Articles By Steven Lassan

All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-11-waiver-wire-report
Body:

At this point in the season, most fantasy rosters are set and getting prepped for league semi-final matchups.  However, we couldn’t ignore some valuable waiver opportunities if you are looking for a little fine-tuning.

Devin Gardner, QB-Michigan

If you are desperate at quarterback and have been left without any insurance behind Denard Robinson, it would be wise to scoop up Gardner, especially since he has a decent Week 12 matchup.

Jordan Parker, RB-Middle Tennessee

We put Parker on this list a few weeks ago when Ben Cunningham suffered a season-ending knee injury.  If he is still floating around on waivers, owners would be wise to take advantage of a Week 12 matchup against South Alabama.

Matt Brown, RB-Temple

Montel Harris left last week’s game after a first-half injury against Cincinnati.  Brown, who is returning from injury himself, may wind up getting the nod against Army if Harris can’t go this week.

Curtis McNeal, RB-USC

Reportedly, starting running back Silas Redd is battling an ankle injury.  If he is not 100% by the weekend, look for Curtis McNeal to get the starting nod for a second straight game.

Tre Mason, RB-Auburn

Mason is nothing more than a one-week value play, but a matchup against Alabama A&M makes him worth a waiver claim.

Justin Brown, WR-Oklahoma

Brown has at least six receptions, 80 yards receiving, and a touchdown in each of his last two games.  Those numbers might take a bump this week when the Sooners travel to Morgantown to take on West Virginia.

William Dukes, WR-Florida Atlantic

Dukes has posted at least 75 yards receiving or six receptions in eight of ten games this season.  If he can find the end zone in Week 12, Dukes would be worthy of a WR#3 or WR#4 in deeper leagues.

 

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

 

by Joe DiSalvo, thecffsite.com

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

Email:  [email protected]

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Post-Week 11 Waiver Wire Report</p>
Post date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 - 03:58
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-11-rankings
Body:

Week 11 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. Boston College's Frank Spaziani remains the top spot in the hot seat watch, followed closely by Auburn's Gene Chizik, Tennessee's Derek Dooley and California's Jeff Tedford in the top five.

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 11 Rankings

1. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week’s Rank:
1
Record at Boston College: 22-27 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-8
The Eagles closed out the non-conference portion of their 2012 schedule with a 21-6 loss to Notre Dame. Despite the 15-point defeat, Boston College never really threatened in this game and the Fighting Irish were in complete control from the opening kick. Spaziani has a handful of young players contributing in key roles, but it’s hard to find any progress from this team in 2012. The Eagles have watched their win total decline in each of the last four years and are headed for a 2-10 finish.

2. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Last Week’s Rank: 2
Record at Auburn: 32-18 (4th season)
2012 Record: 2-8
Barring an upset win over Alabama, Auburn will finish SEC play winless for the first time since 1980. The Tigers dropped to 0-7 within the conference on Saturday, losing 38-0 to Georgia. Auburn’s only wins have come against New Mexico State and Louisiana-Monroe this season and should easily defeat Alabama A&M this Saturday. Although Chizik insists he has a plan to turn around Auburn next year, the rumor mill around the program seems to suggest he won’t get the to chance to do so in 2013.

3. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank: 3
Record at Tennessee: 15-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 4-6
If there was any doubt Dooley would be fired at the end of the season, the overtime loss to Missouri sealed any shot he had of returning to Knoxville for 2013. The defeat dropped Tennessee to 4-6 and in danger of missing out on a bowl game for the second consecutive season. The Volunteers need to win at Vanderbilt and against Kentucky to get bowl eligible. Since taking over in Knoxville, Dooley is just 4-18 in SEC play and a disappointing 15-20 overall. There’s no doubt Dooley is done, it’s just a matter of when the school decides to make the announcement.

4. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week’s Rank: 4
Record at California: 82-56 (11th season)
2012 Record: 3-8
As expected, the Golden Bears were pounded by Oregon on Saturday. California hung around in the first half, but the Ducks simply had too much firepower on offense and won 59-17. The loss to Oregon closed out the home slate for California this year, as the team finishes its 2012 season at Oregon State on Saturday. With a loss to the Beavers, the Golden Bears would finish 3-9, which would be their worst record since going 1-10 in 2001. Tedford has done a lot of good things at California, but it’s clear the program has gotten stale under his watch the last few seasons.

5. Ellis Johnson, Southern Miss
Last Week’s Rank: 5
Record at Southern Miss: 0-10
2012 Record: 0-10
The miserable first season under Ellis Johnson continued in Week 10, as Southern Miss was pounded 34-6 by SMU. The Golden Eagles are headed to their worst season in school history and even though Johnson is just in his first year, it’s clear the program is headed in the wrong direction. The loss to the Mustangs also clinched the first season of double-digit losses in Southern Miss history. Even though the Golden Eagles lost a handful of key players from last year’s team, going from Conference USA champions to possibly 0-12 is enough to make a coaching change.  

6. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank: 6
Record at New Mexico State: 10-38 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-9
The Aggies remained winless in WAC play, dropping a 47-7 game against San Jose State on Saturday. Although New Mexico State showed some promise with a 4-9 mark last year, the program seems to be trending in the wrong direction. And the schedule won’t get any easier next year, as the Aggies will compete as a FBS  Independent. Walker inherited a difficult situation, and New Mexico State is not an easy place to develop a winning program. However, the program may want to get a fresh start after this season, especially if the Aggies finish 1-11.

7. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank: 9
Record at UTEP: 47-60 (8 years)
2012 Record: 2-8
The Miners hung tough against UCF, but it wasn’t enough to earn the victory. Looking for a spark on offense, Price inserted redshirt freshman quarterback Blaire Sullivan into the lineup. He threw for only 79 yards but added 74 yards and one touchdown on the ground, which gave UTEP a shot to beat the Knights in the fourth quarter. The Miners finish the season with winnable games against Southern Miss and Rice, but even with two more victories, it’s hard to imagine Price returning to El Paso in 2013.

8. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week’s Rank: 12
Record at UNLV: 6-30 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 2-9
Inconsistency has plagued UNLV in 2012. The Rebels knocked off New Mexico 35-7 in Week 10, yet were dominated in a 33-11 loss against Colorado State last Saturday. The Rebels are getting better under Hauck but it’s hard for the program to make any long-term progress with losses like the one it had on Saturday. UNLV closes out its 2012 season with winnable matchups against Wyoming and Hawaii, as it looks to record more than two victories in a season for the first time under Hauck.

9. Danny Hope, Purdue
Last Week’s Rank: 8
Record at Purdue: 20-27 (4th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
Saturday’s 27-24 win over Iowa should ease some of the pressure on Hope. The victory keeps Purdue’s slim bowl hopes alive, as it needs to beat Illinois and Indiana in its final two games to get to six victories. Hope is still under plenty of pressure over the next two weeks, especially since the program has yet to show any real progress under his watch. While making back-to-back bowl games would be a good sign, Purdue’s overall record is just 20-27 in his tenure.

10. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank: 14
Record at Colorado: 4-19 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-9
Despite the disastrous 2012 season, all signs point to Embree getting another year in Boulder. Whether or not he deserves another season is debatable, especially when you consider the Buffaloes haven’t shown much progress over the last two years. Colorado does have a lot of young players on the depth chart and lost receiver Paul Richardson to a torn ACL in the offseason. However, both sides of the ball rank among the worst in college football, and the team has gotten very little production from its quarterbacks. Embree will likely return for 2013 but expect a staff shakeup at the end of 2012.

11. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank: 10
Record at Buffalo: 8-26 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-7
With back-to-back victories over Miami (Ohio) and Western Michigan, Buffalo has its first two-game winning streak since 2009. Although the Bulls have seven losses, they lost to Connecticut, Ohio and Toledo by less than seven points and lost by only 13 to Pittsburgh. With a matchup against UMass this Saturday, Buffalo should have a good shot at getting to four wins, which would be Quinn’s best season. Although the Bulls haven’t gotten back to a bowl game under his watch, the program has had only three seasons of five or more wins since 1997.

12. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week’s Rank: 11
Record at Rice: 27-44 (6th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
The Owls had a bye week on Saturday and return to action this weekend for a home date against SMU. With Rice at 4-6 and SMU at 5-5, this matchup is a crucial one for bowl eligibility. The Owls close the year with a road trip at UTEP, so a win over the Mustangs isn’t an automatic path to a bowl game. Bailiff has recorded at least four victories in each of his last three seasons, so getting to 5-7 or 6-6 would be a step in the right direction. Unless Rice loses its last two games, Bailiff may have done enough to save his job for 2013.

13. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 7
Record at Central Michigan: 10-24 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 4-6
Thanks to wins in two out of his last three games, Enos has dropped outside of the top 10 in the hot seat watch. Saturday’s victory over Eastern Michigan pushed the Chippewas’ record to 4-6, which is the best win total in Enos’ three seasons in Mount Pleasant. The third-year coach could strengthen his case to return for 2013 in the final two games, as Central Michigan hosts Miami (Ohio) and plays at UMass. Considering some conferences are going to have trouble filling out their allotment for bowl games, the Chippewas could sneak into the postseason at 6-6.

14. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Last Week’s Rank: 20
Record at Iowa: 100-73 (14th season)
2012 Record: 4-6
Barring upset wins over Nebraska and Michigan, Iowa will miss out on a postseason game for the first time since 2007. The Hawkeyes lost 27-24 against Purdue on Saturday, which dropped their Big Ten record to 2-4 overall this year. Ferentz has a huge contract, so he’s really not in any danger of getting fired. However, there’s plenty of unrest among the fan base, especially since the win total has declined every year sine 2009. If the Hawkeyes finish 4-8, it would be the worst mark under Ferentz since going 3-9 in 2000.

15. Skip Holtz, South Florida
Last Week’s Rank: 15
Record at South Florida: 16-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 3-6
The Bulls had a bye in Week 11 and return to action against in-state big brother Miami (Fla.) this Saturday. South Florida still has slim bowl hopes but needs to win the final three games to get to 6-6. A bigger question for Holtz this week is the quarterback position, especially with starter B.J. Daniels out for the rest of the year with a leg injury. After going 8-5 in 2010, South Florida is just 8-13 since. Although Holtz will probably get another year, he needs to have good showings against Miami, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh to build some confidence about this team going into 2013.

16. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: 17
Record at Western Michigan: 51-46 (8th season)
2012 Record: 4-7
The Broncos got a little spark on Saturday, as quarterback Alex Carder returned to the lineup after missing six games with a hand injury. However, Carder’s return wasn't enough to secure win, as Western Michigan fell 29-24 at Buffalo. The loss dropped the Broncos out of the mix for a bowl and to 51-46 overall under Cubit’s watch. Western Michigan finishes its 2012 season with a matchup against in-state rival Eastern Michigan.

