Articles By Steven Lassan

Path: /college-football/urban-meyer-says-braxton-miller-will-return-ohio-state-2015
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Braxton Miller’s future at Ohio State has been a hot topic since the end of the 2014 season. But according to coach Urban Meyer, Miller will be playing for the Buckeyes in 2015. 

 

Meyer told reporters on Friday that Miller is “playing for Ohio State this fall.”

 

Additionally, Meyer mentioned Miller’s rehab is going well from shoulder surgery and is now throwing 35-yard passes.

 

Ohio State has three proven quarterbacks entering fall practice and plenty of uncertainty about which passer takes the first snap.

 

Here’s a quick take on each quarterback:

 

Cardale Jones

Jones entered the year as the third-string quarterback but finished as the team’s No. 1 after injuries to Miller and J.T. Barrett. Jones guided Ohio State to the national championship and was the only healthy quarterback out of this trio in the spring. He should be the favorite to take the first snap.

 

Braxton Miller

With Meyer’s comments on Friday, it’s safe to assume Miller will be back at Ohio State for 2015. Returning from a shoulder injury is no easy task for a quarterback. Could he play another position in 2015?

 

J.T. Barrett

Before suffering a season-ending leg injury against Michigan, Barrett threw for 34 touchdowns and 2,834 yards. There’s a lot of upside with Barrett, and he could work as the team’s No. 2 quarterback if Miller shifts to a different position. Assuming Barrett is at full strength, he should see playing time in 2015.

Teaser:
Urban Meyer Says Braxton Miller Will Return to Ohio State in 2015
Post date: Friday, May 29, 2015 - 12:31
All taxonomy terms: Baylor Bears, College Football, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/baylor-unveils-new-gray-uniforms-2015
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Art Briles has transformed Baylor into one of college football’s top programs in recent years, and the Bears are expected to be one of the leading contenders for a spot in the four-team playoff this season.

 

And in the process of competing for the Big 12 title once again, Baylor will have a new set of gray uniforms for 2015.

 

The uniforms were tweeted by Briles on Friday morning and are a sharp design for the Bears. Needless to say, we like this scheme for Baylor:

 

Teaser:
Baylor Unveils New Gray Uniforms for 2015
Post date: Friday, May 29, 2015 - 12:10
Path: /college-football/ranking-college-footballs-graduate-transfer-qbs-2015
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Transfers are a big part of any college football season. And over the last few seasons, graduate transfers have become a bigger part of the offseason player movement landscape.

 

However, taking a transfer (graduate or four-year) isn’t necessarily a recipe for success. Graduate transfer quarterbacks were a mixed bag of success in 2014, as Cody Sokol (Louisiana Tech), Tyler Murphy (Boston College), Jameill Showers (UTEP), Andrew Hendrix (Miami, Ohio) and Blake Frohnapfel (UMass) turned in solid seasons. However, on the other side, Jake Heaps (Miami), Matt Joeckel (TCU), Brandon Connette (Fresno State), Jake Coker (Alabama) and Stephen Rivers (Vanderbilt) didn’t have much of an impact. And some quarterbacks (Virginia Tech’s Michael Brewer) fall into the wait and see category.

 

Just because a team lands a transfer doesn’t equal success for the upcoming year. However, graduate transfer quarterbacks can have an instant impact for teams needing a new starter under center. How do the 12 graduate transfer quarterbacks stack up for 2015? Here’s a ranking of the passers based upon likely impact.

 

Note: This only includes quarterbacks landing at a new team for 2015.

 

Ranking College Football’s Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015

 

1. Vernon Adams, Oregon (from Eastern Washington)

 

Marcus Mariota leaves big shoes to fill in Eugene. Regardless of whether Adams or Jeff Lockie gets the nod under center, the Ducks will have a hard time replicating Mariota’s production in 2015. But even if there’s a slight drop in performance, Oregon’s offense is still going to be among the best in the nation. Adams was a dynamic player at Eastern Washington, throwing for 10,438 yards and 110 touchdowns and adding 1,232 yards and 11 scores on the ground. It may take Adams a few games to adjust, but he has the talent to rank among the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks by the end of 2015.

 

Related: Oregon Ranks No. 8 in Athlon's Top 25 for 2015

 

2. Everett Golson, Florida State (from Notre Dame)

 

Jimbo Fisher is three-for-three in starting quarterbacks at Florida State going in the first round of the NFL Draft. Golson probably won’t extend that streak to four, but the South Carolina native is a key addition as the Seminoles continue the process of replacing Jameis Winston this fall. Golson threw for 5,850 yards and 41 touchdowns and added 14 rushing scores during his two-year stint as Notre Dame’s starting quarterback. Sean Maguire has the edge in experience in Florida State’s offense, but Golson is already a proven quarterback on the Power 5 Conference/FBS level. 

 

Related: Florida State Ranks No. 9 in Athlon's Top 25 for 2015

 

3. Jake Rudock, Michigan (from Iowa)

 

Jim Harbaugh’s arrival should help Michigan’s offense take a step forward in 2015. The Wolverines can only go up after averaging only 20.9 points per game in 2014, and there’s a clear identity and direction now with Harbaugh at the helm. Rudock is a rare intra-conference transfer, as he left Iowa to use his final season of eligibility in Ann Arbor. The Florida native threw for 4,819 yards and 34 scores with the Hawkeyes and should start over Shane Morris in 2015.

 

Related: Jim Harbaugh is the No. 1 Coaching Hire for 2015

 

4. Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech (from Florida)

 

Louisiana Tech went the graduate transfer route last year and had success with former Iowa passer Cody Sokol. Driskel was regarded as a five-star recruit in the 2011 signing class and finished his Florida career with 3,411 passing yards and 23 scores. He also rushed for 552 yards and 23 touchdowns in four seasons of playing time with the Gators. Driskel didn’t quite match his recruiting hype at Florida, but he’s landed in a good situation at Louisiana Tech for the 2015 season.

 

5. Maxwell Smith, San Diego State (from Kentucky)

 

Shoulder injuries sidelined Smith’s career at Kentucky, but the California native has a good opportunity to thrive at San Diego State in 2015. In three years with the Wildcats, Smith threw for 3,070 yards and 21 scores to just nine interceptions. The senior finished spring at the top of San Diego State’s quarterback depth chart.

Related: San Diego State Ranks No. 68 in Athlon's 2015 College Football Rankings

 

6. Nathan Peterman, Pittsburgh (from Tennessee)

 

Chad Voytik was solid in his first full year as the starter in 2014, throwing for 2,233 yards and 16 scores to just seven interceptions. He also rushed for 466 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. Peterman transferred to Pittsburgh after three years at Tennessee and was recruited by Panthers’ offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to Knoxville in 2012. Peterman’s familiarity in this scheme should help, but Voytik has the edge to start.

 

7. Daxx Garman, Maryland (from Oklahoma State)

 

Maryland is the third stop in Garman’s collegiate career. The Texas native redshirted in his only season at Arizona (2011) and spent the next three years at Oklahoma State. Garman played in nine games for the Cowboys in 2014, throwing for 2,041 yards and 12 scores. Garman has a strong arm and connected on 19 passing plays of 30 yards or more last season. With likely starter Caleb Rowe returning from injury, Garman is a good backup plan for coach Randy Edsall.

Related: Maryland Ranks No. 57 in Athlon's 2015 College Football Rankings

 

8. Adam Schulz, Houston (from Utah)

 

New coach Tom Herman should feel good about his starter (Greg Ward), but Schulz is a nice insurance option. The Wisconsin native played in eight games at Utah and started three contests in 2013. Schulz threw for 1,008 yards and six scores that season, including a 347-yard performance against Washington State.

 

Related: Houston Ranks No. 50 in Athlon's 2015 College Football Rankings

 

9. Trey Anderson, FIU (from Pittsburgh)

 

FIU’s offense is looking for a spark after ranking 98th nationally in scoring last year. Youth at the quarterback spot had a lot to do with the offensive woes, but there’s hope for improvement with Alex McGough having another offseason under his belt. Anderson played in eight games during his Pittsburgh career and completed 25 of 53 passes for 263 yards and one touchdown to three interceptions.

 

10. Greyson Lambert, Virginia to ?

 

Lambert could move a few spots up on this list depending on his transfer destination. In two years with the Cavaliers, he threw for 1,972 yards and 11 touchdowns but also tossed 13 interceptions and completed 55.7 percent of his throws. Lambert started nine of Virginia’s 12 games in 2014.

 

11. Russell Bellomy, UTSA (from Michigan)

 

Bellomy played sparingly in his Michigan career and made only one appearance in 2014. The Texas native was a three-star recruit coming out of high school and will compete with Blake Bogenschutz and Austin Robinson for the starting job. Bellomy is a dual-threat option for coordinator Kevin Brown.

 

12. Josh Grady, Florida (from Vanderbilt)

 

Grady completed only 3 of 7 pass attempts for 27 yards during his three years of playing time at Vanderbilt. The Florida native also received snaps at receiver and finished his career in Nashville with seven catches for 89 yards. The Gators need depth at the quarterback spot, and first-year coach Jim McElwain plans to use the Florida native under center – and not at receiver – in 2015. Grady is likely slated to be the No. 3 quarterback for McElwain this year.

Teaser:
Ranking College Football's Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015
Post date: Friday, May 29, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/sec-win-total-projections-2015
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The 2015 college football season is still a few months away. However, the news cycle never stops, and there’s plenty to keep the conversation going this summer.

 

Athlon Sports is counting down its rankings for 2015, while 5Dimes Sportsbook has released some early win total over/under odds for the upcoming season.

 

5Dimes’ win totals featured some interesting projections for Auburn, Tennessee and Alabama. Auburn was only 8.5, while the Crimson Tide is listed at 9.5 on the sportsbook.

 

With the win totals released, Athlon Sports is taking a look at all 14 of the SEC teams and whether we would take the over, under or push on the projections for 2015.

 

SEC Win Total Projections: Over, Under or Push

 

East Division

 

Florida: 7.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

Jim McElwain alone adds a win or two for this offense, and this team was WAY closer to winning the East than folks remember last year.

 

Steven Lassan: Under

I like the Jim McElwain hire, and the defense should be strong once again. However, the offensive line is a major issue, and a redshirt freshman (Will Grier) is likely to start at quarterback.

 

Mitch Light: Under

The defense should be stout, but there are too many issues on offense to expect this team to contend in the East.

 

Georgia: 9

 

Braden Gall: Over

The Dawgs are the clear-cut frontrunner in the East and get a bunch of big games at home. This is the most complete team in the easier division.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

The passing game is still a question mark, but the Bulldogs have the best backfield and one of the top defenses in the SEC. Outside of games against Alabama and Auburn, I don’t see a loss on this schedule.

 

Mitch Light: Over

The conference schedule is very tough — Georgia plays both Alabama and Auburn — but Mark Richt has the most complete team in the SEC.

 

Related: Georgia's Nick Chubb is the SEC's Top Running Back for 2015

 

Kentucky: 6

 

Braden Gall: Under

This team is improving under Coach Stoops, and Patrick Towles could will them to a push. But I'm going under with that schedule.

 

Steven Lassan: Push

I might be too optimistic on Kentucky, but a bowl seems reasonable for the Wildcats in 2015. Boom Williams is a breakout candidate at running back, and the talent level has improved on the recruiting trail. The finale against Louisville could be a must-win game to get to six.

 

Mitch Light: Over

Mark Stoops talented young core is a year older and should break through with the school’s first winning season since 2009.

 

Missouri: 7.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

When in doubt, take the over with Gary Pinkel. The defensive line is starting to become a concern, but Maty Mauk should improve and keep the Tigers in the East race.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

Never count out Missouri in the SEC East under Gary Pinkel’s watch. While I don’t think this team will win the division again, reaching eight wins is reasonable – if quarterback Maty Mauk plays better in SEC games.

 

Mitch Light: Under

We’ve been wrong about Missouri in the past, but this could be the year the Tigers take a step back in the East.

 

South Carolina: 7

 

Braden Gall: Push

Run as far away from this one as possible. South Carolina should be better on defense but is lacking in star power.

 

Steven Lassan: Push

South Carolina’s defense can’t be any worse than it was in 2014. That’s the good news. The bad news? There’s uncertainty at quarterback, two key starters gone from the offensive line and a lack of proven receivers outside of Pharoh Cooper. Additionally, crossover games against LSU and Texas A&M are tough.

 

Mitch Light: Push

Other than Pharoh Cooper, the Gamecocks don’t have many (or any) difference makers on offense.

 

Tennessee: 7.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

There are some key swing games — Oklahoma, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri — that could result in a push. I think they get over the hump in one of those.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

Tennessee is Georgia’s top challenger in the East. Yes, the schedule is tough, but the talent level is improving, Josh Dobbs is back for a full year under center, and the defense is trending up.

 

Mitch Light: Over

The Vols boast some of the top young talent in the league. As long as Josh Dobbs stays healthy, this is an eight-win team.

 

Related: Tennessee Ranks No. 22 in Athlon's Top 25 for 2015

 

Vanderbilt: 3

 

Braden Gall: Over

There aren't a lot of wins there but this defense should be legit. One SEC win gets you the over.

 

Steven Lassan: Push

The Commodores will be better in coach Derek Mason’s second season. But games against Western Kentucky and Houston aren’t guaranteed wins, and it’s tough to find a win in SEC play.

 

Mitch Light: Over

The Commodores’ non-conference schedule is tricky, but Derek Mason’s club will find a way to win at least four games.

 

West Division

 

Alabama: 9.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

This may not be a national title-type team at Bama but losing three times in the regular season seems highly unlikely with that talent and Nick Saban calling the shots.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

Alabama has won at least 10 games in each of the last seven seasons. There are some concerns – quarterback, receiving corps and secondary – but the Crimson Tide isn’t short on talent. Nick Saban will keep this team among the nation’s best in 2015.

 

Mitch Light: Over

This is far from a perfect team, but Alabama still has fewer weaknesses than 99 percent of the teams in the nation.

 

Related: Alabama Ranks No. 2 in Athlon's Top 25 for 2015

 

Arkansas: 8.5

 

Braden Gall: Under

I love what Bret Bielema has done and this team will be in every game it plays. But it needs balance against an elite schedule to win nine games.

 

Steven Lassan: Under

This is one of the toughest picks on the board. Arkansas is due for better luck in close games and has two swing contests against Tennessee and Missouri from the East. If Dan Enos helps the passing attack improve, the Razorbacks could hit nine victories.

 

Mitch Light: Under

The Hogs are a top-20 team, but a brutal schedule will prevent them from winning nine or 10 games.

 

Related: Arkansas Ranks No. 16 in Athlon's Top 25 for 2015

 

Auburn: 8.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

Take the over and run. This is the best bet on this SEC board. Athlon Sports has the Tigers making the playoff, so 11 wins is essentially a must for that to happen. And it could easily.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

Easiest pick among the SEC teams. Take the over. Auburn is due to rebound back into the national title conversation this year. The offense is explosive behind quarterback Jeremy Johnson, and the defense will improve with Will Muschamp calling the plays.

 

Mitch Light: Over

The Auburn offense, led by QB Jeremy Johnson, will be explosive. This is a legitimate national title contender.

 

LSU: 8

 

Braden Gall: Under

Like Carolina in the East, there are just too many questions to bet on LSU in anyway. I'd punt this one with anything from six to 10 wins possible for the Tigers.

 

Steven Lassan: Push

LSU is the hardest team to figure out in the SEC this season. Talent isn’t the issue, but there’s massive uncertainty at quarterback and a new scheme (and personnel concerns) on defense. If all of the pieces fall into place, the Tigers could finish 9-3 or 10-2. However, matching last year’s win total seems more realistic.

 

Mitch Light: Push

It wouldn’t surprise me if this team went 10–2 or 6–6. Let’s split the difference.

 

Mississippi State: 7

 

Braden Gall: Over

They may not finish in the top half of the West but last place could easily win seven games. I'll give Dak Prescott credit for one extra win somewhere.

 

Steven Lassan: Push

Another tough call. Mississippi State is losing a lot, but there’s also talent waiting to step into the lineup. The Bulldogs will get better as the season goes along, and senior quarterback Dak Prescott could pull off an upset late in the year to push Mississippi State to eight wins.

 

Mitch Light: Push

The Bulldogs have a star at quarterback in Dak Prescott but suffered heavy personnel losses elsewhere.

