Articles By Steven Lassan

Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-10-surprises-after-two-weeks

Only two weeks of the 2012 college football season are in the books, but there has been plenty of action so far. After two weeks, Athlon runs down 10 surprises, including Pac-12 teams UCLA, Arizona and Oregon State. There's still plenty of time for our opinion to change on these teams/players/units over the next few weeks, but here are 10 things that caught our attention through two games.

College Football's Top 10 Surprises After Two Weeks

1. UCLA – Talent never seems to be an issue for the Bruins. However, the results haven’t always matched the players on the roster. That isn’t the case in 2012, as UCLA is off to a promising 2-0 start, largely due to the emergence of quarterback Brett Hundley. Behind Hundley and running back Johnathan Franklin, the Bruins are averaging 649.5 yards and 42.5 points per game. UCLA’s defense needs some work, but its offense should be able to outscore a lot of teams on the schedule in 2012. With Houston, Oregon State and Colorado up next, the Bruins could be 5-0 going into the first weekend in October.

2. Arizona – Rich Rodriguez was a bad fit at Michigan, but he’s clearly the right man for the job in Tucson. The Wildcats are off to a 2-0 start, which includes a solid win over Toledo in the opener and an upset victory over Oklahoma State in Week 2. Rodriguez has found the perfect triggerman for his spread attack, as senior Matt Scott is tied for second nationally in total offense after two games. The Wildcats still have concerns on defense but should be 3-0 after beating South Carolina State this Saturday. Even though Arizona won’t win the Pac-12 this year, it’s clear Rodriguez has this program on the right track.

3. De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon – Considering what he did as a freshman last season, Thomas’ numbers through the first two weeks shouldn’t be a shock. However, the sophomore’s statline is ridiculous. Thomas has scored on three of his 10 rushing attempts and is averaging 16.6 yards per carry. He has also scored on two of his eight receptions. It will be difficult to keep those numbers up the rest of the season, but Thomas is clearly one of the nation’s top playmakers and should make a run at the Heisman Trophy.

4. Iowa State – As long as Paul Rhoads is on the sideline in Ames, the Cyclones will be a threat to pull off a couple of upsets every year. Iowa State was listed as an underdog in the first two games of 2012 but won both contests. The Cyclones knocked off one of the favorites (Tulsa) for the Conference USA title in Week 1 and beat in-state rival in Iowa in Week 2. Considering Iowa State was an underdog in its first two games and seems to be improved off last season’s bowl team, the Cyclones are the Big 12’s top surprise team through the first two weeks. 

5. Oregon State – Due to a canceled game against Nicholls State in Week 1, there’s not much data on Oregon State. However, the limited sample size on the Beavers suggests this is an improved team. Oregon State upset Wisconsin last Saturday, and after struggling to stop the run in 2011, the Beavers allowed just 35 yards to the Badgers and forced three sacks. Oregon State has an uphill battle to get bowl eligible in the Pac-12 North, but don’t expect this team to be an easy out in conference play. 

6. Alabama’s defense – There was no doubt the Crimson Tide would reload on defense, but most expected it would take a couple of weeks before this unit was back to its usual shutdown ways. Two weeks into the season and it looks like Alabama is ready to match last year’s No. 1 ranking. The defense has allowed only 14 points through two weeks and ranks 14th in total defense (246.5 yards per game). Alabama’s defense won’t be as dominant with all of the new faces stepping in, however, this unit should still finish in the top five nationally in points and yards allowed.

7. Miami Hurricanes’ defense – Even with six new starters, no one could have predicted Miami’s defense would be this bad after two weeks. The Hurricanes have been abysmal so far, allowing an average of 42 points and 517.5 yards per game. This unit has barely generated a pass rush (1 sack) and ranks last in the ACC in total, scoring and pass defense. Miami suffered another setback in Saturday’s game against Kansas State, as linebacker Ramon Buchanan was lost for the season. The Hurricanes should have a much easier time stopping Bethune-Cookman this Saturday, but Georgia Tech, NC State and Notre Dame will test this defense once again.

8. FCS upsets over FBS teams – Games against FCS teams aren’t always guaranteed wins and that’s been showcased through the first two weeks. FCS teams have pulled eight upsets so far – McNeese State over MTSU, Northern Arizona over UNLV, Sacramento State over Colorado, North Dakota State over Colorado State, UT Martin over Memphis, Illinois State over Eastern Michigan, Youngstown State over Pittsburgh and Eastern Washington over Idaho. Although none of those teams were national title contenders, FBS teams – especially those outside of the BCS – can’t take FCS teams lightly.

9. Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse – Nassib was expected to be one of the top quarterbacks in the Big East, but he stepped up his play to another level in 2012. Through the first two weeks of this season, Nassib has 804 yards and six touchdowns, while adding 32 yards and a score on the ground. The senior ranks second nationally with an average of 418 total yards per game and is completing 67 percent of his throws. Nassib should easily surpass last season’s totals – 2,685 yards and 22 touchdowns if he continues to play at this level. Considering Syracuse is struggling to keep opposing offenses out of the endzone, the Orange could ask Nassib to win a lot of shootouts in 2012.

10. Boise State’s defense – While Miami’s defense made it on this list for the wrong reasons, the Broncos earn a spot due to their Week 1 performance against Michigan State. Yes, this unit allowed 461 yards, but it forced four turnovers and took one interception back for a score. Boise State has only one game under its belt, but considering its defense had to break in 10 new starters, the early results are positive that this unit will remain one of the best in the nation. 

by Steven Lassan

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College Football Week 2 Recap

<p> College Football's Top 10 Surprises After Two Weeks</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 05:41
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-10-disappointments-after-two-weeks

The 2012 college football season is still young, but it's never too early to start looking at some of the biggest disappointments from the preseason. Arkansas' surprising loss to Louisiana-Monroe knocked it out of the national title picture, while the nation has yet to see Washington State's offense get on track. There's plenty of time for these teams, players and units to turn things around. However, after two weeks, these are our 10 biggest disappointments based on preseason expectations.

College Football’s Top 10 Disappointments After 2 Weeks

1. Arkansas – Yes, there was a drop off expected after Bobby Petrino was fired in the spring, but no one could have predicted Saturday night’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks are a solid Sun Belt team, but this is a game Arkansas should not lose. Losing quarterback Tyler Wilson certainly hurt, but the defense had an awful performance. The Razorbacks held national title hopes coming into the year but could struggle just to finish in the top 15 of the polls at the end of the season.

2. Washington State’s offense – With Mike Leach’s arrival in Pullman, and the return of quarterback Jeff Tuel and receiver Marquess Wilson, big things were expected of Washington State’s offense. Through two weeks, the Cougars have failed to live up to the hype, ranking 104th in scoring and 111th in yards per game (289.5). It’s early in the year, but it was a surprise to see Washington State’s offense sputter against Eastern Washington and BYU. A key reason for the struggles has been the play of the offensive line, which is allowing three sacks per game. Expect the Cougars to find their rhythm on offense as the year progresses, but bigger things were expected out of this unit against BYU and Eastern Washington.

3. Wisconsin – With the departure of a handful of assistant coaches, and quarterback Russell Wilson finishing his eligibility, the Badgers weren’t expected to match last season’s offensive numbers. However, Wisconsin’s offense has been lackluster through the first two weeks, recording only 26 points against Northern Iowa and seven against Oregon State. Bret Bielema has already made one change, firing offensive line coach Mike Markuson and more moves could be coming at the end of the year if Wisconsin’s offense doesn’t improve. Heisman Trophy candidate Montee Ball has just 181 yards and one touchdown through two weeks, while the Badgers rank 105th nationally in total yards per game. The good news for Wisconsin? The Leaders Division is essentially a three-team race – Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin – with Ohio State and Penn State ineligible to play for the Big Ten title. If the Badgers can find the right mix on the offensive line and get Ball going on the ground, this team can easily win the division title.

4. Auburn – The Tigers weren’t expected to be ranked in the top 10, but most thought this team would be improved. Through two weeks, Auburn clearly has a lot of work to do. The offense ranks last in the SEC in yards per game (295) and 13th in passing (159.5). Quarterback Kiehl Frazier’s performance hasn’t inspired much confidence so far, tossing four picks and completing less than 50 percent of his throws. Despite having some talent on the offensive line, Auburn is allowing two sacks per game and is averaging only 135.5 rushing yards per contest. With SEC games against LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Georgia and Alabama remaining, the Tigers will have its hands full just getting bowl eligible.

5. Pittsburgh – The Panthers were pegged as a darkhorse candidate to compete for the Big East title in the preseason, but it’s been an awful start to Paul Chryst’s tenure. Pittsburgh was dominated by FCS foe Youngstown State 31-17 in the season opener and failed to show much improvement in the Week 2 loss to Cincinnati. The biggest problem for Chryst has been a defense that has allowed 422.5 yards per game and has just one sack through the first two games. As with all of the teams on this list, Pittsburgh has time to turn things around. However, having four head coaches in three years has probably caught up to the Panthers.