17. Tim Beckman, Illinois
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Illinois: 2-8 (1st season)
2012 Record: 2-8
Beckman’s first season in Champaign hasn’t been as disastrous as Ellis Johnson’s first year at Southern Miss, but he isn’t too far behind. The Fighting Illini are 2-8 overall, with the only victories coming against Western Michigan and Charleston Southern. Illinois has been handled in Big Ten play, losing every game by 14 points or more. The fan base is already growing restless about Beckman and there’s no guaranteed win remaining with Purdue and Northwestern on tap. Expect significant staff changes at the end of the 2012 season. 

18. Ron English, Eastern Michigan
Last Week’s Rank: Not ranked
Record at Eastern Michigan: 9-37 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-9
Considering how difficult it is to win at Eastern Michigan, it’s tough to evaluate English for having a 9-37 overall record in four seasons. However, take out the 6-6 mark in 2011 and the Eagles are just 3-31 under his watch. Eastern Michigan has been competitive in losses against Toledo and Michigan State, but lost to FCS opponent Illinois State. With matchups against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to close out 2012, a 1-11 record appears very likely for English this season.

19. Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut
Last Week’s Rank: 13
Record at Connecticut: 9-13 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 4-6
The Huskies scored a much-needed victory with a 24-17 win over Pittsburgh on Friday night. The victory over the Panthers was Connecticut’s first in Big East play this season and will help this team build some momentum for the final two games of the year against Louisville and Cincinnati. Pasqualoni isn’t in any real danger of losing his job this year, but the former Syracuse coach could be the near the top of this list at the beginning of 2013.

20. June Jones, SMU
Last Week’s Rank: 19
Record at SMU: 29-33 (5th season)
2012 Record: 5-5
SMU moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with a 34-6 victory over Southern Miss on Saturday night. The Mustangs need to beat Rice or Tulsa in the final two weeks to make their fourth consecutive bowl trip. Although Jones has elevated SMU, the program has yet to take off as most expected. The Mustangs are set to enter the Big East next year and can’t afford to fall far behind. Considering Jones wanted to leave for Arizona State at the end of 2011, both parties might be better off with a mutual separation. 
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

Post-Week 11 ACC Power Rankings
Post-Week 11 Big East Power Rankings

Post-Week 11 Big 12 Power Rankings

Post-Week 11 Big Ten Power Rankings

Post-Week 11 Pac-12 Power Rankings

Post-Week 11 SEC Power Rankings

College Football Post-Week 11 Bowl Projections

Teaser:
<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 11 Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 04:55
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-using-vegas-odds-determine-best-week-12-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 12

Best Fantasy Matchups(Games with the most fantasy potential)

Kansas St at Baylor

Line:  Kansas St -11.5(O/U-74)

Projected score based on point spread:  Kansas St 43-32

Best plays:

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

Kansas St (QB-Collin Klein, RB-John Hubert)

Also consider:

Baylor (RB-Lache Seastrunk, WRs-Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson)

Kansas St (WR-Chris Harper, K-Anthony Cantele)

theCFFsite projects:  Kansas St 40-28

 

Oklahoma at West Virginia

Line:  Oklahoma -10.5(O/U-73)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma 42-31

Best plays:

Oklahoma (QB-Landry Jones, RB-Damien Williams, WR-Kenny Stills)

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

Also consider:

Oklahoma (RBs-Brennan Clay, WR-Justin Brown)

West Virginia (RB-Andrew Buie)

theCFFsite projects:  West Virginia 42-38

 

Houston at Marshall

Line:  Marshall -3.5(O/U-76)

Projected score based on point spread:  Marshall 40-37

Best plays:

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

Houston (QB-David Piland, RB-Charles Sims-inj)

Also consider:

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

Houston (RB-Kenneth Farrow, WRs-Deontay Greenberry, Daniel Spencer)

theCFFsite projects:  Marshall 38-30
 

Texas Tech at Oklahoma St

Line:  Oklahoma St -10.5(O/U-72)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma St 42-31

Best plays:

Texas Tech (QB-Seth Doege, WRs-Eric Ward, Darrin Moore)

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

Also consider:

Texas Tech (RB-Kenny Williams, K-Ryan Bustin)

Oklahoma St (QB-Clint Chelf, TE-Blake Jackson)

theCFFsite projects:  Oklahoma St 37-28

 

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

Colorado St at Boise St

Line:  Boise St -28(O/U-50)

Projected score based on point spread:  Boise St 39-11

Stay away from:

Colorado St (RBs-Donnell Alexander, Chris Nwoke)

theCFFsite projects:  Boise St 42-14

 

Wake Forest at Notre Dame

Line:  Notre Dame -24(O/U-44)

Projected score based on point spread:  Notre Dame 34-10

Stay away from:

Wake Forest (QB-Tanner Price, RB-Josh Harris)

theCFFsite projects:  Notre Dame 24-17

 

Florida St at Maryland

Line:  Florida St -31(O/U-45.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Florida St 38-7

Stay away from:

Maryland (Stefon Diggs)

theCFFsite projects:  Florida St 37-10

 

Must Watch Games(The games with the biggest headlines)

Rutgers at Cincinnati

Line:  Cincinnati -6.5(O/U-47)