 

Related: Mississippi State Ranks No. 21 in Athlon's Top 25 for 2015

 

Ole Miss: 8.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

This team is a QB away from being a national title contender and still could be without one. The Rebels are closer to Bama/Auburn territory than LSU.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

Even with the losses in the secondary, Ole Miss should have one of the nation’s top defenses. While the quarterback spot and rushing attack is a concern, the talent at receiver is better, and the offensive line is improving. I think Ole Miss could go 10-2 in 2015.

 

Mitch Light: Over

The Rebels are my sleeper pick to flirt with a spot in the College Football Playoff.

 

Texas A&M: 7.5

 

Braden Gall: Over

There is a lot of upside here in terms of talent and coaching. However, it's very young or new to campus. If I had to bet, I'd take the over but I'd stay away from the volatile Aggies.

 

Steven Lassan: Over

One team is going to exceed preseason expectations in the West. Texas A&M is a good sleeper pick, as the Aggies are dynamic once again on offense, and the defense will be better under John Chavis. A crossover schedule with Vanderbilt and South Carolina certainly helps.

 

Mitch Light: Under

The Aggies are loaded with talent, but do the math: Not every team can win eight in the SEC West. 

 

Related: Texas A&M's Kyle Allen Ranks No. 4 Among SEC QBs for 2015

 

 

Teaser:
SEC Win Total Projections for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 11:30
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-25-offensive-triplets-2015
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Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers are glamour positions in college football. While offensive linemen and defensive players are just as important to winning a title, it’s no secret the skill players and quarterbacks grab the attention and headlines. With that in mind, Athlon has ranked the top 25 triplets in college football for the 2015 season.

 

How did we compile the rankings? Ranking the trios by conference is the first step, and we used a formula by assigning points to the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers ranked within each league. It’s important to weigh talent, production against Power 5 opponents, overall balance among the three players and projection for the 2015 season.

 

By Conference: ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten | Pac-12 | SEC

 

College Football's Top 25 Offensive Triplets for 2015
 
1. Ohio State

QB: Cardale Jones 

RB: Ezekiel Elliott 

WR: Michael Thomas 
 

Regardless of who starts under center for coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have one of the nation’s best trios. Jones is penciled in as the starter at quarterback after guiding Ohio State to a 3-0 record and a national championship in his short tenure under center. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 696 yards over the final three games of last year, and Thomas led all Ohio State receivers with 54 catches in 2014.

Related: Urban Meyer Ranks No. 1 Among Big Ten Coaches for 2015

 

2. Auburn

QB: Jeremy Johnson 

RB: Jovon Robinson 

WR: Duke Williams 

 

Gus Malzahn’s offense has averaged over 30 points per game in back-to-back seasons in SEC contests. The 2015 version of Auburn’s offense will be just as explosive, as quarterback Jeremy Johnson is a rising star, and there’s no shortage of skill talent, including All-America candidate at receiver Duke Williams.

 

Related: Auburn's Gus Malzahn Ranks as the SEC's No. 2 Coach in 2015

 

3. Baylor

QB: Seth Russell

RB: Shock Linwood 

WR: Corey Coleman 
 

Baylor has averaged over 40 points a game in four consecutive seasons. Good luck stopping the Bears in 2015. Even with quarterback Bryce Petty expiring his eligibility, Baylor is loaded with offensive talent. Russell has played well in limited action, and coach Art Briles has a strong track record of developing quarterbacks. Shock Linwood rushed for 1,252 yards and 16 scores last season, while the receiving corps is the nation’s best, headlined by Corey Coleman and KD Cannon.

Related: Baylor's Art Briles is the No. 1 Coach in the Big 12

 

4. TCU

QB: Trevone Boykin 

RB: Aaron Green 

WR: Josh Doctson 
 

TCU’s offense showed major improvement under co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie in 2014. After averaging only 25.1 points per game in 2013, the Horned Frogs increased that total to 46.5 last season. Boykin also emerged as one of the nation’s most improved quarterbacks and opens 2015 as one of the favorites to win the Heisman. TCU has a solid crop of playmakers in place, including Aaron Green (7.2 ypc in 2014) and Doctson (11 TD catches).

Related: TCU's Trevone Boykin is the No. 1 QB in the Big 12

 

5. Clemson

QB: Deshaun Watson 

RB: Wayne Gallman 

WR: Artavis Scott 
 

Chad Morris will be missed as Clemson’s play-caller, but the Tigers should still have one of the ACC’s top offenses. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the nation’s rising stars and will be at full strength from a torn ACL by this fall. Scott and Gallman showed promise as freshmen last season and depth is plentiful at running back and receiver.

Related: No. 14 Clemson Tigers 2015 Preview and Prediction
 

6. Arizona

QB: Anu Solomon 
RB: Nick Wilson 
WR: Cayleb Jones 
 

Arizona averaged 33.4 points per game in Pac-12 contests last season, and coach Rich Rodriguez’s offense could be even better in 2015. Quarterback Anu Solomon is returning to full strength after suffering from an ankle injury late in 2014. Wilson and Jones are among the Pac-12’s top playmakers.

 

7. Oregon

QB: Vernon Adams
RB: Royce Freeman 
WR: Byron Marshall
 

Marcus Mariota will be missed, but the Ducks offense should still remain among the Pac-12’s best. Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams replaces Mariota at quarterback, and Oregon’s running back and wide receiving corps are among the best in college football.

Related: Oregon Football Turns the Page from "Emotional" Ending

 

8. USC

QB: Cody Kessler 
RB: Justin Davis 
WR: JuJu Smith 
 

The only thing holding USC back from ranking No. 1 on among Pac-12 schools on this list is the committee approach at running back. Will someone step up as the go-to back in 2015? Cody Kessler ranks as the Pac-12’s best quarterback, and JuJu Smith should have a huge year as the Trojans’ top receiver.

Related: USC's Cody Kessler is the Pac-12's No. 1 QB for 2015

 

9. WKU

QB: Brandon Doughty

RB: Leon Allen

WR: Jared Dangerfield

 

With a loaded group of skill players and prolific senior quarterback Brandon Doughty, the Hilltoppers are the early favorites to win Conference USA. Doughty threw for 49 touchdowns last season and 4,830 yards, while Allen rushed for 1,542 yards on 272 attempts. Dangerfield led the team with 11 receiving scores and caught 69 passes.

 

10. California

QB: Jared Goff 
RB: Daniel Lasco 
WR: Kenny Lawler 
 

The Golden Bears ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 (conference-only games) by averaging 37.6 points per contest last year. Don’t be surprised if that number climbs even higher in 2015, as coach Sonny Dykes has a loaded receiver corps, one of the nation’s rising stars at quarterback in Jared Goff, along with an underrated running back in Daniel Lasco.

 

11. BYU

QB: Taysom Hill

RB: Jamaal Williams

WR: Mitch Mathews

 

BYU’s trio of Hill-Williams-Mathews could be ranked higher, but health is a question mark with two players. Hill missed the last eight games of 2014 due to a leg injury, while Williams suffered a season-ending knee injury in November. Mathews led the team with 73 catches for 922 yards last season.

 

12. Pittsburgh

QB: Chad Voytik 

RB: James Conner 

WR: Tyler Boyd 
 

Pat Narduzzi is known for his defensive acumen, but the first-year coach inherits some of the ACC’s top offensive talent. James Conner (RB) and Tyler Boyd (WR) are two of the nation’s top playmakers at their respective positions. Quarterback Chad Voytik played better in the second half of 2014 by tossing only one interception in his final six games.

Related: Pittsburgh's James Conner Ranks as the ACC's No. 1 RB

 

13. Florida State

QB: Everett Golson 

RB: Dalvin Cook 

WR: Travis Rudolph 
 

Jameis Winston leaves big shoes to fill, but coach Jimbo Fisher is one of the nation’s best quarterback coaches. Sean Maguire started one game last season (Clemson) and finished 2014 with 339 passing yards on 25 completions. However, Everett Golson is transferring to Florida State and is considered by many to be the favorite to take the first snap of 2015. Cook averaged 141.3 rushing yards over the final three games of 2014, while Rudolph caught 38 passes as a true freshman.

Related: Florida State's Jimbo Fisher Ranks as the ACC's No. 1 Coach

 

14. Tennessee

QB: Joshua Dobbs 

RB: Jalen Hurd 

WR: Marquez North 

 

Tennessee is on its way back into SEC East title contention under third-year coach Butch Jones. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs shined in the second half of 2014, and the junior will be surrounded by a young and talented group of skill players. Hurd leads the way in the Volunteers’ backfield, but junior college recruit (and former Alabama running back) Alvin Kamara is a player to watch in 2015. Receiver Marquez North was limited by injuries last season.

 

Related: Tennessee Ranks No. 22 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

 

15. Mississippi State

QB: Dak Prescott 

RB: Ashton Shumpert 

WR: De’Runnya Wilson 

 

Mississippi State returns the SEC’s No. 1 quarterback in senior Dak Prescott. While running back Josh Robinson will be missed, there’s talent in place with Ashton Shumpert and Aeris Williams battling for carries. Wilson averaged 15.3 yards per catch in SEC games last year.

 

Related: Mississippi State Ranks No. 21 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

 

16. Notre Dame

QB: Malik Zaire

RB: Tarean Folston

WR: Will Fuller

 

With Everett Golson transferring to Florida State, this is clearly Zaire’s team. The promising sophomore is a good fit for coach Brian Kelly’s offense but has only 35 career pass attempts. Folston rushed for 889 yards and six touchdowns last year and will be pushed for time by Greg Bryant and C.J. Prosise. Will Fuller (1,094 yards) should be in the mix for All-America honors at receiver in 2015. Zaire’s performance will determine how high this trio rises. 

 

17. Penn State

QB: Christian Hackenberg 

RB: Akeel Lynch

WR: DaeSean Hamilton
 

Ranking Penn State at No. 2 among Big Ten triplets largely depends on how far the offensive line develops during the offseason. The Nittany Lions struggled up front in 2014 and prevented the offense from taking off in coach James Franklin’s first year. Improvement is expected up front, which should allow quarterback Christian Hackenberg to rebound after an up and down 2014 campaign. Akeel Lynch rushed for at least 75 yards in three out of his last four outings, while Hamilton – only a sophomore – is among the Big Ten’s top receivers.

Related: QB Christian Hackenberg Ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten QB Ranks for 2015

 

18. Oklahoma

QB: Baker Mayfield

RB: Samaje Perine 

WR: Sterling Shepard
 

Yes, the Sooners have a new scheme and coordinator (Lincoln Riley), but the offense is still going to rely heavily on one of the nation’s top backfields. Samaje Perine rushed for 1,713 yards and 21 scores as a true freshman in 2014, and he will have plenty of help from Joe Mixon and Alex Ross. Having a healthy Sterling Shepard at receiver should make a difference for new quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Related: Oklahoma Ranks No. 17 in Athlon's 2015 CFB Top 25

 

19. UCLA

QB: Josh Rosen 
RB: Paul Perkins 
WR: Jordan Payton 
 

Uncertainty remains at quarterback with the departure of Brett Hundley, but true freshman Josh Rosen is one of the top recruits in the 2015 signing class. Running back Paul Perkins led the Pac-12 with 1,575 rushing yards last season, and receiver Jordan Payton averaged 14.3 yards per reception in conference games.

 

20. Arizona State

QB: Mike Bercovici 
RB: Demario Richard 
WR: D.J. Foster 
 

The Sun Devils have a balanced trio and could easily climb this list by the end of 2015. Bercovici has played well in limited action, and Richard is set to have a breakout year as Arizona State’s No. 1 running back. D.J. Foster will slide from running back to receiver to replace the production lost by Jaelen Strong.

Related: Arizona State's Todd Graham Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 Coach for 2015

 

21. Western Michigan

QB: Zach Terrell

RB: Jarvion Franklin

WR: Corey Davis

 

This trio anchored one of the nation’s most improved teams in 2014. Franklin rushed for 1,551 yards and 24 scores as a true freshman, and Davis was one of the nation’s top big-play threats at receiver by averaging 18.1 yards per catch. Terrell threw for 26 touchdowns and completed 67.9 percent of his throws in his first full year as Western Michigan’s starter.

 

22. Texas Tech

QB: Patrick Mahomes

RB: DeAndre Washington

WR: Jakeem Grant

 

Offense is always a strength for Texas Tech, and the Red Raiders are loaded with talent for 2015. Patrick Mahomes is likely to start over Davis Webb, and the sophomore should improve off a solid stat line as a freshman (1,547 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs). DeAndre Washington was the first 1,000-yard rusher in Lubbock since 1998. Jakeem Grant led the team in receptions and receiving yards last year.

 

23. Arkansas

QB: Brandon Allen

RB: Jonathan Williams

WR: Keon Hatcher

 

The Razorbacks improved their scoring average by 11.2 points per game from 2013 to 2014. Expect this unit to take another step forward under new coordinator Dan Enos, as Arkansas returns an experienced quarterback in Brandon Allen and the nation’s top running back duo in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams.

 

24. Bowling Green

QB: Matt Johnson

RB: Travis Greene

WR: Roger Lewis

 

Second-year coach Dino Babers wants to install a “Falcon Fast” offense in Bowling Green, and the Falcons averaged 30 points per game in 2014 despite losing quarterback Matt Johnson to an injury in Week 1. Johnson is back in 2015, and the offense is loaded with proven playmakers at running back and receiver. Greene rushed for 949 yards in 2014, while Lewis ranked third among MAC receivers with 1,093 yards.

 

25. Cincinnati

QB: Gunner Kiel

RB: Mike Boone

WR: Mekale McKay

 

Kiel battled injuries last season but still threw for 3,254 yards and 31 scores in his first year as Cincinnati’s starting quarterback. The Notre Dame transfer will have plenty of playmakers at his disposal at receiver, and the backfield is set with Mike Boone (650 yards as a freshman), along with Hosey Williams returning from injury. 

 

Just Missing the Top 25: Georgia, Texas A&M, Miami, Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois, North Carolina, NC State, Boise State, Utah State, Toledo, Arkansas State, Appalachian State

Teaser:
College Football's Top 25 Offensive Triplets for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/ole-miss-wr-laquon-treadwell-running-routes-again
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A video posted by @successfulquon on

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, May 22, 2015 - 13:03
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Miami Hurricanes, News
Path: /college-football/miami-provides-depth-look-recruiting-war-room-video
Body:

Recruiting is the backbone of any college football program. Every coaching staff spends hours evaluating tape and discussing programs, but recruiting is still an inexact science.

 

And thanks to Miami, we have a pretty good look at what goes on inside the war room at programs while discussing the top prospects.

 

In this video released by the school, the coaching staff is discussing whether or not to offer a prospect that plays safety.

 

There’s some interesting discussion about what it takes to play the position, whether or not elite speed is needed and some of the ins and outs about what Miami looks for in terms of talent.

 

Check out this awesome video going inside the Canes recruiting war room:

Teaser:
Miami Provides In-Depth Look at Recruiting War Room (Video)
Post date: Friday, May 22, 2015 - 12:23
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-tens-offensive-triplets-2015
Body:

The Big Ten is known for possessing some of the nation’s top defenses, but this conference isn’t short on offensive talent for 2015. The Big Ten has three potential first-round picks at quarterback in next year’s draft. Cardale Jones is expected to start over Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett at Ohio State, while Michigan State’s Connor Cook is back for his third year under center, and Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg should improve under second-year coach James Franklin. Additionally, Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott is a Heisman frontrunner, and Corey Clement should be a capable replacement for Melvin Gordon at running back.

 

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 14 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 14 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position.


Ranking the Big Ten’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

 

1. Ohio State

Total Points: 40

QB: Cardale Jones (1)

RB: Ezekiel Elliott (1)

WR: Michael Thomas (3)
 

Regardless of who starts under center for coach Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have one of the nation’s best trios. Jones is penciled in as the starter at quarterback after guiding Ohio State to a 3-0 record and a national championship in his short tenure under center. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 696 yards over the final three games of last year, and Thomas led all Ohio State receivers with 54 catches in 2014.

Related: Urban Meyer Ranks No. 1 Among Big Ten Coaches for 2015

 

2. Penn State

Total Points: 35

QB: Christian Hackenberg (3)

RB: Akeel Lynch (5)

WR: DaeSean Hamilton (2)
 

Ranking Penn State at No. 2 in Big Ten triplets largely depends on how far the offensive line develops during the offseason. The Nittany Lions struggled up front in 2014 and prevented the offense from taking off in coach James Franklin’s first year. Improvement is expected up front, which should allow quarterback Christian Hackenberg to rebound after an up and down 2014 campaign. Akeel Lynch rushed for at least 75 yards in three out of his last four outings, while Hamilton – only a sophomore – is among the Big Ten’s top receivers.

