guessing themselves this week.  Play it safe and look elsewhere.

Isi Sofele, RB-Cal at Ohio St

The Buckeyes only surrendered 103 rushing yards to Central Florida and held Miami, Ohio to negative-one yard rushing in the opener.

Tony Pierson, RB-Kansas vs TCU

Pierson has topped 100 yards in each of the first two weeks, but South Dakota State and Rice are no longer on the schedule.

Cameron Marshall, RB-Arizona St at Missouri

Marshall is still scoring touchdowns, but we’re losing confidence in his ability to churn out the yards and hold off freshman D.J. Foster.

Shawn Southward, RB-Troy vs Mississippi State

Southward’s value will be much greater in weeks four and five when the Trojans play North Texas and South Alabama.

Bishop Sankey, RB-Washington vs Portland State

The Huskies are going to do whatever they can to establish a running game, but we’re not quite sure that they have one.

Keenan Davis, WR-Iowa vs Northern Iowa

The Hawkeyes’ offense goes through running back Damon Bullock.  Quarterback James Vandenberg has only completed 54% of his passes.

 

 

Joe DiSalvo

The College Fantasy Football Site

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 3 Sit or Start</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 04:16
Path: /college-football/notre-dame-joins-acc-what-does-it-mean-college-football
Body:

Notre Dame is set to join the ACC. Well, sort of. The Irish will be leaving the Big East to join the ACC as a partial member. Maintaining its football independence was crucial for Notre Dame, and this deal allows it to continue that, as well as join a conference with more stability on the football side of things. The Irish will likely join in time for the 2015-2016 season but could negotiate an early exit from the Big East.

As part of the move, Notre Dame will play five games against ACC teams each season and will be a part of the conference's bowl selection process.  

Notre Dame Joins ACC - What Does It Mean For College Football?

1. Notre Dame will remain Independent
The Irish have no desire to join a conference and this move solidifies their independence for the foreseeable future. Scheduling was a big concern for Notre Dame, especially as more conferences move to a 9-game schedule. However, this move provides the Fighting Irish with at least five games a year against ACC teams, and allows the program to keep its traditional games against USC, Navy and Stanford, as well as schedule Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue from the Big Ten. If Notre Dame wants to join a conference as a full-time football member, there’s no question the ACC will welcome the Irish as its 15th team and expand to get to 16. The odds of that happening anytime soon are slim, but at least Notre Dame has a viable option and has a perfect setup to remain independent as long as it would like.

2. The ACC’s future is secure
Remember those rumors about Clemson and Florida State joining the Big 12? Well, it’s not happening anytime soon. In addition to bringing Notre Dame aboard, the ACC’s exit fee is now $50 million. If a school really wanted to leave, that number could be negotiated, but it’s hard to envision any school coming up with $50 million to leave. The ACC is also expected to renegotiate its television contract, which should help boost the yearly revenue for all 14 football members for 2013 and beyond. With that hefty price tag, the ACC’s future is secure, and the rumors about Florida State and Clemson leaving for the Big 12 are done. Which brings up the next point…

3. College Football realignment…is it over?
Perhaps one of the biggest storylines out of Notre Dame’s move to the ACC is what happens with future realignment. The Big 12 seems to be content at 10 teams, but if it had any interest in luring Clemson and Florida State to the league, those hopes are over - at least for the immediate future. With a hefty exit fee, neither team will be leaving the ACC, dealing a setback to Big 12 if it wants to expand in the future. While this limits the pool of expansion candidates for the Big 12, it could help teams like Louisville, Cincinnati or even BYU if the conference decides to expand. We may see another round of realignment in the next five years, but with options on the West Coast dwindling for the Pac-12 and no logical candidates for the Big Ten, don’t expect to see any 16-team superconferences anytime soon.