Projected score based on point spread:  Cincinnati 27-20

What’s at stake:   Rutgers (8-1, 4-0) will try to stay undefeated in conference play and stay one game ahead of Louisville in the Big East, while Cincinnati (7-2, 3-1) hopes to stay in the race.

theCFFsite projects:  Cincinnati 23-20
 

Kent St at Bowling Green

Line:  Bowling Green -2.5(O/U-47)

Projected score based on point spread:  Bowling Green 25-22

What’s at stake:   First place in the MAC East.

theCFFsite projects:  Kent St 27-21

 

Toledo at Northern Illinois

Line:  NIU -11(O/U-63)

Projected score based on point spread:  NIU 37-26

What’s at stake:   First place in the MAC West.

theCFFsite projects:  Northern Illinois 45-35

 

Utah St at Louisiana Tech

Line:  Utah St -3(O/U-70.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Utah St 37-34

What’s at stake:   First place in the WAC.

theCFFsite projects:  Utah St 45-41

 

USC at UCLA

Line:  USC -3.5(O/U-65)

Projected score based on point spread:  USC 35-31

What’s at stake:   First place in the PAC-12 South.

theCFFsite projects:  USC 37-28

 

Stanford at Oregon

Line:  Oregon – 21 (O/U-65.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oregon 43-22

What’s at stake:   First place in the PAC-12 North.

theCFFsite projects:  Oregon 48-28

 

theCFFsite in Must Watch games:

2012 Season:  Straight Up (19-14)  ATS: (13-20)

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

                                                                                             

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Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Using Vegas Odds to Determine Best Week 12 Plays</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 - 03:05
Path: /college-football/acc-post-week-11-power-rankings
Body:

Florida State and Clemson are clearly the ACC's best teams but after that is anyone's guess. North Carolina and Miami lost in Week 11, yet don't suffer a drop in the power rankings this week. With Duke on bye and Virginia Tech also losing, it's hard to find a No. 3 team in this week's poll. Virginia has been on the rise over the last two weeks but still needs two victories to get bowl eligible.  

Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard had a relatively quiet afternoon against Georgia Tech (78 rushing yards) but retains the No. 1 spot in the offensive player of the year standings.

2. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd has tossed 13 touchdowns over the last three weeks and has Clemson in the mix for an at-large spot in one of the BCS bowls.

3. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State – There’s really not much separating the top three in the offensive player of the year standings. Manuel staked his claim at the top spot with 326 passing yards and three touchdowns against Virginia Tech.
 

Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner was quiet on the stat sheet in Thursday night’s win over Virginia Tech, recording two tackles and one pass break up.

2. Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State – Carradine has closed the gap with teammate Bjoern Werner for defensive player of the year honors. The senior wrecked havoc against Virginia Tech, recording 11 tackles and one sack.

3. Steve Greer, LB, Virginia – Greer is quietly having a good season and led the way with 13 tackles in the win over Miami. The senior has recorded 108 tackles and two sacks in 2012.
 

Coach of the Year Standings

1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – Fisher has the Seminoles one win away from clinching a spot in the ACC title game. Florida State is also on track to record 10 wins for the second time in three years.

2. David Cutcliffe, Duke – The Blue Devils have lost three out of their last four games, but Cutcliffe deserves credit for getting this team bowl eligible for the first time since 1994.

3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – An ACC title is unlikely, but the Tigers still have a shot to play for a BCS bowl. Clemson is 19-5 in the last two seasons under Swinney’s watch.

Post-Week 11 ACC Power Rankings

1. Florida State (9-1, 6-1 ACC)
Last Week:
1
Week 11 Result: Beat Virginia Tech 28-22
The Seminoles had to work a little harder than most expected against Virginia Tech. Florida State was a double-digit favorite but needed a late touchdown pass from quarterback EJ Manuel to receiver Rashad Greene with just over a minute to go to clinch the victory. The Hokies’ active defensive line gave the Seminoles’ offensive line trouble all evening, as running backs Devonta Freeman and James Wilder combined for just five rushing yards. However, the line stepped up in the clutch, giving Manuel enough time on the final drive to lead Florida State to the victory. The Seminoles need a win over Maryland or a Clemson loss against NC State to clinch the ACC Atlantic title.
Next Game: at Maryland

2. Clemson (9-1, 6-1 ACC)
Last Week:
2
Week 11 Result: Beat Maryland 45-10
The Tigers used another big day from quarterback Tajh Boyd to cruise to an easy victory over Maryland. With injuries decimating the offense, the Terrapins were simply overmatched and this game was over by halftime. The one downside to this game for Clemson was a leg injury to receiver Sammy Watkins. However, he is expected to play next Saturday against NC State. The Tigers have to hope for an unlikely Maryland win against Florida State to win the ACC Atlantic title next week. Considering how much of a longshot that is, Clemson’s top priority should be finishing 11-1 and getting into a position for a BCS bowl.
Next Game: NC State

3. North Carolina (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
3
Week 11 Result: Lost to Georgia Tech 68-50
Basketball season is getting ready to start in Chapel Hill, so it’s only appropriate the Tar Heels scored their highest point total in ACC play this season (50) against Georgia Tech. However, despite the huge day on the scoreboard, it wasn’t enough to knock off the Yellow Jackets. The Tar Heels’ offense gained 497 yards but was never really able to get Giovani Bernard enough opportunities on the ground (16 carries). Although the offense had its issues, the defense was the main culprit. North Carolina allowed 588 yards to Georgia Tech and surrendered 30 points in the third quarter. The Tar Heels head to Virginia next Thursday and finish their season with a home game against Maryland on Nov. 24.
Next Game: at Virginia (Thursday)