Related: QB Christian Hackenberg Ranks No. 3 in the Big Ten QB Ranks for 2015

 

3. Nebraska

Total Points: 29

QB: Tommy Armstrong (5)

RB: Terrell Newby (7)

WR: De’Mornay Pierson-El (4)
 

Adapting to new coach Mike Riley’s pro-style offense will be the biggest challenge for the Cornhuskers in 2015. However, the pieces are in place for Nebraska to rank among the Big Ten’s best offenses. Armstrong threw for 2,695 yards and 22 scores last season and has one of the top receiving corps in the Big Ten with Jordan Westerkamp and all-around threat De’Mornay Pierson-El. Terrell Newby and Imani Cross will replace Ameer Abdullah’s production at running back.

Related: Where Does Mike Riley Rank Among Big Ten Coaches?

 

4. Wisconsin

Total Points: 29

QB: Joel Stave (9)

RB: Corey Clement (2)

WR: Alex Erickson (5)
 

Don’t expect much in the way of change for Wisconsin’s offense under new coach Paul Chryst. The former offensive coordinator for the Badgers is back in Madison after a three-year stint as Pittsburgh’s coach. Corey Clement should be a capable replacement for running back Melvin Gordon. However, question marks remain about quarterback Joel Stave and the options at receiver beyond Alex Erickson.

Related: Wisconsin's Corey Clement Ranks as the No. 2 Big Ten RB for 2015

 

5. Illinois

Total Points: 28

QB: Wes Lunt (4)

RB: Josh Ferguson (6)

WR: Geronimo Allison (7)
 

The Fighting Illini have plenty of offensive firepower in place, and this trio could rank higher if receiver Mike Dudek wasn’t lost for an indefinite period of time with a torn ACL. Lunt was off to a good start last season before a leg injury limited him to just eight games. Ferguson has rushed for 700 yards in back-to-back years and has 100 receptions in that span.

 

6. Michigan State

Total Points: 23

QB: Connor Cook (2)

RB: Madre London (12)

WR: Aaron Burbridge (8)
 

If the Spartans had proven No. 1 starters at running back and receiver, they would rank much higher on this list. Madre London is listed at running back here, but Delton Williams, LJ Scott and Gerald Holmes will be in the mix for carries. Connor Cook is one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, and the senior needs Aaron Burbridge and DeAnthony Arnett to step up in 2015.

 

7. Indiana

Total Points: 22

QB: Nate Sudfeld (6)

RB: Jordan Howard (4)

WR: J-Shun Harris (13)
 

Kevin Wilson’s specialty is offense, and the Hoosiers should take a step forward on the stat sheet after quarterback Nate Sudfeld missed a chunk of 2014 due to a shoulder injury. Sudfeld was ready to join the ranks of the Big Ten’s best at quarterback in 2013, throwing for 2,523 yards and 21 scores. Howard rushed for 1,587 yards at UAB last year and is expected to be the top replacement for Tevin Coleman. Harris is the team’s top returning receiver from 2014 – 18 catches for 168 yards.

 

8. Rutgers

Total Points: 22

QB: Chris Laviano (13)

RB: Paul James (9)

WR: Leonte Carroo (1)
 

The Scarlet Knights have some intriguing offensive weapons in place for the 2015 season. But can new coordinator Ben McDaniels settle on a quarterback? Chris Laviano exited spring with a slight edge on Hayden Rettig for the No. 1 spot. James gets the nod at running back, but sophomores Josh Martin and Robert Hicks are two names to remember. Carroo averaged 19.2 yards per catch in Big Ten games last year.

 

9. Michigan

Total Points: 21

QB: Jake Rudock (7)

RB: Ty Isaac (8)

WR: Amara Darboh (9)
 

There’s little doubt Jim Harbaugh will generate some improvement out of Michigan’s offense in 2015. And if the pieces fall into place, the Wolverines should climb this list during the year. Jake Rudock is eligible immediately after transferring from Iowa and is expected to start over Shane Morris. Ty Isaac and Derrick Green are expected to share carries in the backfield. Amara Darboh will replace Devin Funchess as the No. 1 target in the passing attack.

Related: Jim Harbaugh is the No. 1 Coaching Hire for 2015

 

10. Iowa

Total Points: 19

QB: C.J. Beathard (10)

RB: Jordan Canzeri (10)

WR: Tevaun Smith (6)
 

C.J. Beathard has replaced Jake Rudock as Iowa’s starting quarterback, and the Hawkeyes hope the Tennessee native helps the offense stretch the field more in 2015. Jordan Canzeri headlines a solid stable of running backs, while Tevaun Smith averaged a healthy 13.9 yards per reception in 2014.

 

11. Northwestern

Total Points: 19

QB: Matt Alviti (12)

RB: Justin Jackson (3)

WR: Christian Jones (11)
 

Justin Jackson had a breakout year for the Wildcats in 2014, leading the team with 1,187 yards and 10 rushing scores. Jackson remains the top back for Northwestern and will be among the Big Ten’s best in 2015. The Wildcats will spend fall practice sorting out their quarterback situation, as three candidates – Clayton Thorson, Matt Alviti and Zack Oliver – are vying for the No. 1 spot. Christian Jones is coming off a torn ACL and missed all of 2014.

 

12. Minnesota

Total Points: 12

QB: Mitch Leidner (8)

RB: Rodrick Williams (11)

WR: K.J. Maye (14)
 

Minnesota’s formula for success won’t change with a power rushing attack on offense. David Cobb will be missed, but Rodrick Williams and Rodney Smith should provide plenty of production. The bigger question mark on the Golden Gopher offense is a passing attack that managed only 147.3 yards in Big Ten games last year.

Related: Minnesota's Jerry Kill Ranks No. 5 Among Big Ten Coaches for 2015

 

13. Maryland

Total Points: 9

QB: Caleb Rowe (11)

RB: Brandon Ross (13)

WR: Juwann Winfree (12)
 

There’s a lot of uncertainty for Maryland on both sides of the ball in 2015. A new defensive scheme is the team’s biggest concern, but the Terrapins have to replace quarterback C.J. Brown and dynamic receiver Stefon Diggs. Rowe is recovering from a torn ACL and is expected to return at full strength by this fall. More production is needed from the running backs, while Winfree headlines a receiving corps that lost four out of its top five targets from 2014.

 

14. Purdue

Total Points: 7

QB: Austin Appleby (14)

RB: Keyante Green (14)

WR: Danny Anthrop (10)
 

Finding the right quarterback in coach Darrell Hazell’s biggest priority this offseason. Is Appleby the starter? Or should redshirt freshman David Blough or Danny Etling take the first snap? The concerns on offense extend to the running back spot, but there’s promise with Green and Markell Jones in 2015. Anthrop averaged 16.2 yards per catch last season and could be among the Big Ten’s top receivers. However, he’s also recovering from a torn ACL.

Teaser:
Ranking the Big Ten's Offensive Triplets for 2015
Post date: Friday, May 22, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-post-spring-national-championship-odds-2015
Body:

Spring practice is over for all 128 college football teams, which means it’s a long wait until the teams officially hit the field once again in the fall.

 

But there’s no shortage of college football news, as oddsmaker Bovada has released its updated national championship odds for 2015.

 

And it should be no surprise the Buckeyes open as the favorite at 7/2 odds.

 

A look through the odds shows some intriguing numbers, as Auburn – potentially a co-favorite in the SEC West with Alabama – is 12/1, while the Crimson Tide is a 7/1 favorite.

 

Other teams with favorable odds? How about Baylor at 20/1 or Georgia at 25/1?

 

College Football's Post-Spring National Title Odds
TeamNational Title Odds
Ohio State7/2
Alabama7/1
TCU10/1
Auburn12/1
Florida State12/1
USC18/1
Baylor20/1
Notre Dame20/1
Clemson22/1
Oregon22/1
Georgia25/1
Michigan State25/1
Oklahoma25/1
LSU28/1
UCLA28/1
Stanford33/1
Arkansas40/1
Michigan40/1
Ole Miss40/1
Texas A&M40/1
Tennessee50/1
Arizona State66/1
Florida66/1
Mississippi State66/1
Nebraska66/1
Texas66/1
Miami75/1
Wisconsin75/1
Arizona100/1
Georgia Tech100/1
Louisville100/1
Penn State100/1
South Carolina100/1
Utah100/1
Virginia Tech100/1
Washington100/1
Missouri150/1
Boise State200/1
BYU200/1
Kansas State200/1
Texas Tech200/1
West Virginia250/1
North Carolina300/1
Boston College500/1
California500/1
Cincinnati500/1
Duke500/1
Iowa500/1
Marshall500/1
Maryland500/1
Minnesota500/1
Northwestern500/1
Oregon State500/1
Pittsburgh500/1
Rutgers500/1
USF500/1
UCF500/1
  

 

Teaser:
College Football's Post-Spring National Title Odds for 2015
Post date: Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 14:29
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12s-offensive-triplets-2015
Body:

The Big 12 is known for its offensive firepower, and the league isn’t short on talent at quarterback, running back or receiver for 2015. Baylor and TCU are the favorites to win the league title this year, and both teams appear at the top of the offensive triplet power rankings. The Bears need to find a new quarterback, but there’s a strong track record of finding the next standout passer under Art Briles. The Horned Frogs return one of the nation’s top quarterbacks (Trevone Boykin) and a solid group of running backs and receivers.

 

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 10 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 10 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position.

 

Ranking the Big 12’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

 

1. Baylor

Total Points: 27

QB: Seth Russell (3)

RB: Shock Linwood (2)

WR: Corey Coleman (1)
 

Baylor has averaged over 40 points a game in four consecutive seasons. Good luck stopping the Bears in 2015. Even with quarterback Bryce Petty expiring his eligibility, Baylor is loaded with offensive talent. Russell has played well in limited action, and coach Art Briles has a strong track record of developing quarterbacks. Shock Linwood rushed for 1,252 yards and 16 scores last season, while the receiving corps is the nation’s best, headlined by Corey Coleman and KD Cannon.

Related: Baylor's Art Briles is the No. 1 Coach in the Big 12

 

2. TCU

Total Points: 25

QB: Trevone Boykin (1)

RB: Aaron Green (4)

WR: Josh Doctson (3)
 

TCU’s offense showed major improvement under co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie in 2014. After averaging only 25.1 points per game in 2013, the Horned Frogs increased that total to 46.5 last season. Boykin also emerged as one of the nation’s most improved quarterbacks and opens 2015 as one of the favorites to win the Heisman. TCU has a solid crop of playmakers in place, including Aaron Green (7.2 ypc in 2014) and Doctson (11 TD catches).

Related: TCU's Trevone Boykin is the No. 1 QB in the Big 12

 

3. Oklahoma

Total Points: 25

QB: Baker Mayfield (5)

RB: Samaje Perine (1)

WR: Sterling Shepard (2)
 

Yes, the Sooners have a new scheme and coordinator (Lincoln Riley), but the offense is still going to rely heavily on one of the nation’s top backfields. Samaje Perine rushed for 1,713 yards and 21 scores as a true freshman in 2014, and he will have plenty of help from Joe Mixon and Alex Ross. Having a healthy Sterling Shepard at receiver should make a difference for new quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Related: Oklahoma Ranks No. 17 in Athlon's 2015 CFB Top 25

 

4. Texas Tech

Total Points: 22

QB: Patrick Mahomes (4)

RB: DeAndre Washington (3)

WR: Jakeem Grant (4)
 

Offense is always a strength for Texas Tech, and the Red Raiders are loaded with talent for 2015. Patrick Mahomes is likely to start over Davis Webb, and the sophomore should improve off a solid stat line as a freshman (1,547 yards, 16 TDs, 4 INTs). DeAndre Washington was the first 1,000-yard rusher in Lubbock since 1998. Jakeem Grant led the team in receptions and receiving yards last year.

Related: TTU's De'Andre Washington Ranks No. 3 in Big 12 RB Rankings for 2015

 

5. Oklahoma State

Total Points: 18

QB: Mason Rudolph (2)

RB: Rennie Childs (8)

WR: Brandon Sheperd (5)
 

Oklahoma State’s 27.6 scoring average in 2014 was its first year under 30 points since 2009. The Cowboys should get their offense back on track in 2015, as quarterback Mason Rudolph is one of the rising stars in the Big 12, and there’s no shortage of weapons at receiver. Rennie Childs has the inside track on the starting running back spot. However, junior college recruit Chris Carson is a name to watch.

 

6. West Virginia

Total Points: 14

QB: Skyler Howard (6)

RB: Rushel Shell (6)

WR: Jordan Thompson (7)
 

It’s a safe bet to assume Dana Holgorsen will find the right answers for West Virginia’s offense in 2015. Skyler Howard started the final two games of 2014 and threw for six touchdowns and 631 yards in that span. Although Howard showed promise, he also has to raise his completion percentage after recording a 50.9 mark in 2014. Kevin White will be tough to replace at receiver, and Daikiel Shorts, Thompson and Shelton Gibson are the frontrunners to lead the team in receiving. The running back position is a strength after Rushel Shell rushed for 788 yards in 12 games last year.

 

7. Texas

Total Points: 13

QB: Tyrone Swoopes (7)

RB: Johnathan Gray (5)

WR: Marcus Johnson (8)
 

Don’t expect Texas to rank near the bottom of Big 12 in offense for long. The Longhorns will have more growing pains in 2015, but coach Charlie Strong and coordinator Shawn Watson have this group trending in the right direction. Swoopes and Jerrod Heard are locked into a tight battle for the quarterback job, and regardless of who starts under center, Texas needs to develop a few options at receiver. Johnathan Gray rushed for 636 yards last season and should be better a full year removed from a torn Achilles.

Related: Austin is the No. 1 college town in the Big 12

 

8. Iowa State

Total Points: 9

QB: Sam Richardson (8)

RB: Tyler Brown (10)

WR: Allen Lazard (6)
 

The Cyclones have potential to climb this list by the end of 2015. Sam Richardson was steady in his first year under coordinator Mark Mangino (2,669 yards, 18 TDs), while Allen Lazard or Quenton Bundrage (back from a torn ACL) provide big-play ability at receiver. Running back is the biggest uncertainty, but there’s potential with Tyler Brown or Mike Warren.

 

9. Kansas State

Total Points: 6

QB: Joe Hubener (9)

RB: Charles Jones (9)

WR: Kody Cook (9)
 

It’s tough to count out coach Bill Snyder’s team in the Big 12 title picture, but the Wildcats lost two key offensive standouts in quarterback Jake Waters and receiver Tyler Lockett. Hubener did not start a game at quarterback in high school and will be pushed by true freshman Alex Delton and Jesse Ertz for snaps in 2015.

 

10. Kansas

Total Points: 6

QB: Michael Cummings (10)

RB: Corey Avery (7)

WR: Rodriguez Coleman (10)
 

It’s going to be a long year for new coach David Beaty. Out of the three names mentioned above, it’s uncertain if any will actually play for the Jayhawks in 2015. Cummings suffered a knee injury in the spring game, and Avery and Coleman were both suspended indefinitely. 

Teaser:
Ranking the Big 12's Offensive Triplets for 2015
Post date: Thursday, May 21, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-post-spring-heisman-2015-odds
Body:

The 2015 college football season doesn’t begin until September, but there’s no shortage of news to keep the conversation moving until kickoff.

 

With Everett Golson transferring to Florida State, oddsmakers have shifted the outlook for the Heisman race.

 

Bovada updated its Heisman odds on Wednesday morning to reflect Golson’s transfer, and the former Notre Dame passer is listed at 14/1.

 

Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott tops the list at 6/1, while LSU’s Leonard Fournette checks in at 15/2.

 

Below are the complete list of odds by Bovada (updated after Golson’s transfer), and three names we like that are good buy-low options:

 

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Talented sophomore takes control of Clemson’s high-powered offense.

 

Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn

Auburn is a dark-horse national title contender in 2015.

 

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Should be an All-American in 2015 after an impressive freshman campaign last year.