4. The Big East isn’t going anywhere
While losing Notre Dame’s non-football sports certainly hurts the Big East, this does nothing to devalue its football product. The Irish played only one Big East team in 2010 and 2011, so it’s not like the conference was benefitting that much from having them involved. Notre Dame might have helped the conference secure better bowls, but the Irish were often selected over teams from the Big East in marquee games. Yes, losing Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Syracuse was a blow to the Big East, but the conference is bringing in Boise State – an annual top 15 team in recent years – as well as programs with upside: UCF, Houston, SMU, Memphis and San Diego State. And who knows, maybe the conference can give BYU another call to become its 14th football member?

5. ACC’s bowl prospects get better
One look at the bowl schedule for this year has a glaring question mark: Where does Notre Dame fit in? The Irish have no tie-in for this year, which had to be a concern for future seasons and helped to factor into the move to the ACC. Adding Notre Dame to the bowl lineup will only help the ACC when the next round of tie-ins is completed. The Irish are also a part of the pool to be chosen for the ACC’s Orange Bowl opponent. While there could be some frustration from some ACC teams when Notre Dame is selected ahead of them in bowl process, having the Irish should help this conference upgrade its tie-ins for the future.

 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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College Football Week 2 Recap

Teaser:
<p> Notre Dame Joins ACC; What Does It Mean For College Football?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 15:14
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-2-rankings
Body:

Week 2 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 and Boston College's Frank Spaziani won last Saturday, but both coaches rank as the top two on the hot seat going into Week 3. Auburn's Gene Chizik and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz are ranked for the first time in 2012, while Arkansas' John L. Smith makes an appearance after the Hogs' stunning overtime home loss to Louisiana-Monroe.

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 2 Rankings

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week’s Rank: 1
Record at Kentucky: 12-15 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-1
Despite earning his first win of 2012, Phillips maintains the No. 1 ranking in Athlon’s coaches on the hot seat. The Wildcats fell behind 7-0 to Kent State but scored 17 unanswered in the first half to claim a 47-14 victory. Kentucky’s offense has shown some signs of life through two weeks, averaging 30.5 points and 456 yards per game. The next couple of games represent a crucial stretch in Phillips’ tenure, as the Wildcats host in-state foe Western Kentucky on Saturday and travel to Florida the following week. Kentucky can’t afford to lose to the Hilltoppers, while it’s also important for this team to show some progress against SEC competition.

2. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank: 2
Record at Boston College: 21-20 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
Just like Joker Phillips, Spaziani is coming off his first win of 2012 but holds steady in his ranking from last week. The Eagles easily defeated Maine 34-3 in Week 2, giving Spaziani a 21-20 record in his tenure as Boston College’s head coach. If the Eagles want to make a bowl game, beating Northwestern this Saturday is a necessity. With conference games coming up against Clemson, Florida State and Georgia Tech, Boston College could be looking at a 2-5 record before its final five games of 2012.

3. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 5
Record at Central Michigan: 7-19 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-1
Enos and Central Michigan missed a prime upset opportunity on Saturday. The Chippewas hosted in-state foe Michigan State, but the outcome was never in doubt. The Spartans dominated from the opening snap and cruised to a 41-7 victory. Central Michigan’s offense never got on track, and the defense allowed Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell to throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns in his second start. The Chippewas have lost seven out of their last nine games, with the only wins coming against Akron (one of the worst FBS teams last year) and Southeast Missouri State (a FCS opponent).

4. Rick Stockstill, MTSU
Last Week’s Rank:
3
Record at MTSU: 36-41 (7th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
After a bad showing in the opener against McNeese State, the Blue Raiders bounced back with a 31-17 victory over FAU in Week 2. The victory was enough to move Stockstill down a spot in the rankings, however, MTSU’s road won’t get any easier over the next few weeks. The Blue Raiders have road games at Memphis and Georgia Tech, while Louisiana-Monroe visits Murfreesboro on Oct. 6. MTSU has enough talent in the program to push for a winning record, but the Blue Raiders are a disappointing 1-7 in its last eight games.

5. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Record at UNLV: 4-23 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-2
After showing signs of progress in the opener against Minnesota, the Rebels took a step back with a loss to FCS opponent Northern Arizona in Week 2. UNLV has not won a game since Oct. 29 of last season and has just four wins under Hauck’s watch. The third-year coach is starting to feel the heat from the fan base and needs to have a good showing against Washington State on Friday night. The cupboard was far from full when Hauck took over in Las Vegas. However, it’s time for the Rebels to show some progress.

6. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank: 15
Record at Colorado: 3-12 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 0-2
Similar to UNLV coach Bobby Hauck, Embree did not inherit a great situation when he arrived at Colorado. The Buffaloes were coming off five losing seasons and the talent level was not where it needed to be to compete in the Pac-12. Although Embree can’t be blamed for all of the issues, Colorado is off to an 0-2 start, including a loss to in-state rival Colorado State and FCS opponent Sacramento State this year. The Buffaloes had to replace some key personnel from last season, but there hasn’t been much improvement from this team from 2011. Making matters worse is the remaining 2012 schedule, which features Fresno State, Washington State, UCLA, Arizona State and USC as its next five games. Unless Colorado pulls off an upset, it could be looking at an 0-12 record at the end of November.

7. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Record at California: 80-49 (11th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
The Golden Bears broke into the win column with a 50-31 win over Southern Utah on Saturday. While it was a victory, there were a lot of anxious moments for California, especially when the Thunderbirds jumped out to a 3-0 lead and cut the Golden Bears’ lead to 20-17 early in the third quarter. While California had a good rebound from losing its season opener, the schedule only gets tougher from here, starting with Saturday’s game at Ohio State.

8. Robb Akey, Idaho
Last Week’s Rank: 7
Record at Idaho: 19-45 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-2
A week after dropping a disappointing 20-3 opener to Eastern Washington, the Vandals showed some signs of life in a 21-13 loss to Bowling Green. Quarterback Dominique Blackman threw for 352 yards and one touchdown in his first start, while the defense held the Falcons to 90 rushing yards and forced two turnovers. Unfortunately for Idaho, it faces an uphill battle to earn its first win this season in Week 3. With a trip to Baton Rouge to take on LSU, the Vandals are huge underdogs and need to make it through this matchup without any injuries to attempt a run at a winning record in WAC play. Akey has a tough job, especially as Idaho faces an uncertain future on the FBS level. However, the Vandals need to show progress on the field, which would help make the program more attractive for future Mountain West expansion.

9. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank: 4
Record at Rice: 24-39 (6th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
In one of the most surprising games from Week 2, Bailiff led Rice to a 25-24 upset over Kansas. The win over the Jayhawks was the Owls’ second victory over a team from a BCS conference in the last two years and should give Rice momentum heading into its Conference USA slate. The win should help Bailiff’s prospects of sticking around for another year, but his fate will largely be determined from what happens in conference play. The West Division is wide open and considering the Owls have shown promise through the first two weeks, Rice could make some noise in C-USA.

10. Tony Levine, Houston
Last Week’s Rank: 10
Record at Houston: 1-2
2012 Record: 0-2
After a disastrous debut, Levine and the Cougars had a better showing in the Week 2 loss to Louisiana Tech. Houston’s offense recorded 693 yards and six touchdowns, but the defense allowed the Bulldogs to post 598 yards of total offense, while scoring 56 points. Firing Mike Nesbitt as offensive coordinator appears to have been the right move, but the defense has to be better if Houston wants to repeat as Conference USA West Division champs. The Cougars travel to Los Angeles to play UCLA this Saturday.  

11. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Last Week’s Rank: 8
Record at Maryland: 4-10 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 2-0
The first two games of the year haven’t been pretty, but Maryland has already matched last season’s win total (2). After a sluggish performance in the opener against William & Mary, the Terrapins’ offense played better against Temple, especially in the case of true freshman quarterback Perry Hills. The defense also played a large role in the win over the Owls, recording three turnovers and allowing only 52 rushing yards. Edsall’s seat has cooled thanks to the 2-0 record, but the Terrapins are far from a perfect team. Expect plenty of hot seat and dream job talk this week, especially as Edsall’s old team (Connecticut) visits College Park on Saturday.

12. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Record at Texas Tech: 15-12 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-0
Tuberville has dropped in the weekly hot seat watch over the last two weeks. A 2-0 start certainly helps, while Texas Tech has shown improvement on defense – yes, the competition wasn’t great – but the Red Raiders are allowing just 177 yards per game so far. Tuberville should cruise to a 3-0 record this Saturday, as Texas Tech hosts New Mexico in its final non-conference game of the season.

13. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Auburn: 30-12 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-2
A disappointing 0-2 start and an overall lack of improvement from 2011 to 2012 has placed Chizik squarely on the hot seat. Auburn is just 8-7 since winning the 2010 national championship, and Chizik’s overall record at Auburn without Cam Newton is a pedestrian 16-12. The Tigers face upset-minded Louisiana-Monroe this Saturday, and the schedule only gets more difficult the rest of the way, especially with games against LSU, Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia remaining.

14. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at Syracuse: 17-22 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-2
A case could be made the Orange are the best 0-2 team in college football, but Marrone needs wins to show the program is headed in the right direction before joining the ACC in 2013. Syracuse lost 42-41 in the opener against Northwestern and gave USC all it could handle in a 42-29 defeat. The Orange should break into the win column against Stony Brook this Saturday and could be favored to beat Minnesota and Pittsburgh in the next two games.  

15. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Iowa: 97-67 (14th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
Is Iowa on the decline? That’s the big question facing Ferentz after a 1-1 start, which saw the Hawkeyes lose to in-state rival Iowa State for the second time in two seasons. Since winning 11 games in 2009, the Hawkeyes are only 16-12 and the offense has been one of the worst in the Big Ten through the first two games. Iowa ranks 12th in the Big Ten in total and scoring offense, while quarterback James Vandenberg is only averaging 175 yards passing per game. The good news for Iowa is Northern Iowa and Central Michigan are the next two opponents, which should allow the Hawkeyes to be 3-1 before the Big Ten opener against Minnesota. Ferentz has led Iowa to 10 bowl games, but there’s plenty of grumbling around the program after losing to Iowa State for consecutive seasons.

16. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank: 13
Record at Buffalo: 6-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-1
Quinn’s record is 1-1, but the Bulls have to be pleased with their start to 2012. Buffalo hung tough in a 45-23 loss to Georgia and beat Morgan State 56-34 in Week 2. The Bulls have one of the nation’s most underrated running backs in Branden Oliver, who is averaging 174.5 rushing yards per game. It will be tough for Quinn to have a winning record at the end of 2012, but Buffalo should be more competitive in MAC play.

17. George O’Leary, UCF
Last Week’s Rank:
14
Record at UCF: 51-52 (9th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
UCF didn’t beat Ohio State, but there was really nothing shameful about losing 31-16 on the road in Columbus. The Knights have a tough two-game stretch upcoming, as they take on in-state rival FIU in Week 3 and Missouri in Week 5. UCF is still the favorite to win Conference USA’s East Division, but a collapse in the second half of the season would likely spell the end of O’Leary’s tenure.

18. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank:
19
Record at New Mexico State: 10-30 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
New Mexico State is one of the toughest jobs in college football, so it has been no surprise that progress has been slow under Walker. The Aggies have won only 10 games under his watch, but are off to a 1-1 start in 2012. New Mexico State could push for a winning record this season, especially if quarterback Andrew Manley continues to develop into an All-WAC honors candidate. The upcoming schedule isn’t too difficult and considering New Mexico State’s uncertain future at the FBS level, it would be a surprise if Walker is fired at the end of 2012.

19. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 17
Record at Western Michigan: 48-40 (8th season)
2012 Record: 1-1
The Broncos have two more chances to knock off BCS competition this season, before opening up conference play against Toledo on Sept. 29. Western Michigan has defeated four BCS teams under Cubit’s watch during the regular season and could make it six with winnable games against Minnesota and Connecticut upcoming. Even if the Broncos lose both games, the biggest obstacle to another year for Cubit in Kalamazoo will be what happens in MAC play. Western Michigan is favored to win the MAC West but has struggled to reach expectations in previous years.

20. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank: 16
Record at Tennessee: 13-14 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-0
Dooley has dropped from No. 3 in Athlon’s post-fall practice rankings to No. 20 in just two weeks. Tennessee has started off 2012 on the right foot, beating NC State in the opener and easily handling Georgia State in Week 2. Despite his 2-0 start, this week’s game against Florida is no doubt a bigger challenge for Dooley. If the Volunteers struggle or lose, he will shoot back into the top 10 of the rankings. However, should Tennessee win, it might be time to consider Dooley’s team a contender in the SEC East.

Honorable Mention

John L. Smith, Arkansas
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Arkansas: 1-1 (1st season)
2012 Record: 1-1
Since Smith is on a one-year deal, there wasn’t much expectation for him to retain the job in 2013. However, losing to Louisiana-Monroe certainly isn’t what Arkansas envisioned when he returned to Fayetteville for 2012 following the unexpected dismissal of Bobby Petrino. Barring a complete implosion by the Razorbacks, Smith will stay on as Arkansas’ head coach for the remainder of this season.
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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College Football's Top 10 Disappointments
ACC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings

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College Football Week 2 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 2 Rankings</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 06:32
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-2-bowl-projections
Body:

College football's bowl season is still a few months away, but it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With only two weeks of results in the books, it's hard to make long-term projections about teams, especially with several teams still playing overmatched non-conference games. 

With very little data to work with, the post-Week 2 bowl projections are a mixture between preseason projections, how things would look if the season ended today, and a small dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks, especially as we see how teams perform in conference games. 

2012-2013 Post-Week 2 College Football Bowl Projections

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


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Sept. 12, 2012)

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College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 2 Ranks
ACC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings

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Pac-12 Post-Week 2 Power Rankings

SEC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings

College Football Week 2 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football Post-Week 2 Bowl Projections for 2012</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 06:21
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big Ten, Pac 12, News
Path: /college-football/which-new-college-football-coach-has-been-most-impressive-through-two-games
Body:

There were 28 college football teams with a new coach this year, and the results have been mixed so far. UCLA's Jim Mora, Arizona's Rich Rodriguez and Ohio State's Urban Meyer are each off to great starts, while Houston's Tony Levine and Pittsburgh's Paul Chryst are a disappointing 0-2. There's still a long way to go this season, but Athlon's editors (and former coach Don James) discussed which first-year coach has been the most impressive through the first two games. 

Which New College Football Coach Has Been The Most Impressive Through Two Games?

 

Coach Don James, former head coach of the Washington Huskies, and current voting member of the Legends Poll:
Jimmy Mora at UCLA. I coached him and I followed him through his career. He’s off to a good start. There’s always been some question about him UCLA, but he’s off to a decent start. He spent most of his career in the NFL. In the NFL, it’s pure football. When you have 16-hour days in the NFL, you’re focused on football. When we had 16-hour days [in college] we were doing everything else: Recruiting and academics. Jim always had an excellent football knowledge. A lot of his early success has to do with his hires. He’s got a guy with two Super Bowl rings [former Steelers assistant Lou Spanos, UCLA’s defensive coordinator] and he’s got some guys who have recruited in college. This isn’t a secret, they had a deal where the seniors had a day off and [Mora] stopped that right away. I think that’s made a big difference. You set a set of rules and start living up to that. If you don’t want to be committed to these rules go do something else. It will impact more of the recruiting because they’ll pick your school because they believe in what you believe.

 

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
Based on what games I’ve picked already this season, I’d have to say Rich Rodriguez at Arizona has been the most surprising first-year coach. I picked the Wildcats to lose both to Toledo and Oklahoma State at home this season, and they’ve won both. Rodriguez is a notorious slow starter in his first season at a coaching job, but that doesn’t seem to be plaguing him at Arizona. The Wildcats rolled up 624 yards of offense (though accounted for only 24 points) against Toledo and 501 yards against the defending Big 12 champions. Most impressive in that Oklahoma State game was the lack of turnovers against a ballhawking Cowboys’ D and only a week after Arizona had three turnovers against the Rockets. Going into the season, I didn’t peg Arizona as bowl team, but it looks like that may be in the plans for Rodriguez’s debut season.