4. Miami (5-5, 4-3 ACC)
Last Week:
4
Week 11 Result: Lost to Virginia 41-40
After a 30-12 win over Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes were in position to assume full control of the ACC Coastal with a win over Virginia. However, nothing in the ACC is simple this season. Miami fell 41-40 in Charlottesville on Saturday afternoon, dropping its record to 5-5 overall and in danger of missing out on bowl eligibility. The Hurricanes had a huge effort from running back Duke Johnson (150 rushing yards), but the defense struggled to stop Virginia’s passing offense. Miami steps out of conference to play South Florida next week, before finishing the season against Duke.
Next Game: South Florida

5. Virginia Tech (4-6, 2-4 ACC)
Last Week:
5
Week 11 Result: Lost to Florida State 28-22
The Hokies gave Florida State all it could handle on Thursday night but fell just short of the upset win. Virginia Tech’s defense rose to the challenge, holding the Seminoles to 28 points and recording five sacks on Seminoles’ quarterback EJ Manuel. The Hokies outgained Florida State but had two costly interceptions from quarterback Logan Thomas. Despite 2012 being an overall disappointment, Virginia Tech still has a chance to get into the ACC Championship. However, the Hokies’ main goal over the next two weeks should be getting bowl eligible, which requires wins over Boston College and Virginia.
Next Game: at Boston College

6. Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
6
Week 11 Result: Bye Week
The Blue Devils had a bye in Week 11 and return to action next Saturday at Georgia Tech. The off date came at a good time for coach David Cutcliffe and his team, especially since Duke has lost three out of its last four games. The defense has shown signs of improvement, but the secondary has been torched in losses against Florida State and Clemson. With two games remaining, the Blue Devils control their destiny in the Coastal race, as they take on Georgia Tech and Miami the next two weeks.
Next Game: at Georgia Tech

7. NC State (6-4, 3-3 ACC)
Last Week:
7
Week 11 Result: Beat Wake Forest 37-6
A week after a puzzling loss to Virginia, the Wolfpack bounced back with a 37-6 blowout win over Wake Forest 37-6. Quarterback Mike Glennon led the way with 258 passing yards, while freshman running back Shadrach Thornton chipped in 110 yards on the ground. While the offense had its way with Wake Forest, the defense deserves a ton of credit. After getting shredded for 570 yards against NC State and 446 versus Virginia, the Wolfpack allowed the Demon Deacons to record only 185 yards. NC State is bowl eligible and closes out the year with matchups against Clemson and Boston College.
Next Game: at Clemson

8. Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-3 ACC)
Last Week: 8
Week 11 Result: Beat North Carolina 68-50
It’s not crazy to believe Georgia Tech’s 68-50 shootout win over North Carolina might have saved the season. The victory evened the Yellow Jackets to 5-5 overall and puts them back in the mix to play for the ACC title. Georgia Tech’s offense rushed for 380 yards and seven touchdowns, including 112 by quarterback Vad Lee. Although the Yellow Jackets’ defense gave up 497 yards, they forced two turnovers and limited North Carolina running back Giovani Bernard to just 78 yards on 16 attempts. Georgia Tech needs some help to get to the title game but can help its case by beating Duke in Week 12.
Next Game: Duke

9. Virginia (4-6, 2-4 ACC)
Last Week: 11
Week 11 Result: Beat Miami 41-40
The Cavaliers used a late touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Rocco to tight end Jake McGee to knock off Miami 41-40. The win over the Hurricanes keeps Virginia’s slim bowl hopes alive with two games remaining. Coach Mike London planned on rotating quarterbacks, but Rocco assumed control of the No. 1 spot and was a key factor in the Cavaliers’ win. Rocco finished with 300 passing yards and four touchdowns, while Phillip Sims threw for 88 yards on 11 completions. Virginia’s defense struggled to find an answer for Miami running back Duke Johnson, but its offense stepped up in the clutch and delivered the victory. The Cavaliers host North Carolina on Thursday night this week.
Next Game: North Carolina (Thursday)

10. Maryland (4-6, 2-4 ACC)
Last Week: 9
Week 11 Result: Lost to Clemson 45-10
With Stefon Diggs and Wes Brown sidelined, combined with the injuries at quarterback, the Terrapins simply didn’t have the firepower to give Clemson much of a battle. Maryland managed only 180 yards, with quarterback Shawn Petty completing only 6 of 12 passes for 41 yards. The defense forced three turnovers but allowed 436 yards and 45 points to the Tigers. Although the season will end on a down note, the Terrapins have shown improvement in Randy Edsall’s second year in College Park.
Next Game: Florida State

11. Wake Forest (5-5, 3-5 ACC)
Last Week: 10
Week 11 Result: Lost to NC State 37-6
The Demon Deacons wrapped up their 2012 ACC season with a 37-6 loss to NC State. With a struggling offensive line, Wake Forest had trouble generating anything on the ground and its quarterbacks were sacked five times by the Wolfpack. Receiver Michael Campanaro was held to five receptions, while quarterback Tanner Price finished with 113 passing yards on 18 completions. The Demon Deacons still need one more win to get bowl eligible and that’s no easy task with matchups against Notre Dame and Vanderbilt remaining.
Next Game: at Notre Dame