 

Post-Spring Heisman Odds from Bovada (updated May 20)
Player/Position/TeamOdds
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State6/1
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU15/2
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State8/1
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia8/1
Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU8/1
Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State12/1
Cody Kessler, QB, USC12/1
Everett Golson, QB, Florida State14/1
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama16/1
Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA18/1
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State20/1
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson20/1
Jeremy Johnson, QB, Auburn20/1
Samaje Perine, RB, Oklahoma20/1
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State25/1
J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State28/1
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin33/1
Justin Thomas, QB, Georgia Tech33/1
Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon33/1
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor33/1
Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami40/1
D.J. Foster, RB/WR, Arizona State40/1
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State40/1
James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh40/1
Malik Zaire, QB, Notre Dame40/1
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State40/1
Nick Wilson, RB, Arizona40/1
Taysom Hill, QB, BYU40/1
Jared Goff, QB, California50/1
Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State66/1
Jalen Hurd, RB, Tennessee66/1
Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss66/1
Marquise Williams, QB, North Carolina66/1
Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona66/1

 

Teaser:
College Football's Post-Spring Heisman 2015 Odds
Post date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 13:04
Path: /college-football/nebraska-or-michigan-which-team-has-better-chance-finish-top-25-2015
Body:

Nebraska and Michigan are two of the Big Ten’s most intriguing teams to watch in 2015. Both programs have new coaches guiding the program, as former Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh has returned to Ann Arbor, while Mike Riley was hired to replace Bo Pelini in Lincoln.

 

With the coaching changes at both programs, combined with an intriguing core of talent, the Cornhuskers and Wolverines have potential to finish among the nation’s top 25 teams this season.

 

But which program is more likely to do so? Athlon Sports continues its look at some of the top preseason storylines with a look at Nebraska or Michigan and which is more likely to finish in the top 25. 

 

Nebraska or Michigan: Which Team has a Better Chance to Finish in the Top 25 in 2015?

 

Brent Yarina, (@BTNBrentYarina), BTN.com Senior Editor

Nebraska is my pick. Actually, I’m not sure either will find itself in the top 25 by season’s end, but, if forced to pick one, the Cornhuskers are the safer pick. Being ranked at the bottom of the poll is all about getting to the eight-, nine-win mark, and Nebraska has the talent and schedule to get there. Personnel-wise, I trust Tommy Armstrong, De’Mornay Pierson-El (breakout player alert!), Jordan Westerkamp and the running back committee far more than what Michigan is rolling out there. Also, its Big Ten road games (Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue & Rutgers) are beyond manageable. The home games (Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan State & Iowa) are far more challenging, but Nebraska is 12-4 in Big Ten home games since joining the conference.

 

Joshua Henschke, (@JoshuaHenschke), MaizenBrew.com

I think it all depends on who can get the quarterbacks performing up to snuff the fastest. Both have new offensive schemes with new head coaches. Michigan needs to find an answer at quarterback, wide receiver and running back while Nebraska has Tommy Armstrong but needs a replacement for Ameer Abdullah's absence.

 

I think schedule alone gives the nod to Nebraska, it appears, on paper at least, to be easier. Michigan will need to finish with a strong finish to the season in order to achieve any type of Top 25 standing. Is it possible? Sure, but Michigan has a long way to go. I will have to give the nod to Nebraska right now, Michigan has too many questions that need immediate answers.

 

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)

This is a tough one, as I think both teams have a good shot to finish in the top 25. But if I have to pick one, I would take Nebraska over Michigan. The Wolverines have a tougher path in the East Division with two top-10 teams in Ohio State and Michigan State, along with an improving Penn State squad. Jim Harbaugh is the nation’s top coaching hire for 2015, and Jake Rudock should provide stability at quarterback. But Nebraska’s path to a spot in the final top 25 poll is much easier. The Cornhuskers catch the Spartans in crossover play, but the other game (at Rutgers) in play against the East Division is very manageable. And Nebraska hosts Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa this year – three potential swing games in the West. Sure, there will be a transition period for Nebraska in coach Mike Riley’s first year. However, there’s also a lot to like about this team. If quarterback Tommy Armstrong settles into the new offensive attack, and the defense fills a few voids in the front seven, challenging for the West Division title isn’t out of reach. There’s no doubt Harbaugh is going to have Michigan playing better in 2015. But I like Nebraska to edge the Wolverines in the final rankings and push for a top-25 finish.

Related: Ranking the Big Ten's Coaches for 2015

 

Sammy Jacobs, (@Hoosier_Huddle), HoosierHuddle.com

The Michigan Wolverines and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are two big-time names in the Big Ten who are facing similar circumstances. Both teams will have new head coaches (Jim Harbaugh and Mike Riley) and will have to replace big-time pieces on their offense, for Michigan it is Devin Gardner and Devin Funchess, while Nebraska has to fill the shoes of Ameer Abdullah and Kenny Bell. So who has the better chance at finishing the 2015 season in the Top 25? Well, that would have to be the Cornhuskers. Let me tell you why. I figure it would take either team at least nine wins to crack the Top-25 based on the records of the teams in last year’s final poll. First, let’s look at the schedules. Michigan plays a much tougher non-conference schedule and is in the much harder Big Ten East and plays Ohio State and Michigan State, while Nebraska gets to play both Purdue and Illinois. Michigan will be hard pressed to break the seven win mark as they try and break in a new quarterback Jake Ruddock - assuming he is the starter - and will have to replace a ton of talent on an already struggling offense. It could be difficult for the Huskers to sneak into the top-25 as well, but they do have the better opportunity for that to happen.

 

Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

Can I say both? I'd definitely lean Nebraska over Michigan if I had to pick one, but I think both are really good picks to overachieve their preseason rankings. Both rosters have talent, in particular, on defense. The two biggest differences on the field are the edge Nebraska gets in the scheduling department and in the offensive backfield. Mike Riley should be excellent on the ground with a two-headed rushing attack while Michigan may have not find its rushing identity right away. The Huskers play a significantly easier schedule within the Big Ten. Both play a tough road non-conference game and BYU at home outside of the Big Ten, but the Wolverines league slate is significantly more difficult. That alone gives Nebraska a really good shot at landing in the Big Ten title game while even a great year for Jim Harbaugh likely leads to a second- or third-place finish in the Big Ten East.

Related: Ranking the Big Ten's Quarterbacks for 2015

 

Kevin McGuire (@KevinonCFB), CollegeFootballTalk.comNo 2-Minute Warning 

Michigan fans have every right to be excited about the future of the program with Jim Harbaugh taking control of the Wolverines, but expectations should be slightly scaled back in 2015. A schedule that opens on the road against Utah and includes BYU in non-conference play and later sees a late-season road game at Penn State followed by big, bad Ohio State the following week is not easy, and I did not even mention Michigan State visiting Ann Arbor. The Spartans have owned Michigan in the in-state rivalry lately, and they still seem to have the more well-rounded team heading into the new season.

 

Nebraska must play the Spartans as well, but Nebraska skips Ohio State this year. New head coach Mike Riley also has challenging non-conference match-ups against BYU and at Miami to deal with, but the schedule seems to be more favorable to the Huskers. Nebraska also has a solidified quarterback situation and a returning cast of receivers to keep the offense going while the defense brings back eight starters. Nebraska can afford a slow start more than Harbaugh and the Wolverines can this year.

 

J.P. Scott (@TheJPScott), Athlon Sports Contributor Network

There isn’t much on Michigan's roster that would keep me up at night as an opposing coordinator. They simply don't have the horses to hang with Michigan State or Ohio State and will open as underdogs at Utah.

 

Iowa transfer Jake Rudock provides senior leadership at quarterback, but it’ll be a rebuilding effort for Jim Harbaugh during his first season.

 

On the other hand, Mike Riley inherits the core of a Nebraska team that was two plays from winning 11 games last year. His staff is talented enough to mold the Huskers into his vision quickly. Having arguably the best group of receivers in the Big Ten won’t hurt.

 

The Huskers are good enough to beat every team on their schedule and they’ll likely reach double-digit wins.

 

I’ll take Nebraska.

 

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)

Jim Harbaugh was a home-run hire for Michigan, make no mistake about it, but I actually think first-year Nebraska coach Mike Riley is positioned for more success in Year 1 at his new school. Riley inherits a team that won nine games last season and returns its starting quarterback, along with several other key pieces on both side of the ball. Harbaugh, on the other hand, is in many ways starting over, not only instilling his philosophies and his way of doing things into the program, but also in terms of personnel, especially on offense.

 

Both fanbases should be pretty happy with the new direction their respective programs are heading, but in my opinion the Cornhuskers have the look of a potential top-25 team, while the Wolverines still seem a year away. Don’t forget that defending national champion Ohio State and an extremely talented and well-coached Michigan State team also reside in Michigan’s division, making Harbaugh’s job this season that much tougher.

Teaser:
Nebraska or Michigan: Which Team has a Better Chance to Finish in the Top 25 in 2015?
Post date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 12:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-accs-offensive-triplets-2015
Body:

The ACC is losing some offensive star power with the departure of Florida State’s Jameis Winston and Miami’s Duke Johnson to the NFL. But there’s a talented group of young players ready to step up this season, starting with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson. The sophomore takes control of the Tigers’ high-powered attack and should keep coach Dabo Swinney’s team in the mix to win the ACC. Pittsburgh running back James Conner and receiver Tyler Boyd are two of the best in the nation and will continue to carry the Panthers’ offense in 2015.

 

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 14 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 14 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position.

 

Ranking the ACC’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

 

1. Clemson

Total Points: 36

QB: Deshaun Watson (1)

RB: Wayne Gallman (6)

WR: Artavis Scott (2)
 

Chad Morris will be missed as Clemson’s play-caller, but the Tigers should still have one of the ACC’s top offenses. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the nation’s rising stars and will be at full strength from a torn ACL by this fall. Scott and Gallman showed promise as freshmen last season and depth is plentiful at running back and receiver.

Related: No. 14 Clemson Tigers 2015 Preview and Prediction
 

2. Pittsburgh

Total Points: 36

QB: Chad Voytik (7)

RB: James Conner (1)

WR: Tyler Boyd (1)
 

Pat Narduzzi is known for his defensive acumen, but the first-year coach inherits some of the ACC’s top offensive talent. James Conner (RB) and Tyler Boyd (WR) are two of the nation’s top playmakers at their respective positions. Quarterback Chad Voytik played better in the second half of 2014 by tossing only one interception in his final six games.

Related: Pittsburgh's James Conner Ranks as the ACC's No. 1 RB

 

3. Florida State

Total Points: 34

QB: Everett Golson (6)

RB: Dalvin Cook (2)

WR: Travis Rudolph (3)
 

Jameis Winston leaves big shoes to fill, but coach Jimbo Fisher is one of the nation’s best quarterback coaches. Sean Maguire started one game last season (Clemson) and finished 2014 with 339 passing yards on 25 completions. However, Everett Golson is transferring to Florida State and is considered by many to be the favorite to take the first snap of 2015. Cook averaged 141.3 rushing yards over the final three games of 2014, while Rudolph caught 38 passes as a true freshman.

Related: Florida State's Jimbo Fisher Ranks as the ACC's No. 1 Coach

 

4. Miami

Total Points: 30

QB: Brad Kaaya (2)

RB: Joseph Yearby (4)

WR: Stacy Coley (9)
 

After an impressive freshman season, Kaaya returns as one of the ACC’s top quarterbacks in 2015. Kaaya led the ACC with a 145.9 quarterback rating last year and tossed 26 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. With Duke Johnson off to the NFL, the Hurricanes need a few skill players to emerge to help Kaaya. Joseph Yearby will share time with Gus Edwards at running back, but Yearby is likely to be the starter after averaging 5.9 yards per carry last year. Miami needs Stacy Coley to regain his freshman form after averaging only eight yards per catch in 2014.

Related: Miami Hurricanes 2015 Schedule and Analysis

 

5. North Carolina

Total Points: 27

QB: Marquise Williams (4)

RB: T.J. Logan (10)

WR: Ryan Switzer (4)
 

Under Larry Fedora’s watch, scoring points hasn’t been a problem for North Carolina. The Tar Heels have averaged at least 30 points per game in three consecutive seasons and should easily hit that mark in 2015. Marquise Williams ranked second in the ACC last year by averaging 296.6 total yards per game. Logan averaged 4.9 yards per carry in 2014, while Switzer led the team with 61 receptions.

Related: Can Gene Chizik Save the North Carolina Defense?

 

6. NC State

Total Points: 23

QB: Jacoby Brissett (5)

RB: Shadrach Thornton (5)

WR: Bra’Lon Cherry (12)
 

Jacoby Brissett shined in his first season at NC State, throwing for 2,606 yards and 23 scores. The senior should be better in his second year and will push for All-ACC honors. The Wolfpack has to develop a few targets at receiver after Bo Hines decided to transfer after the 2014 season. Shadrach Thornton headlines one of the ACC’s deepest backfields.

 

7. Louisville

Total Points: 23

QB: Reggie Bonnafon (8)

RB: Brandon Radcliff (8)

WR: James Quick (6)
 

If Bonnafon settles into the starting job, Louisville’s offense could improve off last year’s scoring average (31.2). Bonnafon finished spring ahead of Kyle Bolin, Will Gardner and Tyler Ferguson, and the sophomore’s mobility is a huge asset with uncertainty on the offensive line. Radcliff will share carries with Jeremy Smith and L.J. Scott, and Quick is slated to move into the No. 1 receiver role after the departure of DeVante Parker.

 

8. Virginia Tech

Total Points: 22

QB: Michael Brewer (9)

RB: J.C. Coleman (9)

WR: Isaiah Ford (5)
 

It’s no secret the strength of Virginia Tech is its defense. But the Hokies should show some improvement on this side of the ball after averaging only 19.4 points per game in ACC contests in 2014. Michael Brewer tossed 15 interceptions last season and cutting that number in half would help the offense take a step forward. Isaiah Ford is primed for a breakout season after catching 56 passes in 2014, while J.C. Coleman headlines the ground attack after recording at least 95 yards in each of his final four games.

 

9. Boston College

Total Points: 20

QB: Darius Wade (14)

RB: Jon Hilliman (3)

WR: Sherman Alston (8)
 

The Eagles could climb this list by a few spots if Darius Wade quickly settles in at quarterback. Wade completed 3 of 8 passes for 23 yards and rushed for 12 yards as a freshman last year. The receiving corps doesn’t have a plethora of proven options, but Alston is an all-purpose threat. Hilliman rushed for 860 yards as a true freshman last season.

 

10. Virginia

Total Points: 19

QB: Matt Johns (12)

RB: Taquan Mizzell (7)

WR: Caanan Severin (7)
 

With Greyson Lambert transferring out of Charlottesville, Johns has a firm grip on the starting quarterback job. Getting more production out of the quarterback spot is a priority for coach Mike London this season, and Johns won’t have to look over his shoulder with Lambert out of the mix. Mizzell is a breakout candidate, and Severin returns after leading the team with 42 catches in 2014.

 

11. Georgia Tech

Total Points: 16

QB: Justin Thomas (3)

RB: Broderick Snoddy (12)

WR: Ricky Jeune (14)
 

Uncertainty remains for the Yellow Jackets’ offense at running back and receiver. Quarterback Justin Thomas should be among the ACC’s top playmakers this season, but the junior needs help from the supporting cast. Snoddy averaged 10.1 yards per carry in 2014 and is expected to be at full strength after missing the final four games of last year with a leg injury. Jeune is a promising 6-foot-3 target looking for his first career catch in 2015.

Related: No. 18 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 2015 Preview and Prediction

 

12. Duke

Total Points: 14

QB: Thomas Sirk (10)

RB: Shaquille Powell (11)

WR: Max McCaffrey (10)
 

Knowing coach David Cutcliffe’s track record at Duke, ranking the Blue Devils at No. 12 here is probably too low. Thomas Sirk showed promise in limited action last season, rushing for 238 yards and eight scores and completing 10 of 14 passes for 67 yards. Powell is expected to lead the team in rushing yardage, but he will have help from Shaun Wilson and Jela Duncan. McCaffrey should see more catches with the departure of Jamison Crowder to the NFL.

Related: Duke's David Cutcliffe Ranks No. 3 Among ACC Coaches for 2015

 

13. Syracuse

Total Points: 10

QB: Terrel Hunt (11)

RB: Devante McFarlane (13)

WR: Steve Ishmael (11)
 

Having a healthy (and full) year from Terrel Hunt should help Syracuse’s offense find a spark after scoring only 17.1 points per game in 2014. McFarlane slides into the No. 1 role in the backfield after averaging six yards per carry on 28 attempts last season. Ishmael is a promising receiver for coordinator Tim Lester after he grabbed 27 receptions for 415 yards and three touchdowns in 2014.