 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
There’s still a long way to go in the 2012 season, but it’s hard to pick against Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez or UCLA’s Jim Mora for the job they have done so far. The Bruins have given up some yards on defense, but the offense has been one of the best in the nation, and this team finally looks ready to realize its potential. UCLA has always had talent, but the results haven’t always been there. The Wildcats were picked to finish around .500 by most, however, this team could challenge for eight wins, especially after pulling off an upset over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Since Rodriguez and Mora are the two obvious choices, it’s worth highlighting a couple of other coaches that have been impressive early, including Ohio State’s Urban Meyer, Arizona State’s Todd Graham and despite the loss on Saturday, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.

 

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
There really are only two possible answers to this question, Rich Rodriguez at Arizona and Jim Mora at UCLA. I’ll give the slight edge to Mora because the Bruins have faced a more difficult schedule, winning at Rice (which won at Kansas) and beating a solid Nebraska team. UCLA has been terrific on offense, averaging a staggering 649.5 yards and 42.5 points. In the win over Nebraska, the Bruins topped 300 yards both passing and rushing, with quarterback Brett Hundley (305 yards passing) and tailback Johnathan Franklin (217 yards rushing) leading the way. UCLA has long been considered a sleeping giant in the Pac-12. Maybe the Bruins are waking up.

 

Mark Ross
How far has Arizona come under Rich Rodriguez? Look no further than last Saturday's upset of then-No. 18 ranked Oklahoma State. Last season, the Cowboys defeated the Wildcats 37-14 as they piled up nearly 600 yards of offense. This time around in Tuscon, Oklahoma State was certainly able to move the ball against Arizona's defense, to the tune of 636 total yards, but the Pokes also turned the ball over four times. OSU's defense also had just as much trouble stopping Arizona's offense, as the Wildcats amassed more than 500 yards and, more importantly, out-scored the Cowboys 59-38 to move to 2-0 on the season. The defense will be an issue, especially as 'Zona moves deeper into Pac-12 play, but Rodriguez' zone-read option offense should cause opponents enough headaches of its own, giving Arizona a chance to do something this season it wasn't able to do in 2011 — win more games than it lost.

 

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
The answer is UCLA’s Jim Mora, and the margin is wide. The Bruins have struggled mightily to find a solution at quarterback over the last few seasons, and Mora’s hire of veteran offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone seems to be working wonders for new signal caller Brett Hundley. The redshirt freshman threw for 305 yards and four touchdown passes in the Nebraska victory on Saturday. Hundley also added 53 yards rushing and did not throw an interception in that fan-base reenergizing win. Of course a running game can be the best friend of any young quarterback, and tailback Johnathan Franklin leads the nation in rushing with 431 yards. While the Bruins still have plenty to fix on defense before a challenging Pac-12 slate, Mora already has a signature victory and has shown significant program improvement just two weeks into UCLA’s 2012 campaign.
 

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College Football Week 2 Recap

Teaser:
<p> Which New College Football Coach Has Been The Most Impressive Through Two Games?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 06:15
Path: /college-football/florida-tennessee-rivalry-becoming-nationally-relevant-again
Body:

With most teams still playing non-conference opponents, Week 3 of the 2012 college football season is another light slate of games. However, there are a few must-watch games, including the Florida-Tennessee matchup. This rivalry was one of the best in the SEC in the 1990s and early 2000s, however, both teams have slipped in performance and this game hasn't meant as much. Could 2012 be the start of this rivalry reclaiming its spot as one of the most important in college football?

Is the Florida-Tennessee Rivalry Nationally Relevant Once Again?