12. Boston College (2-8, 1-5 ACC)
Last Week:
12
Week 11 Result: Lost to Notre Dame 21-6
The Eagles hung around but never really threatened in Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame. Without a consistent running game, quarterback Chase Rettig was forced to shoulder the load on offense. The junior finished with 247 yards, but Boston College’s offense is too one-dimensional right now. The Eagles host Virginia Tech next Saturday and play at NC State on Nov. 24. Barring a surprise upset, Boston College is headed for a 2-10 finish.
Next Game: Virginia Tech
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

College Football Week 11 Recap
Big 12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 11 Power Rankings

Big Ten Post-Week 11 Power Rankings

Pac-12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings

SEC Post-Week 11 Power Rankings

Teaser:
<p> ACC Post-Week 11 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 05:03
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-11-power-rankings
Body:

Kansas State was a big winner from the Big 12’s Week 11 action. The Wildcats knocked off TCU 23-10 to improve their record to 10-0. But that wasn’t the only bit of good news for Bill Snyder’s team. With Alabama losing to Texas A&M, Kansas State is in position to play for the national title with two more victories. The Wildcats still have some work to do but the road to a BCS Championship appearance is favorable. Oklahoma remains in position for an at-large spot in the BCS, while Texas has quietly rebounded since a blowout defeat to the Sooners in the Red River Rivalry.

1. Kansas State (10-0, 7-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
1
Week 11 Result: Beat TCU 23-10
Week 11 was a big one for the Wildcats for two different reasons. Kansas State knocked off TCU 23-10 to move to 10-0, while quarterback Collin Klein continues to stake his claim for the Heisman. Although the victory over TCU was huge, the Wildcats’ national title hopes were helped by Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M. Kansas State still needs to take care of its final two games – at Baylor and Texas – but this team is in the driver’s seat to play for the BCS title in January. The Wildcats play on the road for the final time this season with a date at Baylor next Saturday.
Next Game: at Baylor

2. Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 2
Week 11 Result: Beat Baylor 42-34
The Sooners kept their BCS bowl hopes alive with a 42-34 win over Baylor on Saturday. It was a balanced victory for Oklahoma, as the defense held the Bears’ high-powered passing attack to just 172 yards, while the offense recorded 460 yards. Quarterback Landry Jones had a steady performance, throwing for 277 yards on 25 completions, and running back Damien Williams chipped in 99 yards on 23 attempts. The Sooners play at West Virginia in Week 12 and host Oklahoma State in Week 13.
Next Game: at West Virginia

3. Texas (8-2, 5-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 11 Result: Beat Iowa State 33-7
Very quietly, the Longhorns are piecing together a solid run to the end the 2012 season. Saturday’s 33-7 win over Iowa State was Texas’ fourth consecutive victory since losing 63-21 against Oklahoma. Quarterback David Ash has bounced back nicely since an awful showing against Kansas, throwing for 628 yards and five touchdowns and no interceptions in his last two games. Freshman running back Johnathan Gray has provided a spark on the ground over the last three contests, while the defense has shown signs of improvement after allowing 63 points to Oklahoma and 50 to Baylor. The Longhorns won’t play again until Thanksgiving night against TCU.
Next Game: TCU (Nov. 22)

4. Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 11 Result: Beat Kansas 41-34
A 41-34 overtime win over Kansas wasn’t pretty. However, a victory is all that matters for Texas Tech. The Red Raiders’ rush defense gave up 390 yards but was bailed out by an offense that was nearly unstoppable through the air. Quarterback Seth Doege threw for 476 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Eric Stephens tossed a three-yard pass for a score in the second overtime. With the Big 12 title out of reach, the next few weeks are all about bowl positioning for Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State

5. Oklahoma State (6-3, 4-2 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 11 Result: Beat West Virginia 55-34
Considering the injuries at quarterback, it’s a credit to Mike Gundy and his staff to have Oklahoma State in a position to potentially finish the 2012 season with nine victories. With Clint Chelf making his first start under center, the Cowboys knocked off West Virginia 55-34. Chelf threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns, with receiver Josh Stewart serving as his favorite target (13 receptions, 172 yards). The defense gave up nearly 500 yards to a potent Mountaineers’ offense but forced two turnovers and picked up three sacks.
Next Game: Texas Tech

6. TCU (6-4, 3-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 11 Result: Lost to Kansas State 23-10
The Horned Frogs did a good job of keeping Kansas State’s Collin Klein in check, but TCU was never able to get its offense on track. The Horned Frogs’ defense seemed to generate pressure on Klein most of the night and forced two turnovers, but the Wildcats’ made just enough plays on offense to pull away for the 23-10 win. TCU gets a much-needed off date this Saturday, especially after playing Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Kansas State in consecutive weeks. The Horned Frogs meet Texas on Thanksgiving night and close out the year against Oklahoma on Dec. 1.
Next Game: at Texas (Thursday)

7. West Virginia (5-4, 2-4 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 11 Result: Lost to Oklahoma State 55-34
A promising start to the season has quickly been forgotten in Morgantown. West Virginia lost its fourth consecutive game with a 55-34 defeat at Oklahoma State in Week 11. The Mountaineers seemed to regain some of its rhythm back on offense against the Cowboys, especially with Stedman Bailey looking closer to 100 percent at receiver. However, the defense continues to be a problem, as West Virginia allowed 55 points for the second time in three games. The Mountaineers take on Oklahoma next week and finish with two games they should be favored in – at Iowa State and Kansas.
Next Game: Oklahoma