 

14. Wake Forest

Total Points: 5

QB: John Wolford (13)

RB: Dezmond Wortham (14)

WR: Jared Crump (13)
 

The biggest question mark on Wake Forest’s roster isn’t any of the three positions listed above. Rather, it’s an offensive line that allowed 48 sacks in 2014 and enters 2015 with plenty of question marks. If that group improves, so should the production from Wolford, Wortham and Crump. Wolford completed 214 of 367 passes for 2,037 yards and 12 scores as a true freshman last year.

Teaser:
Ranking the ACC's Offensive Triplets for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/what-everett-golsons-transfer-means-florida-state-and-college-football
Body:

The battle to replace Jameis Winston at Florida State has extra competition. Former Notre Dame starter Everett Golson announced his intention to transfer to Tallahassee on Tuesday, and the senior will be eligible immediately as a graduate student. Sean Maguire finished spring as the Seminoles' No. 1 quarterback, but Golson will provide depth at the position and push for the starting job in the fall.

 

Golson completed 443 of 745 passes during his two years at Notre Dame and threw for 5,850 yards and 41 scores. Golson also tossed 20 interceptions in two seasons as the starting quarterback for the Fighting Irish.

 

What Everett Golson’s Transfer Means for Florida State

 

1. Taking Everett Golson is the Right Move for Florida State

 

Winston’s production, leadership and on-field performance simply won’t be replaced by Florida State in 2015. And regardless of whether it’s Sean Maguire or Golson taking the first snap, the Seminoles were in a transition season. But taking Golson is really a low-risk, high-reward move for Florida State. After Maguire, the Seminoles have talented freshmen in J.J. Cosentino, De’Andre Johnson and Deondre Francois and sophomore John Franklin III competing for snaps. That’s a lot of youth. Even if Golson doesn’t win the starting job, he’s a proven backup and a good insurance plan.

 

Considering Maguire’s small sample size of snaps, it’s hard to compare the two quarterbacks before fall practice. However, Golson is talented and has experience at a major college program. That’s an upgrade over Maguire’s resume so far in his Florida State career.

 

2. Golson is Not Guaranteed the Starting Job

 

Coach Jimbo Fisher has already made this clear. Maguire finished spring as the top quarterback in Tallahassee, and the junior has one career start (Clemson, 2014) under his belt. Maguire was a three-star prospect in the 2012 signing class and the No. 564 prospect by 247Sports. The New Jersey native clearly lacks the experience that Golson has from two years at Notre Dame. However, Maguire has a clear edge in learning the playbook – but Golson isn’t transferring to sit on the bench.

 

3. How Quickly Can Golson Learn Florida State’s Offense?

 

That’s the big question. Not every graduate transfer at quarterback has succeeded at his new destination. For every Russell Wilson (Wisconsin), there’s a handful of quarterbacks that couldn’t pick up the offense in time or acclimate to their new surroundings. Florida State’s offense is not easy to learn in a short amount of time. Fisher is one of the best in the nation at tutoring quarterbacks and developing offenses, and it’s not easy for a player with a couple of months to pick up the offense. If – and it’s a big if – Golson masters the offense by the end of August, he could start the full season at Florida State.

 

4. Golson’s Mobility Could be an Asset

 

In two years of snaps at Notre Dame, Golson rushed for 581 yards and 14 scores. Here’s why that could be important in 2015: Florida State’s offensive line returns only one starter. If the line struggles early, having a quarterback that can create plays outside of the pocket would be an asset for Fisher.

 

5. Does this Change Florida State’s Outlook in the ACC?

 

Not much. Florida State or Clemson was the favorite in the ACC this season, and Golson’s decision to transfer might tip the scales slightly in favor of the Seminoles just a bit more. As we mentioned above, Florida State is in transition this year. The Seminoles return only 10 starters and have holes to fill on both sides of the ball. Golson probably won't have a season-defining impact but he is likely worth at least one win for Florida State.

 

6. Does this Push Florida State into National Title Contention?

 

As a team, Florida State is better with Golson in the mix. But Golson’s decision to play for the Seminoles doesn’t move this team into Playoff contention. Florida State has enough talent and a favorable schedule to win 10 or 11 games this year. However, becoming a Playoff team will depend heavily on how much the offensive line develops and if the defense improves after ranking ninth or worse in the ACC in the four major categories. Golson certainly helps, but there are bigger question marks for Fisher than the quarterback.

 

7. Who Takes the First Snap for Florida State in 2015?

 

This battle will be close. Maguire started his only game against the nation’s top defense (Clemson) last year and had an up-and-down spring game (which doesn’t mean a whole lot). After spending three years in Fisher’s system, Maguire has a clear edge when it comes to knowledge of the playbook. But the guess here is Golson outperforms Maguire and takes the first snap for Florida State versus Texas State on Sept. 5.

Teaser:
What Everett Golson's Transfer Means to Florida State and College Football
Post date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 14:03
Path: /college-football/cal-footballs-new-rumored-white-helmets-are-awesome
Body:

Cal’s blue and gold traditional uniforms could have some extra company in 2015. Pictures of a new white helmet have started to circulate recently, which features the school’s new logo instead of the “Cal” script.

 

Even if California unveils these for just a game or two, it’s an awesome new look for coach Sonny Dykes’ team.

 

Needless to say, these helmets have our stamp of approval:

 

Teaser:
Cal Football's New (Rumored) White Helmets Are Awesome
Post date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 12:25
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12s-offensive-triplets-2015
Body:

The Pac-12 is one of college football’s top conferences for offense, and the league is loaded with talent headed into 2015. Even with Marcus Mariota leaving Oregon, there’s no shortage of proven options at quarterback, and the skill talent is deep at running back and receiver.

 

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 12 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 12 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position.

 

Ranking the Pac-12’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

 

1. Arizona

Total Points: 29
QB: Anu Solomon (3)
RB: Nick Wilson (4)
WR: Cayleb Jones (3)
 

Arizona averaged 33.4 points per game in Pac-12 contests last season, and coach Rich Rodriguez’s offense could be even better in 2015. Quarterback Anu Solomon is returning to full strength after suffering from an ankle injury late in 2014. Wilson and Jones are among the Pac-12’s top playmakers.

 

2. Oregon

Total Points: 27
QB: Vernon Adams (4)
RB: Royce Freeman (3)
WR: Byron Marshall (5)
 

Marcus Mariota will be missed, but the Ducks offense should still remain among the Pac-12’s best. Eastern Washington transfer Vernon Adams replaces Mariota at quarterback, and Oregon’s running back and wide receiving corps are among the best in college football.

Related: Oregon Football Turns the Page from "Emotional" Ending

 

3. USC

Total Points: 27
QB: Cody Kessler (1)
RB: Justin Davis (10)
WR: JuJu Smith (1)
 

The only thing holding USC back from ranking No. 1 on this list is the committee approach at running back. Will someone step up as the go-to back in 2015? Cody Kessler ranks as the Pac-12’s best quarterback, and JuJu Smith should have a huge year as the Trojans’ top receiver.

Related: USC's Cody Kessler is the Pac-12's No. 1 QB for 2015

 

4. California

Total Points: 26
QB: Jared Goff (2)
RB: Daniel Lasco (5)
WR: Kenny Lawler (6)
 

The Golden Bears ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 (conference-only games) by averaging 37.6 points per contest last year. Don’t be surprised if that number climbs even higher in 2015, as coach Sonny Dykes has a loaded receiver corps, one of the nation’s rising stars at quarterback in Jared Goff, along with an underrated running back in Daniel Lasco.

 

5. UCLA

Total Points: 24
QB: Josh Rosen (9)
RB: Paul Perkins (2)
WR: Jordan Payton (4)
 

Uncertainty remains at quarterback with the departure of Brett Hundley, but true freshman Josh Rosen is one of the top recruits in the 2015 signing class. Running back Paul Perkins led the Pac-12 with 1,575 rushing yards last season, and receiver Jordan Payton averaged 14.3 yards per reception in conference games.

 

6. Arizona State

Total Points: 21
QB: Mike Bercovici (5)
RB: Demario Richard (6)
WR: D.J. Foster (7)
 

The Sun Devils have a balanced trio and could easily climb this list by the end of 2015. Bercovici has played well in limited action, and Richard is set to have a breakout year as Arizona State’s No. 1 running back. D.J. Foster will slide from running back to receiver to replace the production lost by Jaelen Strong.

Related: Arizona State's Todd Graham Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 Coach for 2015

 

7. Colorado

Total Points: 19
QB: Sefo Liufau (7)
RB: Christian Powell (11)
WR: Nelson Spruce (2)
 

Expect to see plenty of Liufau to Spruce connections in Boulder this spring, as the Buffaloes ranked third in the Pac-12 with 545 pass attempts in 2014. Liufau is one of the conference’s rising stars, while Spruce tied for the Pac-12 lead with 12 touchdown catches last year. Christian Powell leads the way in the backfield after leading the team in rushing in each of the last three seasons.

 

8. Utah

Total Points: 18
QB: Travis Wilson (8)
RB: Devontae Booker (1)
WR: Kenneth Scott (12)
 

If the passing game takes a step forward, there’s potential for the Utes to rank higher on the list by the end of 2015. Devontae Booker is coming off a standout 2014 campaign and ranks as Athlon’s top running back in the Pac-12. Wilson cut his interceptions from 16 in 2013 to just five in 313 attempts last year.

Related: Utah's Devontae Booker Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 RB for 2015

 

9. Stanford

Total Points: 17
QB: Kevin Hogan (6)
RB: Christian McCaffrey (8)
WR: Devon Cajuste (8)
 

The Pac-12’s overall offensive depth pushes Stanford down this list a bit, but the Cardinal has a balanced and effective trio. Quarterback Kevin Hogan finished the year on a high note, and the offense should benefit from a full year of Christian McCaffrey as the go-to running back. Devon Cajuste averaged 16.4 yards per catch in 2014.

 

10. Oregon State

Total Points: 10
QB: Seth Collins (12)
RB: Storm Woods (7)
WR: Victor Bolden (10)
 

Solving the quarterback position is new coach Gary Andersen’s biggest task this offseason. Collins enrolled in time to compete this spring and has an edge to start over redshirt freshman Nick Mitchell. Storm Woods should reach 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, while Bolden is back after leading the team with 72 receptions in 2014.

Related: Oregon State Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake is a Coach on the Rise

 

11. Washington State

Total Points: 8
QB: Luke Falk (10)
RB: Jamal Morrow (12)
WR: River Cracraft (9)
 

This is another team poised to climb the rankings if the pieces fall into place. Luke Falk and Peyton Bender are locked into a tight battle for the starting quarterback spot, and the receiving corps is loaded with playmakers. Washington State won’t run the ball a ton, but Morrow caught 61 passes last year.

 

12. Washington

Total Points: 8
QB: K.J. Carta-Samuels (11)
RB: Dwayne Washington (9)
WR: Jaydon Mickens (11)
 

Second-year coach Chris Petersen has a busy offseason ahead. Washington returns only nine starters, has uncertainty at quarterback and must replace three standout defensive players from 2014. K.J. Carta-Samuels gets a slight edge at quarterback, but Jeff Lindquist and Jake Browning aren’t far behind. Washington rushed for at least 100 yards in three out of his last four games and should see an increased workload in 2015.

Teaser:
Ranking the Pac-12's Offensive Triplets for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 10:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-secs-offensive-triplets-2015
Body:

Proven offensive talent is plentiful in the SEC this year. Quarterback Dak Prescott should be among the frontrunners to earn first-team All-America honors, while running back Nick Chubb is one of the leading candidates to win the Heisman. Ole Miss receiver Laquon Treadwell should be back at 100 percent after a leg injury ended his 2014 season.

 

Ranking the best quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers by conference is a key part of any offseason preview. But what happens when you combine those three positions to form a trio? Of course, this is a fictional argument since there’s no game that compares the trios of any team. But it’s an interesting offseason question to debate.

 

To help pick the top offensive triplets in each of the Power 5 leagues, we devised a simple formula. We ranked the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers and assigned a 14 to the No. 1 player, with the point total decreasing to just one point to the No. 14 ranked player at each position. Only one player from each team was ranked per position. 

 

Ranking the SEC’s Offensive Triplets for 2015

 

1. Auburn

Total Points: 31

QB: Jeremy Johnson (2)

RB: Jovon Robinson (9)

WR: Duke Williams (3)

 

Gus Malzahn’s offense has averaged over 30 points per game in back-to-back seasons in SEC contests. The 2015 version of Auburn’s offense will be just as explosive, as quarterback Jeremy Johnson is a rising star, and there’s no shortage of skill talent, including All-America candidate at receiver Duke Williams.

 

Related: Auburn's Gus Malzahn Ranks as the SEC's No. 2 Coach in 2015

 

2. Tennessee

Total Points: 29

QB: Joshua Dobbs (3)

RB: Jalen Hurd (6)

WR: Marquez North (7)

 

Tennessee is on its way back into SEC East title contention under third-year coach Butch Jones. Quarterback Joshua Dobbs shined in the second half of 2014, and the junior will be surrounded by a young and talented group of skill players. Hurd leads the way in the Volunteers’ backfield, but junior college recruit (and former Alabama running back) Alvin Kamara is a player to watch in 2015. Receiver Marquez North was limited by injuries last season.

 

Related: Tennessee Ranks No. 22 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

 

3. Mississippi State

Total Points: 27

QB: Dak Prescott (1)

RB: Ashton Shumpert (13)

WR: De’Runnya Wilson (4)

 

Mississippi State and Arkansas tied for the third spot on this list, but let’s give the edge to the Bulldogs with the SEC’s No. 1 quarterback in senior Dak Prescott. While running back Josh Robinson will be missed, there’s talent in place with Ashton Shumpert and Aeris Williams battling for carries. Wilson averaged 15.3 yards per catch in SEC games last year.

 

Related: Mississippi State Ranks No. 21 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

 

4. Arkansas

Total Points: 27

QB: Brandon Allen (6)

RB: Alex Collins/Jonathan Williams (4)

WR: Keon Hatcher (8)

 

The Razorbacks improved their scoring average by 11.2 points per game from 2013 to 2014. Expect this unit to take another step forward under new coordinator Dan Enos, as Arkansas returns an experienced quarterback in Brandon Allen and the nation’s top running back duo in Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams.

 

Related: Arkansas Ranks No. 16 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

 

5. Georgia

Total Points: 25

QB: Brice Ramsey (9)

RB: Nick Chubb (1)

WR: Malcolm Mitchell (10)

 

New coordinator Brian Schottenheimer doesn’t plan to alter the strength of Georgia’s offense, but the passing attack needs some work with a new quarterback and uncertainty at receiver. Running back Nick Chubb is one of the nation’s best, while the Bulldogs need a healthy year from receiver Malcolm Mitchell.

 

Related: Georgia's Nick Chubb is the SEC's No. 1 RB for 2015

 

6. Texas A&M

Total Points: 24

QB: Kyle Allen (4)

RB: Tra Carson (11)

WR: Josh Reynolds (6)

 

The Aggies will have an explosive offense once again. Coach Kevin Sumlin’s team is loaded with talent at running back and receiver, while quarterback Kyle Allen should thrive in his first full season as the starter.

 

Related: Texas A&M Ranks No. 20 in the 2015 College Football Top 25

 

7. Alabama

Total Points: 23

QB: Jacob Coker (8)

RB: Derrick Henry (3)

WR: Robert Foster (11)

 

It wouldn’t be a surprise if Alabama finishes higher on this list in 2015. But ranking higher than No. 7 in the postseason largely depends on how far the Crimson Tide’s passing attack develops. Jacob Coker is the projected starter here, but David Cornwell is still in the mix. There’s talent at receiver. But who steps up to replace Amari Cooper?

 

Related: Alabama's Nick Saban is the SEC's No. 1 Coach

 

8. LSU

Total Points: 22

QB: Brandon Harris (12)

RB: Leonard Fournette (2)

WR: Travin Dural (6)

 

Quarterback remains a question mark for coach Les Miles, but LSU has one of the nation’s top running backs in sophomore Leonard Fournette, along with a cast of talented receivers. Travin Dural ranked third among SEC receivers with eight catches for 30 yards or more in 2015.

 

9. Missouri

Total Points: 22

QB: Maty Mauk (5)

RB: Russell Hansbrough (5)

WR: Nate Brown (13)

 

Ranking Missouri ninth in the SEC in offensive triplets seems low considering the success this team has had in finding new receivers under coach Gary Pinkel. Nate Brown appears to be the next standout receiver for the Tigers, but the offense also needs better play from quarterback Maty Mauk in SEC games (48.9 percent in league games last year). Russell Hansbrough might be the league’s most underrated running back.