David Fox (@DavidFox615)
The answer is no. The only reason this game has taken on additional prominence is because Arkansas couldn’t stop Kolton Browning and Louisiana-Monroe last week. There was a time when Florida-Tennessee determined the SEC East champion and a potential BCS team. Despite strides by both teams in the first two weeks of the season, I can’t imagine this matchup will do anything more than determine a participant in the Outback Bowl or Chick-fil-A Bowl. This won’t even be the most nationally relevant game in the SEC East this season (that belongs to South Carolina-Georgia), never mind the rest of the league or the rest of the country.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
This rivalry is starting to regain some of its intrigue that the SEC experienced in the 1990s, but I’m not ready to say it is nationally relevant. There’s not many marquee games this week, so it definitely helps the rivalry to be on a stage with little competition from the rest of the top 25. Both teams are off to a solid start, but neither appears to have what it takes (so far) to beat out Georgia or South Carolina for the East title. For this rivalry to reclaim its spot as one of the best in the SEC, both teams need to be ranked a little higher and come into the season with higher expectations. While Florida and Tennessee each have a solid win this season and this is a key game for SEC East positioning, this rivalry would become more nationally relevant if both teams can sustain its success, rather than struggling to crack the top 25 or seven wins each year. 

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
It’s definitely relevant this season, but it’s a bit premature to make the claim that this series will once again take on national significance on an annual basis. Both teams are off to a solid start, but there is no guarantee that Tennessee and/or Florida will return to elite status this season or any time soon. There is some positive momentum with each program, but it’s quite possible that these are still the third and fourth best teams in the East behind Georgia and South Carolina. 

Mark Ross
It's funny how quickly things change, isn't it? About a month ago if you had asked this question I am pretty sure you would have gotten different answers than now. That said, it certainly helps that both teams are 2-0 and each have already scored impressive victories of their own headed into Saturday's "showdown" in Knoxville, Tenn. However, this is the first time since 2007 both teams will be ranked when they play each other, and perhaps even more telling, it's still not CBS' national SEC Game of the Week on Saturday. That distinction belongs to Alabama at Arkansas. That alone speaks volumes to me about the current national perception of this rivalry. It will always be an important game to fans of each school and the SEC East division race, but it's just not where it used to be, not yet. Considering both teams' recent struggles and the uncertainty surrounding them headed into this season, I would go so far as to say both coaching staffs and fan bases are just happy we are even asking this question.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
The annual Vols-Gators game is becoming a big deal once again, although each program must get back in the top ten for this mid-September clash to have its former “Game of the Year” feel from the 1990s. Both teams have gone through a major transition over the last two seasons, with regime changes affecting their win-loss record significantly. Florida lost 11 games between Urban Meyer’s final season and Will Muschamp’s debut last year, while Tennessee dropped a school-record 14 contests in Derek Dooley’s first two years while he tried to repair a program severely depleted by the end of the Fulmer era and a mostly-wasted recruiting class with Lane Kiffin. By contrast, both the Vols and Gators lost only 23 times each in the decade from 1992-2001 when this game was must-see TV. However with both teams ranked and ESPN’s Gameday on the way to Rocky Top, this year’s battle is rekindling the classic SEC East rivalry.

 

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College Football Week 2 Recap

Teaser:
<p> Is the Florida-Tennessee Rivalry Becoming Nationally Relevant Again?</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 06:04
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-using-vegas-odds-determine-best-week-3-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 3

Best Fantasy Matchups (Games with the most fantasy potential)

Houston at UCLA

Line:  UCLA -17(O/U-74)

Projected score based on point spread:  UCLA 46-28

Best plays:

Houston (QB-David Piland, RB-Charles Sims, WR-Daniel Spencer)

UCLA (QB-Brett Hundley, RB-Johnathan Franklin)

Also consider:

Houston (WR-Dewayne Peace, K-Matt Hogan)

UCLA (WR-Joseph Fauria, K-Ka’imi Fairbairn)

theCFFsite projects:  UCLA 41-31

 

Louisiana at Oklahoma State

Line:  Oklahoma St -22(O/U-73)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma St 42-28

Best plays:

Oklahoma St (QB-Wes Lunt, RB-Joseph Randle, WRs-Tracy Moore,  K-Quinn Sharp)