8. Iowa State (5-5, 2-5 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 11 Result: Lost to Texas 33-7
Not much went right for the Cyclones in the 33-7 loss to Texas. The offense was stuck in neutral for most of the game, recording only 277 yards against the Longhorns. Texas dominated the time of possession, which kept Iowa State’s defense on the field for nearly 40 minutes. The rush defense wasn’t the only concern for the Cyclones against the Longhorns, as the secondary allowed David Ash to throw for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Iowa State still needs one win to get bowl eligible, which could come in Week 12 against Kansas.
Next Game: at Kansas

9. Baylor (4-5, 1-5 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 11 Result: Lost to Oklahoma 42-34
The Bears gave Oklahoma a tough battle but it wasn’t enough to leave Norman with a victory. The Sooners managed to hold one of the nation’s top passing offenses in check, limiting Nick Florence to only 172 yards on 13 completions. One of the bright spots for Baylor was the play of running back Lache Seastrunk, who recorded 91 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The Bears have three games remaining and need two victories to get bowl eligible. With matchups against Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State remaining, getting to six victories won’t be easy for Baylor.
Next Game: Kansas State

10. Kansas (1-9, 0-7 Big 12)
Last Week: 10
Week 11 Result: Lost to Texas Tech 41-34
Even though the losses are piling up, the Jayhawks deserve credit for not quitting this season. Kansas hung tough in a 41-34 overtime loss to Texas Tech, which was the second defeat in three weeks by less than eight points. The Jayhawks gashed the Red Raiders for 390 rushing yards, but quarterback Michael Cummings was never able to get anything going through the air. Kansas has a nine-game losing streak in 2012 and has lost 19 consecutive Big 12 contests.
Next Game: Iowa State
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content


Big East Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
Pac-12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings
SEC Post-Week 11 Power Rankings

Teaser:
<p> Big 12 Post-Week 11 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, November 12, 2012 - 05:00
All taxonomy terms: Texas Tech Red Raiders, Big 12, News
Path: /news/texas-tech-coach-tommy-tuberville-rips-headset-assistant
Body:

Texas Tech was heavily favored and expected to easily handle Kansas on Saturday afternoon. However, the Jayhawks hung around and gave the Red Raiders all they could handle. 

The frustration clearly showed on the Texas Tech sideline in the third quarter, as coach Tommy Tuberville ripped the headset off of graduate assistant Kevin Oliver after the Red Raiders got a penalty on fourth down. The five-yard setback prevented Texas Tech from going for it on fourth down. 

After the game, Tuberville commented he was trying to grab the coach's shirt since he needed to get off the field. Really? Not sure that explanation really adds up for Tuberville.

Teaser:
<p> Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville Rips Headset Off Assistant</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 21:53
All taxonomy terms: Texas A&M Aggies, SEC, News
Path: /news/texas-ams-johnny-manziel-recovers-own-fumble-and-throws-touchdown-pass
Body:

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has emerged as one of college football's breakout stars this season, leading the Aggies to a huge road win over Alabama on Saturday. Manziel gashed one of the SEC's best defenses for 253 passing yards and two touchdowns, while adding 92 on the ground.

Not only did Manziel play a perfect game, he provided one of Week 11's highlight-worthy moments. On third-and-goal, Manziel stepped up in the pocket to run, yet was hit and lost the ball. However, the redshirt freshman calmly collected the loose ball in the air and tossed a touchdown strike to Ryan Swope.

 

Teaser:
<p> Texas A&amp;M's Johnny Manziel Recovers Fumble and Throws Touchdown Pass</p>
Post date: Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 21:40
All taxonomy terms: Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big Ten, News
Path: /news/nebraska-coach-bo-pelini-has-testy-exchange-safety-daimion-stafford
Body:

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini isn't afraid to get vocal on the sidelines, but the tables were turned on him in Saturday's win over Penn State. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012-2013 Post-Week 11 College Football Bowl Projections

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


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

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

Bold indicates a team has accepted bowl bid.

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Nov. 11, 2012)

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

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

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

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

Five Candidates to Watch if Auburn Fires Gene Chizik

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

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

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

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

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

Related College Football Content

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

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

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

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

Storylines to Watch in Penn State vs. Nebraska

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

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

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

Final Analysis

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

Final Prediction: Nebraska 27, Penn State 24

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

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

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

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

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

Storylines to Watch in Alabama vs. Texas A&M

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

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

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

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

Final Analysis

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

Final Prediction: Alabama 31, Texas A&M 20
 

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

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SEC Week 11 Preview and Predictions
Post-Week 11 Bowl Projections

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat

Post-Week 11 Heisman Contenders

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

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

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

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

What to Watch in Florida State vs. Virginia Tech

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

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

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

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

Final Analysis

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

Final Prediction: Florida State 27, Virginia Tech 17
 

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 11 Preview and Predictions

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

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

Other Week 11 Previews and Predictions

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

ACC's Top Storylines for Week 11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week 11 ACC Predictions

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


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


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

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

College Football Week 11 Upset Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related College Football Content

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

Big Ten Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Big 12 Week 11 Preview and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 11 Preview and Predictions

SEC Week 11 Preview and Predictions

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

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

 

Joe DiSalvo (@theCFFsite)