 

10. Ole Miss

Total Points: 20

QB: Chad Kelly (10)

RB: Jaylen Walton (14)

WR: Laquon Treadwell (1)

 

The Rebels have the SEC’s No. 1 receiver in Laquon Treadwell, but question marks remain at quarterback and at running back. Junior college (and former Clemson) quarterback Chad Kelly is the frontrunner to replace Bo Wallace, while Jaylen Walton, Akeem Judd and Eugene Brazley all could share carries at running back.

 

11. Kentucky

Total Points: 19

QB: Patrick Towles (7)

RB: Boom Williams (7)

WR: Ryan Timmons (12)

 

Kentucky has work to do on defense, but the offense returns nearly intact after averaging 29.2 points per game in 2014. Quarterback Patrick Towles ranked fifth in the SEC with 226.5 passing yards per contest, and receiver Ryan Timmons led the team with 45 catches last year. Boom Williams is one of the SEC’s top breakout candidates in 2015.

 

12. Florida

Total Points: 19

QB: Will Grier (11)

RB: Kelvin Taylor (10)

WR: Demarcus Robinson (5)

 

The pieces are in place for Florida’s offense to improve under first-year coach Jim McElwain. Will Grier edged Treon Harris for the starting quarterback job in the spring, and Kelvin Taylor and Demarcus Robinson should push for All-SEC honors. Offensive line isn’t a factor here, but the Gators have major concerns about their starting five.

 

13. South Carolina

Total Points: 18

QB: Connor Mitch (13)

RB: David Williams (12)

WR: Pharoh Cooper (2)

 

Pharoh Cooper was all-purpose threat for the Gamecocks last year, and the North Carolina native is also one of the SEC’s top receivers. David Williams and Brandon Wilds are expected to share carries in replacing Mike Davis. Both players averaged over five yards per carry in limited action last year. Connor Mitch is the frontrunner to replace Dylan Thompson and has only six career pass attempts.

 

Related: South Carolina's Steve Spurrier Ranks as the SEC's No. 3 Coach

 

14. Vanderbilt

Total Points: 9

QB: Johnny McCrary (14)

RB: Ralph Webb (8)

WR: C.J. Duncan (14)

 

New play-caller Andy Ludwig has a lot of work to do this offseason. The Commodores averaged only 12.8 points per game in SEC contests last season. Quarterback play remains a concern, but Ludwig has a promising running back to build around in sophomore Ralph Webb.

Teaser:
Ranking the SEC's Offensive Triplets for 2015
Post date: Monday, May 18, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/penn-state-dt-anthony-zettel-tackles-tree
Body:

Penn State’s Anthony Zettel is one of the top defensive tackles in the nation. The Michigan native recorded 17 tackles for a loss and eight sacks in 13 games last season.

 

Despite his huge 2014 campaign, Zettel isn’t sitting idle this offseason. Instead, Zettel is keeping in shape by tackling a tree.

 

Showing proper tackling form, here’s a short video from Zettel just destroying a tree:
 

Teaser:
Penn State DT Anthony Zettel Tackles a Tree
Post date: Monday, May 18, 2015 - 08:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12s-running-backs-2015
Body:

The Big 12 had just three players rush for 1,000 yards in 2014, which was the fewest amount by a Power 5 conference. However, all three players – Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine, Baylor’s Shock Linwood and Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington – are back in 2015.

 

Perine is one of the nation’s top running backs after recording 1,713 yards and 21 scores in his freshman campaign in 2014. Baylor’s Shock Linwood ranked second on the conference in yards with 1,252, while Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington was third with 1,103 yards. There’s some emerging names to watch in this conference, including West Virginia’s Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood, along with Texas senior Johnathan Gray.

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of running backs only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the running backs in the Big 12 for 2015.

 

Order the 2015 Athlon Sports Big 12 Preview, featuring previews, predictions and rankings, as well as everything you need to prepare for the upcoming season.

 

Ranking the Big 12’s Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Samaje Perine, Oklahoma

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Even though the Sooners have a new offensive scheme and coordinator, Perine is still a major part of the gameplan. He led all Oklahoma rushers with 1,713 yards and 21 scores last season and recorded five 100-yard efforts over his last six games. Perine also set the FBS single-game rushing record with 427 yards in a 44-7 rout over Kansas. Joe Mixon and Alex Ross will be involved, but Perine should push for All-America honors in 2015.

 

2. Shock Linwood, Baylor

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Baylor’s explosive passing offense gets all of the attention in Waco, but Linwood has quietly emerged as one of the Big 12’s top running backs over the last two seasons. Linwood rushed for 881 yards and eight scores as a freshman in 2013 and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with 1,252 yards and 16 touchdowns last year. He also recorded four 100-yard efforts in Big 12 games in 2014.

 

Related: Baylor's Art Briles Ranks as the Big 12's No. 1 Coach

 

3. DeAndre Washington, Texas Tech

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Washington ranked as the Big 12’s third-leading rusher last season, recording 1,103 yards and two scores on 188 attempts. The Texas native had just one game of more than 25 carries, but he made the most of his opportunities by averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Washington was also a key target in the passing game and showcased his versatility by catching 30 passes for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

Related: Texas Tech Needs David Gibbs to Reverse Defensive Woes

 

4. Aaron Green, TCU

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Green quickly emerged as TCU’s go-to back after B.J. Catalon missed the final five games of 2014 due to injury. The Texas native recorded 922 rushing yards and nine scores on just 129 attempts. He was also a weapon for quarterback Trevone Boykin out of the backfield, catching 19 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Of running backs with at least 100 carries in the Big 12 last season, Green recorded the highest yards per carry average (7.2).

 

Related: TCU's Trevone Boykin Ranks as the Big 12's No. 1 Quarterback for 2015

 

5. Johnathan Gray, Texas

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

It’s a close call between Gray and West Virginia’s Rushel Shell for the No. 5 spot on this list. Gray suffered a torn Achilles in 2013 and missed the final four games of the season. However, he showed little rust in his return, rushing for 636 yards and seven scores in a backup role to starter Malcolm Brown. Gray recorded one 100-yard effort (West Virginia) and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. With Gray a full year removed from Achilles surgery, he should push for his best career season at Texas.

 

Related: Texas Ranks as the Big 12's No. 1 Coaching Job

 

6. Rushel Shell, West Virginia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Shell made an immediate impact in his first season as West Virginia’s go-to back. In 12 games, the Pittsburgh transfer recorded 788 yards and seven touchdowns, while averaging 4.5 yards per carry. Shell posted three 100-yard efforts, including 146 in the regular season finale against Iowa State. Expect the Mountaineers to use Shell as the No. 1 back once again, but Wendell Smallwood and Donte Thomas-Williams will see their share of opportunities.

 

7. Wendell Smallwood, West Virginia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Smallwood might be one of the Big 12’s most underrated players. In 13 games last season, the Delaware native ranked second on the team with 722 rushing yards and caught 31 passes for 326 yards. Smallwood should see a similar role in West Virginia’s offense this season and is one of the top all-purpose threats in the Big 12.

 

8. Joe Mixon, Oklahoma

2015 Year of Eligibility: Redshirt Freshman

 

Mixon was suspended for all of 2014 due to an off-field incident, but he’s primed for a breakout year for the Sooners. The California native was a five-star recruit in the 2014 signing class and ranked as the No. 21 overall prospect.

 

9. Alex Ross, Oklahoma

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Oklahoma’s backfield is overflowing with talent, as Samaje Perine is already one of the best in the nation, and Joe Mixon is ready for a breakout year in his redshirt freshman campaign. But Ross shouldn’t be overlooked, as the Oklahoma native rushed for 614 yards and four scores in his first two seasons in Norman. Ross averages 6.7 yards per carry and was one of the nation’s top kickoff returners last year.

 

10. Corey Avery, Kansas

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Avery is one of the few proven playmakers for new coach David Beaty. However, Avery’s status for 2015 is uncertain after he was suspended indefinitely at the end of spring. As a freshman last season, Avery rushed for 631 yards and five touchdowns and caught 18 passes for 189 yards and two scores.

 

Other Big 12 Running Backs to Watch in 2015

 

Tyler Brown/Mike Warren, Iowa State

Iowa State’s backfield is filled with uncertainty, but the coaching staff has promising options in Brown and Warren. Brown recorded 109 yards in limited action last season, while Warren spent 2014 as a redshirt.

 

Duke Catalon/D’Onta Foreman, Texas

Foreman rushed for 74 yards as a freshman last year, while Catalon spent 2014 as a redshirt. Both players will battle for carries and spell starter Johnathan Gray.

 

Rennie Childs/Chris Carson, Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State must replace its top two leading rushers from last season, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about this backfield going into fall practice. Childs rushed for 294 yards and three scores in a reserve role in 2014, while Carson was a key pickup on the recruiting trail from Butler Community College.

 

Johnny Jefferson/Devin Chafin, Baylor

Jefferson and Chafin combined for 907 yards and 14 rushing scores last season. Both players will work as backups to Shock Linwood in 2015.

 

Charles Jones/Dalvin Warmack/Alex Barnes, Kansas State

Jones rushed for 13 touchdowns last year, but Kansas State needs more from its rushing attack after averaging only 3.7 yards per carry in 2014. Warmack (redshirt) and Barnes are two potential breakout candidates - if they get enough opportunities in 2015.

 

De’Andre Mann, Kansas

If Corey Avery does not return to the team, Mann and junior college transfer Ke’aun Kinner will headline the Kansas rushing attack.

 

Shaun Nixon/Trevorris Johnson/Kyle Hicks, TCU

Aaron Green will handle the bulk of the carries for TCU. However, there’s a talented trio of backs capable of spelling Green when he needs a rest. Johnson averaged 5.7 yards per carry on 53 attempts last year.

 

Justin Stockton, Texas Tech

Stockton is one of the Big 12’s fastest players and averaged 8.3 yards per rush in 2014. Expect the sophomore to be one of the conference’s top big-play threats in 2015.

 

Donte Thomas-Williams, West Virginia

Four-star recruit in the 2014 signing class is ready to contribute after a redshirt year.

Teaser:
Ranking the Big 12's Running Backs for 2015
Post date: Friday, May 15, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-tens-running-backs-2015
Body:

The Big Ten boasted the nation’s only two running backs that eclipsed 2,000 yards last season, and both players – Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Indiana’s Tevin Coleman – have moved onto the NFL. But the running back position isn’t devoid of talent in the conference in 2015, as Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott is one of the nation’s best and is back to help the Buckeyes’ make another run at the national title.

 

Elliott is the clear No. 1 back in the Big Ten, but Wisconsin’s Corey Clement should be a capable replacement for Gordon, and Northwestern’s Justin Jackson is a rising star entering his sophomore year.

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of running backs only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the running backs in the Big Ten for 2015.

 

Ranking the Big Ten’s Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Elliott is in the mix to be the nation’s top running back after a strong finish to the 2014 season. The Missouri native rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the final five games, including 220 or more in each of the last three. Elliott gashed Oregon for 246 yards and four scores in Ohio State’s national championship win.

 

Related: Ohio State's Urban Meyer is the Big Ten's No. 1 Coach for 2015

 

2. Corey Clement, Wisconsin

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Melvin Gordon leaves big shoes to fill in Madison, but the Badgers are in great shape at running back. Clement is slated to move into the No. 1 role after working as Gordon’s top backup in 2014. In 14 games last season, Clement rushed for 949 yards and nine scores and averaged 6.5 yards per carry on 147 attempts.

 

3. Justin Jackson, Northwestern

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Venric Mark’s August departure created a void in Northwestern’s rushing attack, but Jackson quickly emerged as the go-to option for coach Pat Fitzgerald. In 12 games, Jackson recorded 1,187 yards and 10 scores and caught 22 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown. The Illinois native rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his last three games, including a 149-yard effort against Notre Dame.

 

Related: Ranking the Big Ten's Football Coaching Jobs for 2015

 

4. Jordan Howard, Indiana

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Make no mistake: Tevin Coleman will be missed this year. However, Indiana found an excellent replacement in Howard, who was eligible to play immediately after transferring in from UAB. In 12 games with the Blazers last season, Howard recorded 1,587 yards and 13 scores. Howard posted solid outings against SEC competition (89 yards against Mississippi State and 90 yards against Arkansas) and gashed Southern Mississippi in the 2014 season finale for 262 yards.

 

5. Akeel Lynch, Penn State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Largely due to a struggling offensive line, Penn State’s rushing attack managed only 74.8 yards per game last season. The outlook on the Nittany Lions’ line is better in 2015, and the rushing game should show improvement on the stat sheet. Lynch led the team with 678 yards and also scored four of the team’s 13 rushing touchdowns. The second half of the year is where Lynch asserted himself as the team’s top back, rushing for 130 yards against Temple and 137 against Illinois. Lynch is a name that could climb this list by a couple of spots if Penn State’s offensive line takes a major step forward.

 

Related: Penn State's Christian Hackenberg Ranks as the Big Ten's No. 3 QB for 2015

 

6. Josh Ferguson, Illinois

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

With standout receiver Mike Dudek out indefinitely with a torn ACL, the Fighting Illini need quarterback Wes Lunt and running back Josh Ferguson to take on an even bigger role in the offense this year. Ferguson has led the team in rushing yardage in back-to-back seasons and has 131 receptions in four years of playing time. Ferguson’s workload will likely increase this season after never surpassing 15 carries in any game in 2014.

 

7. Terrell Newby, Nebraska

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Replacing Ameer Abdullah isn’t going to be easy for new coach Mike Riley. The Cornhuskers have three potential replacements for Abdullah, with Newby exiting spring as the favorite. The California native has played in a reserve role over the last two seasons and posted nearly identical statistical outputs. Newby rushed for 297 yards on 67 attempts in 2014 and 298 yards on 54 carries in 2013. Imani Cross and Adam Taylor will also see time in the backfield this year.

 

8. Ty Isaac, Michigan

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

This spot could go to Derrick Green, but let’s project Isaac to have an impact in his first year in Ann Arbor. Isaac was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and managed 236 yards on 40 carries as a freshman at USC in 2013. After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, Isaac was limited in the spring with an ankle injury. However, at 240 pounds, he’s a power runner and a good fit for coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense.

 

Related: Where is Jim Harbaugh in the Big Ten Coach Rankings for 2015?

 

9. Paul James, Rutgers

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

A running back from Rutgers should be on this list. But which one? Paul James led the Scarlet Knights with 881 yards and nine scores in 2013 and rushed for 363 yards through the first four games of 2014. However, James has battled injuries throughout his career, and sophomores Josh Hicks and Robert Martin emerged as breakout players at the end of last year. Will James return at full strength from a torn ACL? Or will Martin or Hicks claim the top spots in the Rutgers’ backfield?

 

10. Jordan Canzeri, Iowa

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Mark Weisman has expired his eligibility, leaving Iowa with Canzeri, LeShun Daniels, Jonathan Parker and Akrum Wadley battling for carries this offseason. Canzeri is the leading candidate to replace Weisman after finishing second on the team with 494 yards last year. However, a committee approach is likely for coach Kirk Ferentz in 2015.

 

Other Big Ten Running Backs to Watch in 2015

 

Imani Cross, Nebraska

Cross has rushed for 1,184 yards and 22 rushing scores over the last three years in Lincoln. Terrell Newby is expected to start, but Cross will remain involved in Nebraska’s new offense.

 

Derrick Green, Michigan

Green was off to a promising start last year, rushing for 471 yards and three scores on 82 attempts before a season-ending clavicle injury. He will compete with Ty Isaac and De’Veon Smith for the No. 1 spot in Michigan’s backfield.

 

Keyante Green/Markell Jones, Purdue

The Boilermakers must replace their top two running backs from last season, with Green and Jones slated to battle for the top spot in the fall. Green rushed for 199 yards on 27 attempts in a reserve role in 2014, while Markell Jones is expected to push for time after winning Indiana’s Mr. Football award as a high school senior.

 

Josh Hicks/Robert Martin, Rutgers

Promising sophomore duo will push Paul James for snaps this season.

 

Madre London/Gerald Holmes/LJ Scott/Delton Williams, Michigan State

All signs point to Michigan State using a committee approach as it looks to replace Jeremy Langford. London, Holmes, Scott and Williams are talented, but will one runner clearly emerge as the No. 1 option?

 

Brandon Ross, Maryland

Quarterback C.J. Brown led the team with 539 rushing yards last season, while Ross finished second with 419 yards. The senior is slated to take the top spot in the backfield, but the Terrapins will utilize Wes Brown plenty in 2015.