Louisiana (QB-Blaine Gautier, RB-Alonzo Harris, WR-Javone Lawson)

Also consider:

Oklahoma St (RB-Jeremy Smith, WRs-Isaiah Anderson, Josh Stewart)

Louisiana (TE-Jacob Maxwell, K-Brett Baer)

theCFFsite projects:  Oklahoma St 41-20

 

Ohio at Marshall

Line:  Ohio -6.5(O/U-67)

Projected score based on point spread:  Ohio 37-30

Best plays:

Ohio (QB-Tyler Tettleton, RB-Beau Blankenship, K-Matt Weller)

Marshall (QB-Rakeem Cato, WR-Aaron Dobson)

Also consider:

Ohio (WR-Donte Foster)

Marshall (RB-Travon Van, WR-Antavious Wilson)

theCFFsite projects:  Ohio 35-24
 

Arkansas State at Nebraska

Line:  Nebraska -24.5(O/U-67.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Nebraska 46-22

Best plays:

Arkansas St (QB-Ryan Aplin, RB-David Oku, WR-Josh Jarboe)

Nebraska (QB-Taylor Martinez, RB-Ameer Abdullah, K-Brett Maher)

Also consider:

Arkansas St (WR-JD McKissic)

Nebraska (WR-Kenny Bell, TE-Kyler Reed)

theCFFsite projects:  Nebraska 52-28

 

Rice at Louisiana Tech

Line:  Louisiana Tech -20.5(O/U-65.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  LA Tech 43-23

Best plays:

Rice (QB-Taylor McHargue, RB-Charles Ross, WR-Jordan Taylor, K-Chris Boswell)

Louisiana Tech (QB-Colby Cameron, WRs-Myles White, Quinton Patton, K-Matt Nelson)

Also consider:

Rice (WRs-Sam McGuffie, TE-Luke Willson)

Louisiana Tech (RBs-Tevin King, Kenneth Dixon)

theCFFsite projects:  LA Tech 45-28

 

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

Massachusetts at Michigan

Line:  Michigan -45.5(O/U-56)

Projected score based on point spread:  Michigan 51-5

Stay away from:

UMass (RB-Michael Cox)

theCFFsite projects:  Michigan 52-10

 

Florida Atlantic at Georgia

Line:  Georgia -43.5(O/U-53)

Projected score based on point spread:  Georgia 48-5

Stay away from:

FAU (WR-Byron Hankerson)

theCFFsite projects:  Georgia 56-6
 

Idaho at LSU

Line:  LSU -42.5(O/U-54.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  LSU 49-6

Stay away from:

Idaho (QB-Dominique Blackman)

theCFFsite projects:  LSU 45-3
 

South Alabama at North Carolina State

Line:  North Carolina St -31.5(O/U-50)

Projected score based on point spread:  NC St 40-9

Stay away from:

South Alabama (RB-Demetre Baker)

theCFFsite projects:  NC St 42-7

 

UAB at South Carolina

Line:  South Carolina -33.5(O/U-54.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  South Carolina 44-10

Stay away from:

UAB (QB-Jonathan Perry)

theCFFsite projects:  South Carolina 49-14
 

Must Watch Games(The games with the biggest headlines)

USC at Stanford

Line:  USC -9(O/U-56)

Projected score based on point spread:  USC 33-24

Outlook:  Stanford may keep it close for a half, but receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods will eventually make enough plays to put this one out of reach.

theCFFsite projects:  USC 38-21

 

Florida at Tennessee

Line:  Tennessee -3(O/U-47)

Projected score based on point spread:  Tennessee 25-22

Outlook:  Florida did enough last week to slow down the Aggies in College Station, but the big-play potential of receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson will prove too challenging for the Florida defense.

theCFFsite projects:  Tennessee 31-21

 

theCFFsite in Must Watch games:

2012 Season:  Straight Up (5-1)  ATS: (3-3)

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

 

 

By:  Joe DiSalvo

The College Fantasy Football Site

 

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Using Vegas Odds to Determine Best Week 3 Plays</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 - 04:04

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