Quarterback

Ryan Nassib, Syracuse vs Louisville

Kain Colter, Northwestern at Michigan

Kawaun Jakes, Western Kentucky vs Florida Atlantic

Cody Vaz, Oregon St at Stanford

Eric Soza, UTSA vs McNeese St

 

Running Backs

Dareyon Chance, Western Michigan at Buffalo

Jai Steib, Memphis vs Tulane

Ray Holley, LA Tech at Texas St

Jeremy Hill, LSU vs Mississippi St

Johnathan Gray, Texas vs Iowa St

                 

Receivers

Alec Lemon, Syracuse vs Louisville

JD McKissic, Arkansas St vs LA-Monroe

William Dukes, FAU at Western Kentucky

Jerrod Dillard, Akron vs UMass

 

For Start/Bench advice from Joe DiSalvo, send an email to[email protected]

 

Steven Lassan(@AthlonSteven)

Quarterback

Jeff Driskel, Florida vs Louisiana

David Fales, San Jose St at New Mexico St

Dalton Williams, Akron at UMass

 

Running Backs

Dareyon Chance, Western Michigan at Buffalo

Theo Riddick, Notre Dame at Boston College

Kenny Williams, Texas Tech vs Kansas
 

Receivers

Ryan Grant, Tulane at Memphis

Erik Highsmith, North Carolina vs Georgia Tech

Josh Stewart, Oklahoma St vs West Virginia

Teaser:
<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 11 Emergency Starters</p>
Post date: Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 04:48
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-using-vegas-odds-determine-best-week-11-plays
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In the world of fantasy football, some team owners are relentless in their search for information that will give them a competitive edge over their competition.  Others just simply rely on projections from so-called experts, who try to convince everyone they have devised a computer program that accurately projects player stats by using a scientific formula so complicated that it makes the Drake equation seem elementary.  Eventually, those computer-driven computations prove no more accurate than an old-fashioned gut feeling.  However, in a quest to find a formula for fantasy success, one should just ask the question, “What are the odds?”

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

Week 11

 

Best Fantasy Matchups(Games with the most fantasy potential)

Baylor at Oklahoma

Line:  Oklahoma -21(O/U-77)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oklahoma 49-28

Best plays:

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

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

Also consider:

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

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

theCFFsite projects:  Oklahoma 42-28

 

West Virginia at Oklahoma St

Line:  West Virginia -7.5(O/U79)

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

Best plays:

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

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

Also consider:

Oklahoma St (QBs-Wes Lunt or Clint Chelf)

West Virginia (RB-Andrew Buie)

theCFFsite projects:  West Virginia 34-31

 

Marshall at UAB

Line:  Marshall -3(O/U-74.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Marshall 39-36

Best plays:

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

UAB (RB-Darrin Reaves)

Also consider:

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

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

theCFFsite projects:  Marshall 38-24
 


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

Maryland at Clemson

Line:  Clemson -31.5(O/U-55)

Projected score based on point spread:  Clemson 44-12

Stay away from:

Maryland (RB-Wes Brown)

theCFFsite projects:  Clemson 45-14

 

Louisiana at Florida

Line:  Florida -26(O/U-50.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Florida 39-12

Stay away from:

Louisiana (QB-Terrance Broadway)

theCFFsite projects:  Florida 38-10

 

Idaho at BYU

Line:  BYU -38(O/U-49)

Projected score based on point spread:  BYU 44-5

Stay away from:

Idaho (WR-Mike Scott)

theCFFsite projects:  BYU 42-7

 

Must Watch Games(The games with the biggest headlines)

Texas A&M at Alabama

Line:  Alabama -13.5(O/U-56.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Alabama 35-31

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

theCFFsite projects:  Alabama 38-24

 

theCFFsite in Must Watch games:

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

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


by Joe DiSalvo, thecffsite.com

Find us on facebook

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Email us:   [email protected]

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

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

Start

Ryan Griffin, QB-Tulane at Memphis

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

Dalton Williams, QB-Akron vs Massachusetts

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

Ray Graham, RB-Pitt at UConn

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

Montel Harris, RB-Templevs Cincinnati

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

Zurlon Tipton, RB-Central Michigan @ Eastern Michigan

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

Jamaal Williams, RB-BYU vs Idaho

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

John White, RB-Utah at Washington

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

David Oku, RB-Arkansas St vs LA-Monroe

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

Keenan Reynolds, QB-Navy at Troy

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

Bench

Terrance Broadway, QB-Louisiana at Florida

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

Johnny Manziel, QB-Texas A&M at Alabama

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

Trevone Boykin, QB-TCU vs Kansas St

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

Andrew Buie, RB-West Virginiaat Oklahoma St

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

LaDarius Perkins, RB-Mississippi St at LSU

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

Zac Stacy, RB-Vanderbilt at Ole Miss

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

Alex Amidon, WR-Boston College vs Notre Dame

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

 

For Start/Bench advice from Joe DiSalvo, send an email to[email protected]

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven


Related College Football Content

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

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

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

Who Should Kentucky Hire to Replace Joker Phillips?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related College Football Content

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

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

Should Miami Self-Impose a Bowl Ban for 2012?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012-2013 Post-Week 10 College Football Bowl Projections

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


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

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

Bold indicates a team has accepted bowl bid.

by Steven Lassan

@athlonsteven

(published Nov. 4, 2012)

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College Football Week 10 Recap

Teaser:
<p> College Football Post-Week 10 Bowl Projections</p>
Post date: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 05:11

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