 

Curtis Samuel, Ohio State

Samuel should have a bigger role in Ohio State’s offense after averaging 6.6 yards per carry on 58 attempts in 2014.

 

Rodrick Williams, Minnesota

If Williams is going to get the full workload in Minnesota’s offense, then the senior should be among the top 10 names on this list. However, redshirt freshman Rodney Smith is in the mix for carries, as well as talented redshirt freshman Jeff Jones (if he doesn’t stay at receiver). 

Teaser:
Ranking the Big Ten's Running Backs for 2015
Post date: Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12s-running-backs-2015
Body:

The Pac-12 is a loaded league for running back talent in 2015. Utah’s Devontae Booker is coming off a huge season in his first year with the Utes and ranks as the conference’s top back. But UCLA’s Paul Perkins is a close second, and the junior will take on an even bigger role in the offense with quarterback Brett Hundley’s departure.

 

The depth of the league’s running backs extends to Oregon’s Royce Freeman. The sophomore might be the league’s most talented running back, but Thomas Tyner is expected to see plenty of carries in 2015. Arizona’s Nick Wilson and California’s Daniel Lasco round out the top five backs in the Pac-12 this year.

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of running backs only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the running backs in the Pac-12 for 2015.

 

Ranking the Pac-12’s Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Devontae Booker, Utah

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

In Booker’s first season in Salt Lake City, the California native emerged as the Pac-12’s top running back. In 13 games, Booker rushed for 1,512 yards and 10 scores and caught 43 passes for 306 yards. Booker led the Pac-12 by averaging 22.5 rushing attempts per game and recorded seven 100-yard efforts. His best performance came in a 29-23 overtime win over Oregon State with 229 yards on 32 carries. Defenses often stacked the box against Booker with an inconsistent passing game, yet the junior college product managed to average 116.3 rushing yards per game in 2014.

 

2. Paul Perkins, UCLA

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

It’s a close call between Booker and Perkins for the top spot in this article. A slight edge goes to Booker, but Perkins led the Pac-12 by averaging 121.2 rushing yards per game in 2014. He also recorded nine scores on the ground and averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Perkins posted six 100-yard efforts and had three games where he averaged at least nine yards per rush. With Brett Hundley off to the NFL, Perkins will be the focal point of UCLA’s offense in 2015. 

 

3. Royce Freeman, Oregon

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Just based on overall talent, a strong case could be made Freeman is the No. 1 back in the Pac-12. As a true freshman in 2014, Freeman recorded 1,365 yards and 18 scores and caught 16 passes for 158 yards. The California native also posted six 100-yard efforts, including a 114-yard game against Arizona in the Pac-12 Championship. With Thomas Tyner back at full strength, Freeman’s totals may not climb much in 2015.

Related: Oregon Turns the Page from "Emotional" Ending

 

4. Nick Wilson, Arizona

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Rich Rodriguez handed the Arizona backfield to a pair of freshmen last year, and Anu Solomon (QB) and Wilson (RB) delivered in a big way. Solomon passed for 3,793 yards, while Wilson led the team with 1,375 yards and 16 scores. Wilson missed the game against USC due to an ankle injury but still tied for the Pac-12 lead in runs of 30 yards or more (seven). And here’s the scary thought for the rest of the Pac-12: Wilson is only going to get better in 2015.

Related: Arizona's Rich Rodriguez is the Pac-12's No. 2 Coach for 2015

 

5. Daniel Lasco, California

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Lasco might be the Pac-12’s most underrated player. While California’s passing attack and quarterback Jared Goff grabs most of the headlines, Lasco quietly rushed for 1,115 yards and 12 scores last season. The Texas native also grabbed 33 receptions in 12 games and ended the year with three 100-yard efforts over his final four contests. At 210 pounds, Lasco is versatile, has the size to attack defenses between the tackles but also possesses the necessary quickness to hit the outside.

Related: California's Jared Goff Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 2 QB for 2015

 

6. Demario Richard, Arizona State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Richard is the first of two breakout candidates to rank inside of the top 10 for 2015. Just how confident is Arizona State’s coaching staff in Richard’s ability to carry the rushing attack this year? D.J. Foster was moved from running back to receiver after rushing for 1,081 yards in 2014. Richard recorded 478 yards and four scores on 84 attempts and also caught 13 passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns last year. Expect big things from Richard over the next few seasons in Tempe.

Related: Arizona State's Todd Graham Ranks as the Pac-12's No. 1 Coach

 

7. Thomas Tyner, Oregon

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Tyner made a splash as a freshman in 2013 serving as a backup to Byron Marshall, rushing for 711 yards and nine scores on 115 carries. Most expected Tyner to move into the top spot in the Oregon backfield, but Royce Freeman stole the spotlight as a true freshman and finished with the team lead in rushing yardage. Tyner finished 2014 with 573 yards and five scores but also missed four games due to injury. The junior could rank higher on this list based on talent. However, how will the carry situation play out in Eugene this year?

 

8. Storm Woods, Oregon State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

New coach Gary Andersen plans on altering Oregon State’s offensive approach, and Woods should see more opportunities in 2015. The Texas native has led the Beavers in rushing yardage in two out of the last three years and nearly reached the 1,000-yard mark in 2012. Woods averaged 6.4 yards per carry in 2014 and is poised for his best season in an Oregon State uniform.

Related: Oregon State's Kalani Sitake is a Defensive Coach on the Rise

 

9. Christian McCaffrey, Stanford

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

McCaffrey is poised for a breakout year in his sophomore campaign. The Colorado native rushed for only 300 yards as a freshman in 2014. However, 217 of those yards came in the final four games of the year, including a 77-yard effort on eight carries against Utah. McCaffrey also showed why he’s an all-purpose threat for coach David Shaw, catching 17 passes for 251 yards and averaging 17.1 yards on nine punt returns.

 

10. Dwayne Washington, Washington

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Washington was a bright spot on a Washington offense that ranked ninth in the Pac-12 in scoring last season. The California native was voted as the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player after rushing for 697 yards and nine scores in 2014. Washington battled injuries last season but closed out 2014 by rushing for at least 100 yards in three out of his last four games, including a 135-yard effort against Washington State.

 

Other Pac-12 Running Backs to Watch in 2015

 

Kalen Ballage, Arizona State

Demario Richard is Arizona State’s big-play back, while Ballage is 6-foot-3 power rusher from Colorado. Ballage recorded 126 yards on 42 attempts last season and is due for an uptick in carries with D.J. Foster moving to receiver. And how’s this for versatility: Ballage may play a few snaps on defense this year.

 

Justin Davis/Tre Madden/Ronald Jones, USC

Will the Trojans find a No. 1 back or use a committee approach? Coach Steve Sarkisian has some talented options to choose from, including Davis who rushed for 595 yards last year. Madden recorded 703 yards in 2013, while Jones was a four-star recruit in the 2015 signing class.

 

Christian Powell, Colorado

Colorado’s backfield depth is improving under coach Mike MacIntyre, and the Buffaloes are expected to use a committee approach once again in 2015. Powell has led the team for rushing in three consecutive seasons but has never recorded higher than 700 yards in a season.

 

Remound Wright, Stanford

Wright led Stanford with 601 yards and 11 rushing scores last season. The senior is expected to retain a major role in the Cardinal backfield for 2015, but Christian McCaffrey is expected to slide into the No. 1 job.

 

Gerard Wicks/Jamal Morrow, Washington State

It’s no secret the Cougars are a pass-first offense, and coach Mike Leach’s team had the fewest rushing attempts of any FBS program last year. Wicks and Morrow combined for just 585 yards and four scores in 2014 and return as the top options in 2015. Morrow also grabbed 61 receptions last season.

Teaser:
Ranking the Pac-12's Running Backs for 2015
Post date: Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-secs-running-backs-2015
Body:

The SEC could be the nation’s best conference for running backs in 2015. Georgia’s Nick Chubb should be a first-team All-American, while LSU’s Leonard Fournette and Alabama’s Derrick Henry should be in the mix for second or third-team honors.

 

And the depth in the conference extends past the top three names with the nation’s top running back duo in Arkansas’ Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, while Missouri’s Russell Hansbrough is an underrated player after topping 1,000 yards in 2014.

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of running backs only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the running backs in the SEC for 2015.

 

Ranking the SEC’s Running Backs for 2015

 

1. Nick Chubb, Georgia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Georgia’s rushing attack never missed a beat despite losing Todd Gurley to a suspension and torn ACL in 2014. Chubb emerged as one of the nation’s top running backs over the second half of last season, finishing the 2014 campaign with 1,547 yards and 14 scores. The five-star recruit in the 2014 signing class averaged 165.4 rushing yards over the final eight games.

 

Related: Ranking the SEC's College Towns for 2015

 

2. Leonard Fournette, LSU

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Fournette ranked as the No. 1 player in the 2014 247Sports Composite and showcased his talent by finishing the year with 1,034 yards and 10 scores. Both of those totals led all LSU rushers, while his 5.5 yards per carry average ranked fifth among SEC backs with at least 180 carries. Fournette recorded only 187 carries last year, so there’s an opportunity to increase his workload by at least 50 attempts in 2015.

 

3. Derrick Henry, Alabama

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

With T.J. Yeldon off to the NFL, Henry is ready for his chance to be the No. 1 back in Tuscaloosa. The Florida native led Alabama with 990 rushing yards on 172 attempts last season and tied with Yeldon with 11 rushing scores. Expect Henry to eclipse 200 carries and reach 1,000 yards in his junior campaign. At 6-foot-3 and 242 pounds, Henry is one of the most physically gifted runners in the nation.

 

Related: Alabama's Nick Saban is the SEC's No. 1 Coach for 2015

 

4. Jonathan Williams, Arkansas

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Williams and teammate Alex Collins are essentially 4a and 4b here. Williams led the Razorbacks with 1,190 yards last season and edged Collins in yards per carry (5.6 to 5.4). The senior also rushed for more yards in SEC games than Collins (575 to 520) and finished the 2014 season by recording 105 yards on 23 attempts against Texas in the Texas Bowl.

Related: Arkansas Razorbacks 2015 Schedule Analysis

 

5. Alex Collins, Arkansas

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

As we mentioned above, it’s essentially a coin flip between Williams and Collins for the No. 4 spot. Collins led Arkansas with 1,026 yards in 2013 but finished 90 yards behind Williams (1,190 to 1,100) in 2014. The Florida native recorded only one 100-yard effort in SEC games last season and scored in eight out of Arkansas’ 13 contests in 2014.

 

6. Russell Hansbrough, Missouri

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Hansbrough was one of only seven running backs in the SEC to reach 1,000 yards last year and might be the conference’s most underrated rusher. In 14 games, Hansbrough rushed for 1,084 yards and 10 scores last season and recorded four 100-yard efforts. He also finished the year on a high note, rushing for 114 yards on 15 attempts against Minnesota in the Citrus Bowl.

 

7. Jalen Hurd, Tennessee

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Hurd ranked as the No. 40 recruit in the 2014 247Sports Composite and led the Tennessee rushing attack with 899 yards in his true freshman season. The Tennessee native was also a valuable pass catcher out of the backfield by grabbing 35 receptions for 221 yards and two scores. Hurd is expected to remain the No. 1 back for the Volunteers, but after the offense generated only 11 rushing plays of 20 yards or more last season, expect to see junior college recruit (and former Alabama running back) Alvin Kamara heavily involved in 2015.

 

8. Boom Williams, Kentucky

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Looking for the SEC’s next breakout star at running back? Take a look at Kentucky’s Boom Williams. The Georgia native is due for a bigger role in the backfield after leading the Wildcats with 486 rushing yards and five scores on just 74 carries in 2014. Williams had only two games of more than 10 carries, including the season finale against Louisville (18 carries for 126 yards). He also averaged 10.5 yards per play last year and emerged as an all-purpose threat with game-changing ability on kickoffs and as a receiver.

 

9. Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Vanderbilt’s offense struggled mightily last season, averaging only 12.8 points per game in SEC contests. But Webb was a bright spot for coach Derek Mason, leading the Commodores with 907 rushing yards. Webb also led the team with four rushing scores and added 10 receptions. Vanderbilt’s offense still has a lot of question marks entering 2015, but Mason and new coordinator Andy Ludwig can rely on Webb for a 1,000-yard season.

 

10. Jovon Robinson, Auburn

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Robinson isn’t guaranteed to be the starter with Peyton Barber and Roc Thomas also pushing for snaps, but the junior college transfer was a huge pickup for coach Gus Malzahn on the recruiting trail. Robinson ranked as the No. 1 junior college product by 247Sports and was the 2013 NJCAA national player in the year after rushing for 2,387 yards and 34 touchdowns. He was also a four-star recruit coming out of high school, so talent certainly isn’t an issue for Robinson. And with a standout offensive line in place, Robinson could have a huge season – if he’s able to approach 200 carries.

 

Related: Auburn's Jeremy Johnson Ranks as the SEC's No. 2 QB for 2015

 

Other SEC Running Backs to Watch in 2015

 

Peyton Barber/Roc Thomas, Auburn

Jovon Robinson is expected to start, but Barber and Thomas will see their share of opportunities.

 

Tra Carson, Texas A&M

The Aggies ranked 13th in the SEC in rushing attempts last season, so opportunities are limited for the backs. Carson led the team with 581 rushing yards in 2014, and the 235-pound senior will headline the Texas A&M rushing attack once again.

 

Kenyan Drake, Alabama

Drake was off to a fast start in 2014 (271 total yards in five games) but suffered a season-ending leg injury against Florida. If he’s at full strength in 2015, Drake could be a top 10 running back in the SEC this year.

 

Alvin Kamara, Tennessee

Former Alabama running back is back in the SEC after a stint at Hutchinson Community College. Jalen Hurd is still Tennessee’s starter, but Kamara is going to see plenty of opportunities.

 

Keith Marshall/Sony Michel, Georgia

Injuries have limited Marshall to just eight games over the last two seasons. But if he’s healthy, he should team with Sony Michel to provide depth to spell starter Nick Chubb.

 

Ashton Shumpert/Aeris Williams, Mississippi State

Josh Robinson departs after rushing for 1,203 yards in 2014, but Mississippi State is still in good shape at running back. Shumpert rushed for 232 yards over the final five games last season, while Williams ranked as the No. 254 recruit in the 2014 247Sports Composite.

 

Kelvin Taylor, Florida

With Matt Jones leaving for the NFL, Taylor is set to assume the top spot in Florida’s backfield. As a sophomore in 2014, Taylor rushed for 565 yards and six scores. How high Taylor climbs on this list will largely depend on an offensive line that is a major question mark in 2015.

 

Jaylen Walton, Ole Miss

The Rebels need more production from their rushing attack after averaging only 143.4 rushing yards in SEC contests last year. Walton led the team with 586 yards in 2014 but will be pushed for snaps by Akeem Judd.

 

David Williams, South Carolina

Brandon Wilds is expected to begin the starter, but Williams is a name to remember after averaging 5.7 yards per carry on 45 attempts last year.

Teaser:
Ranking the SEC's Running Backs for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/ranking-accs-running-backs-2015
Body:

Five players in the ACC topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2014, with three of those players slated to return in 2015. Pittsburgh’s James Conner and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook are the top options returning at running back, and both players should be Heisman contenders this year. Quarterback Justin Thomas is the other ACC player that eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards last season. Will another name join Conner and Cook in the 1,000-yard department? Keep an eye on Boston College’s Jon Hilliman and Miami’s Joseph Yearby.  

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of running backs only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the running backs in the ACC for 2015.

 

Ranking the ACC's Running Backs for 2015

 

1. James Conner, Pittsburgh

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Conner is the reigning ACC Player of the Year and ranked third nationally in 2014 with 26 rushing scores. In two seasons with the Panthers, Conner has rushed for 2,564 yards and 34 scores. He will remain the focal point of Pittsburgh’s offense in 2015 and should push for All-America honors once again.

 

2. Dalvin Cook, Florida State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Cook ranked as the No. 13 prospect in the 2014 247Sports Composite and emerged as Florida State’s go-to back in the second half of 2014. Cook rushed for at least 100 yards in each of his final three games, including a 177-yard effort against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship. With Jameis Winston off to the NFL, Cook will be the Seminoles’ best offensive weapon in 2015.

 

Related: Florida State's Jimbo Fisher is the ACC's No. 1 Coach for 2015

 

3. Jon Hilliman, Boston College

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

As a true freshman last season, Hilliman ranked second on Boston College’s offense with 860 rushing yards and led the team with 13 rushing scores. The New Jersey native recorded three 100-yard efforts, including 148 yards against Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl. Hilliman should be an even bigger part of the Eagles offense in 2015.

 

4. Joseph Yearby, Miami

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Yearby’s spot on this list is a projection, and the sophomore could be one of the ACC’s top breakout stars for 2015. Duke Johnson won’t be easy to replace, but Yearby flashed potential in a limited role last year by rushing for 509 yards and one score on 86 attempts. The Miami native ranked as the No. 44 recruit in the 2014 247Sports Composite and is expected to start, but junior Gus Edwards will also see plenty of opportunities.

 

Related: Miami Hurricanes 2015 Schedule Analysis

 

5. Shadrach Thornton, NC State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Thornton leads an underrated backfield for third-year coach Dave Doeren. In 13 games last season, Thornton rushed for 907 yards and nine scores and recorded his best rushing performances in the final three games. Just based on proven stats and talent, Thornton could be higher on this list. However, with Matt Dayes and freshmen Johnny Frasier, Reggie Gallaspy and Nyheim Hines returning, Thornton may not see much of an uptick in carries this year.

 

6. Wayne Gallman, Clemson

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Gallman provided a spark for Clemson’s offense in the second half of 2014, and the sophomore heads into 2015 at the top of a talented backfield. In 13 games, Gallman rushed for 769 yards and four scores and caught 24 passes for 108 yards. He rushed for 191 yards in the 35-17 win over rival South Carolina and added two other 100-yard efforts in 2014. Clemson has depth at running back, but Gallman could push for 1,000 yards.

 

Related: Clemson's Deshaun Watson Ranks as the ACC's No. 1 QB for 2015

 

7. Taquan Mizzell, Virginia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Mizzell could easily finish much higher on this list in 2015. The Virginia native was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and has worked in a reserve role in his first two years with the Cavaliers. During his Virginia career, Mizzell has rushed for 464 yards and three scores and caught 68 passes for 435 yards. There’s no denying Mizzell is one of the ACC’s most talented running backs. Is he ready to take the next step and become Virginia’s go-to back in 2015?

 

8. Brandon Radcliff, Louisville

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Radcliff didn’t see much playing time in 2013, but the Miami native emerged as Louisville’s top running back in 2014. He led the team with 737 rushing yards and recorded 12 scores on the ground. Radcliff posted at least 17 carries in each of his last three games and posted a season high of 136 yards against Notre Dame. Louisville’s offensive line is a concern, and there’s good depth in the backfield, but Radcliff could approach 1,000 yards this season.

 

9. J.C. Coleman, Virginia Tech

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

With Marshawn Williams (injury) and Shai McKenzie (off-field incident) uncertain for 2015, Coleman is slated to be the top running back for Frank Beamer. Despite recording only 65 rushing yards through the first nine games, Coleman led the Hokies with 533 yards last season and recorded three rushing scores. The Virginia native came on strong at the end of 2014 and finished the year with at least 95 yards in each of the final four games. Coleman’s best effort came against Cincinnati in the Military Bowl by recording 157 yards on 25 attempts.

 

10. T.J. Logan, North Carolina

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Logan emerged from a crowded backfield to lead North Carolina running backs with 119 carries last season. The North Carolina native ranked second on the team with 582 yards but finished the year with two 100-yard efforts over the final three games. Logan will likely share carries with Elijah Hood in 2015.

 

Related: Can Gene Chizik Save North Carolina's Defense?

 

Other Running Backs to Watch

 

Dennis Andrews, Georgia Tech

Andrews showed some promise late in 2014 by recording 81 yards on nine attempts over the final four games of 2014.

 

Matt Dayes, NC State

Dayes recorded 573 yards and eight scores on 104 attempts last year. Five of his eight rushing touchdowns came over the final four games. He also caught 32 passes for 321 yards. A solid No. 2 to Shadrach Thornton.

 

Gus Edwards, Miami

Edwards will push Joseph Yearby for the No. 1 job. As a sophomore last year, Edwards rushed for 349 yards and six scores.

 

Elijah Hood, North Carolina

Touted recruit in the 2014 signing class should improve after only rushing for 259 yards last season.

 

Devante McFarlane, Syracuse

McFarlane has showed potential in limited action, averaging 6.1 yards per carry over the last two years. He’s slated to take on a bigger role in the backfield in 2015.

 

Mario Pender, Florida State

Pender flashed his talent and potential in a limited role last season, rushing for 206 yards and four scores on 41 attempts.

 

Shaquille Powell, Duke

Powell led all Duke players with 618 rushing yards last season. He’s slated to start in 2015, but the Blue Devils have options here, including Jela Duncan (back from academic suspension) and Shaun Wilson (7.7 ypc in 2014).

 

L.J. Scott/Jeremy Smith, Louisville

Scott and Smith should see plenty of opportunities in coach Bobby Petrino’s offense as backups to Brandon Radcliff.

 

Broderick Snoddy, Georgia Tech

Snoddy averaged a robust 10.1 yards per carry on 28 rushing attempts last year. If he’s healthy from a season-ending leg injury, Snoddy will be one of Georgia Tech’s top options at running back.

 

Dezmond Wortham, Wake Forest

Wake Forest’s offense is searching for some punch in the rushing attack after averaging only 1.3 yards per carry in 2014. The offensive line must improve to help the running backs, but the Demon Deacons need Wortham or Isaiah Robinson to provide more big plays in 2015.

Teaser:
Ranking the ACC's Running Backs for 2015
Post date: Monday, May 11, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/former-illinois-football-player-simon-cvijanovic-blasts-coach-tim-beckman-twitter
Body:

It’s no secret Illinois’ coach Tim Beckman is on the hot seat entering 2015. Beckman’s win total has improved by two games in back-to-back years after winning only two games in his debut. However, after a 6-7 record in 2014, it’s critical for Beckman to post a winning mark in 2015.

 

And Beckman is only going to be under more scrutiny in 2015 after a series of tweets from former player Simon Cvijanovic (@IlliniSi on Twitter).

 

The tweets from Cvijanovic are only one side of the story, and there are others who came to the Beckman’s defense on Sunday night. 

 

Which side is more believable? We've collected some of Cvijanovic's tweets, as well as some from other players (current and former) and other sources. 

 

 

Teaser:
Former Illinois Football Player Simon Cvijanovic Blasts Coach Tim Beckman on Twitter
Post date: Monday, May 11, 2015 - 08:30
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12s-college-football-coaches-2015
Body:

Success with any college football team starts with coaching. Even if a program doesn’t have the resources of the nation’s elite jobs, a good coach can elevate a program into national title contention. However, similar to any position on the field, statistics may not tell the full story when judging a coaching tenure.

 

This is not simply a list of coaches ranked by accomplishment or wins. While those aspects are important, it doesn’t provide a complete picture of how successful coaches are. Winning 10 games at Alabama is different than winning 10 games at Kentucky. Also, every program has a different amount of resources available. Hierarchy in college football also plays a vital role in how successful programs are. It's always easier for programs with more built-in advantages to contend for a national title on a more consistent basis.

 

A couple of other factors to consider when ranking coaches: How well are the assistants paid? A staff with two of the nation’s top coordinators could be a sign the head coach is better as a CEO and may not be as strong in terms of developing gameplans. How is the coach in the X’s and O’s? Can the coach recruit? Are the program’s facilities on par with the rest of the conference? Much like assistants, a program needs good facilities to win big. If a team is winning at a high level with poor facilities and a small budget, it reflects positively on the head coach. Is the coach successful at only one stop? Or has that coach built a solid resume from different jobs?

 

Again, wins are important. But our rankings also take into account a blank slate. If you start a program from scratch, which coach would you hire knowing what they accomplished so far and their career trajectory? Remember, you don't get the assistants - only the head coach. And head-to-head wins do not matter for this ranking.

 

Ranking the Big 12’s Football Coaches for 2015

 

1. Art Briles, Baylor

Record at Baylor: 55-34 (7 years)

Career Record: 89-62 (12 years)

 

Briles has completely changed the perception of Baylor football over the last seven years. Prior to Briles’ tenure, the Bears did not play in a bowl or post a winning record from 1995-2007. Baylor went 8-16 in Briles’ first two years, but has played in five consecutive bowl games and tied or won the conference championship in back-to-back years. The Bears are 22-4 over the last two seasons and have three double-digit victory totals in three out of the last four years. Prior to taking over at Baylor, Briles went 34-28 at Houston. Briles is a Texas coaching lifer and has changed this program from one of the bottom teams in the Big 12 into a conference championship contender. The talent level on this team has improved with four consecutive top-40 signing classes, and the program just opened brand-new McLane Stadium in 2014. Momentum at Baylor is at an all-time high with Briles at the controls – and it doesn’t appear to be slowing anytime soon.

 

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

Record at Kansas State: 187-94-1 (23 years)

Career Record: 187-94-1 (23 years)

 

There’s not a coach in the nation doing more with less every year. Kansas State is not an easy job, yet Snyder continues to keep the Wildcats in contention for the Big 12 title on a yearly basis. Kansas State won only three games in the four previous years prior to his hire in November 1988, and after a 1-10 record in his first season, Snyder’s teams have won fewer than six games only four times and claimed double-digit victories in seven years. Don't forget that following his retirement after the 2005 season, Kansas State went just 17-20 in three years under Ron Prince before Snyder returned in November 2008. Regardless of how much talent or key personnel Kansas State loses, the Wildcats are always a threat to win the conference championship and finish among the top 25 teams in the nation. Developing and finding talent in the junior college ranks is one of Snyder’s biggest strengths. Kansas State doesn’t recruit at a high level, so it’s important to develop talent and find ways to win games with less. That’s exactly what Snyder has accomplished, as from 2011-14, the Wildcats have the best record in Big 12 games (27-9).

 

3. Gary Patterson, TCU

Record at TCU: 132-45 (14 years)

Career Record: 132-45 (14 years)

 

Coming off a 12-1 season and a No. 3 ranking in the final Associated Press poll, TCU is among the favorites to contend for the 2015 national championship. The Horned Frogs have come a long way in a short amount of time since joining the Big 12. TCU finished 7-6 in its Big 12 debut in 2012 but followed that up with a 4-8 mark in 2013, thanks in large part to a struggling offense. The The 8-1 mark in conference play last season is easily the best of TCU’s three-year stint in the Big 12. In Patterson’s 14 years, the Horned Frogs have won 132 games and claimed 10 or more victories in nine of those seasons. Winning at a high level is nothing new for Patterson in Fort Worth. In 2010, TCU finished No. 2 nationally with a 13-0 mark, No. 7 in 2008 and No. 6 in 2009. With Patterson at the helm, TCU will be a consistent threat to win the Big 12 title.

 

Related: TCU's Trevone Boykin Ranks as the Big 12's No. 1 QB for 2015 

 

4. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

Record at Oklahoma: 168-44 (16 years)

Career Record: 168-44 (16 years)

 

With 16 seasons at Oklahoma, Stoops is the second-longest tenured coach in college football. The Sooners have consistently ranked among the Big 12’s best under Stoops, winning at least 10 games in 12 of his years in Norman. Additionally, Stoops has guided Oklahoma to eight Big 12 titles and one national championship (2000). Winning at a high level and competing for a spot in one of college football’s top bowl games has become the norm for the Sooners under Stoops. However, Oklahoma finished 8-5 in 2014, which was the worst mark under Stoops since 2009 (8-5). Maintaining success at one job for a long period of time is no easy task for any college football coach. Stoops will try to get the program back on track with a few staff changes, including new offensive play-caller Lincoln Riley. There’s no question Stoops is among the best in the nation, and it will be interesting to see if 2014 was just a small blip on the radar or if it’s the beginning of a down period for the program. 

 

5. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

Record at Oklahoma State: 84-44 (10 years)

Career Record: 84-44 (10 years)

 

Oklahoma State took a step back in the win column in 2014, needing a late punt return for a touchdown to beat Oklahoma and secure bowl eligibility for the ninth consecutive season. The win over Washington in the Cactus Bowl gave Oklahoma State its ninth winning season in Gundy’s 10 years. The Cowboys have won at least 10 games in three out of the last five seasons and finished No. 3 nationally in 2011. Gundy consistently has Oklahoma State finishing in the top half of the Big 12, and the Cowboys are poised to return to the top 25 after last year’s 7-6 mark. Gundy’s name popped up in the rumor mill for other jobs over the last three offseasons, but the former Oklahoma State quarterback seems to be reenergized headed into 2015. 

 

Related: Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph is a Player on the Rise for 2015

 

6. Charlie Strong, Texas

Record at Texas: 6-7 (1 year)

Career Record: 43-23 (5+ years)

 

As expected, Strong had to reset the foundation at Texas. The Longhorns finished 6-7 last year and won five games in Big 12 action. However, Texas beat only two teams with a winning record and was thoroughly dominated by TCU and Arkansas in the final two games of 2014. The Longhorns only went 16-11 in Big 12 games over Mack Brown’s final three years and recorded just one finish in the final Associated Press poll in that span. The program clearly slipped in Brown’s final four years, and Strong needs a little time to rebuild the talent and get Texas back into contention for Big 12 championships. It’s only a matter of time before that happens, as Strong went 37-15 in four years at Louisville, including a 23-3 record from 2012-13. 

 

Related: Texas Ranks as the No. 1 Coaching Job in the Big 12

 

7. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

Record at West Virginia: 28-23 (4 years)

Career Record: 28-23 (4 years)

 

Under Holgorsen’s direction over the last four years, West Virginia has made the successful transition from the Big East to the Big 12. The Mountaineers won the Big East title in Holgorsen’s first season and finished 7-6 in their Big 12 debut in 2012. After stumbling to a 4-8 record in 2013, West Virginia rebounded with a 7-6 record in 2014 and claimed its first winning mark in conference play since joining the Big 12. And with 15 starters back for 2015, West Virginia should have a good chance to improve on last year’s record. Holgorsen is a highly regarded offensive mind and is settling into his role as the head coach. With Holgorsen stabilizing the program and competing in the Big 12, the future looks bright in Morgantown. 

 

8. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

Record at Texas Tech: 12-13 (2 years)

Career Record: 12-13 (2 years)

 

Kingsbury was one of the nation’s top assistants when he was tapped to replace Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech in 2013. And the Red Raiders started Kingsbury’s tenure on a high note, winning their first seven games and jumping as high as No. 16 in the Associated Press poll. But Texas Tech lost its last five regular season games and used a bowl victory over Arizona State to finish 8-5. 2014 was a step back for Kingsbury, as the Red Raiders slipped to 4-8 and recorded three wins by seven points or less against Central Arkansas, UTEP and Iowa State. There’s no doubt Kingsbury is one of the Big 12’s top offensive minds and will have his unit performing at a high level. However, fixing the defense has to be a priority after allowing 42.8 points in Big 12 games in 2014. Hiring David Gibbs should pay dividends for the defense, which should allow Texas Tech to return to the postseason in 2015.

 

Related: Texas Tech Needs David Gibbs to Reverse Defensive Woes

 

9. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State

Record at Iowa State: 29-46 (6 years)

Career Record: 29-46 (6 years)

 

Iowa State is one of the nation’s toughest Power 5 jobs. The in-state recruiting base is small, the Big 12 slate isn’t easy and you have to be good at developing talent or mining the junior college ranks for quick fixes. As an Iowa native, Rhoads knows all about the challenges of coaching in Ames. He also served as an assistant with the Cyclones in 1995-99. In six years as the program’s head coach, Rhoads is 29-46 overall with three bowl appearances. Iowa State has slipped after earning back-to-back bowl bids in 2011-12 with a 5-19 mark over the last two years. Rhoads is a good coach that can squeeze the most out of his roster. However, after a winless record in Big 12 play, Rhoads needs to get the program back to qualifying for a bowl game.

 

10. David Beaty, Kansas

Record at Kansas: First Year

Career Record: First Year

 

Beaty is a former Kansas assistant and comes to Lawrence after a three-year stint at Texas A&M. He has never been a head coach, but the Jayhawks hope his recruiting ties to Texas and previous experience at Kansas help to turn around a program that has not won more than three games in each of the last five years. Beaty retained last year’s interim coach Clint Bowen but isn’t inheriting much to work with going into 2015 and just getting to three or four wins would be a good year for the Jayhawks. With a lack of head coaching experience and only two years as a coordinator on the collegiate level, Beaty is still largely an unknown.

Teaser:
Ranking the Big 12's College Football Coaches for 2015
Post date: Friday, May 8, 2015 - 11:00

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