6. Big Ten – Two weeks into the season and the Big Ten is off to a bad start. Throw out Northwestern’s wins against Syracuse and Vanderbilt and the conference has no other non-conference victories against BCS competition and Notre Dame (0-7). Ouch. Some of the outcomes weren’t a surprise, but Illinois was expected to challenge Arizona State (not having quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase certainly hurt) and Wisconsin was a heavy favorite to beat Oregon State. Considering the conference doesn’t have many opportunities to earn big non-conference wins the rest of the way, the Big Ten will have to wait until bowl season to get marquee victories against BCS competition.  

7. NCAA’s new helmet rule – Yes, safety is important, but this rule is ridiculous. There have been instances through the first two weeks where players are having their helmets ripped off by defenses and are forced to sit out the next play. It’s important for players to keep their helmets buckled tight for safety, but sitting out a play for something the defense is doing just doesn’t make sense – especially since the referees can’t catch everything. And wouldn’t this rule promote more aggressive play if defenses know any player has to miss a play if his helmet comes off? The intent is correct, but this rule could end up costing a team a victory this year. 

8. Houston – A year after nearly earning a BCS bowl, the Cougars are off to an 0-2 start and no longer appear to be the favorites to win Conference USA’s West Division. Of course, there were some key personnel losses, but new quarterback David Piland had experience and was joined by 12 returning starters. There’s been some turmoil surrounding this team already, as offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt was fired after the first game. New coach Tony Levine was a questionable hire and has done nothing to ease those concerns.

9. Utah – After finishing 2011 with wins in five out of their last six games, the Utes were picked to be USC’s biggest challenger in the Pac-12 South Division. Utah easily won the opener against Northern Colorado but dropped a 27-20 overtime game against in-state foe Utah State in Week 2. The Utes also lost quarterback Jordan Wynn for the year against the Aggies, only adding to the concern surrounding this team. Although Jon Hays and Travis Wilson could end up being a solid duo at quarterback, Utah does not look like the No. 2 team in the South.

10. FIU – The Golden Panthers haven’t been bad, but this team has a 20-point loss to Duke, who was thoroughly dismantled against Stanford in Week 2. FIU also needed overtime to beat an Akron team that was one of the worst in the nation in 2011. The Golden Panthers are still one of the favorites to win the Sun Belt title, but this team was a trendy upset pick against the Blue Devils in Week 1 and were expected to easily beat the Zips last Saturday.

by Steven Lassan


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College Football Week 2 Recap

<p> College Football's Top 10 Disappointments After Two Weeks</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 05:39
All taxonomy terms: TCU Horned Frogs, Big 12, News
Path: /news/tcu-has-game-ball-2012-opener-delivered-jetpack

TCU opened the 2012 season in dramatic fashion. The Horned Frogs opened a renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium with an easy 56-0 win over Grambling. There's a lot of momentum around the program this season, especially with a move to the Big 12. 

However, Saturday's win over Grambling might not have been the most exciting thing the fans got to watch. Before kickoff, the game ball was delivered via jetpack.

That's right - a jetpack.

Rocketman flies into the stadium and lands right around midfield to deliver the gameball for a historic 2012 season at TCU.

<p> TCU Has Game Ball for 2012 Opener Delivered by Jetpack</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 15:09
All taxonomy terms: AFC North, Cleveland Browns, News
Path: /news/trent-richardson-delivers-punishing-hit-philadelphias-kurt-coleman

Cleveland running back Trent Richardson wasn't expected to find much running room against Philadelphia in Week 1. The rookie rushed for 39 yards on 19 attempts and caught one pass for five years. 

Although Richardson had a lackluster statistical performance, he provided one of the weekend's top highlights by leveling Philadelphia safety Kurt Coleman. Richardson's punishing hit forces Coleman's helmet off, which isn't a bad way to announce your arrival in the NFL.

<p> Trent Richardson Delivers Punishing Hit to Philadelphia's Kurt Coleman</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 10:33
All taxonomy terms: News
Path: /news/brandon-weeden-gets-trapped-under-american-flag-pregame-warmups

Brandon Weeden had a performance to forget in his first start. The rookie quarterback completed just 12 of 35 throws for 118 yards and four interceptions.

However, his bad day started in pregame warmups, as he was trapped under the American flag. Weeden eventually emerged from underneath the flag, but it was an embarrassing moment for the rookie quarterback from Oklahoma State.

<p> Brandon Weeden Gets Trapped Under American Flag In Pregame Warmups</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 09:56
Path: /college-football/sec-post-week-2-power-rankings

It was a huge week in the SEC, as the conference officially welcomed its two new members. However, the new schools (Texas A&M and Missouri) both lost in its debuts but should be good additions to the conference. Tennessee moved to 2-0 with a win over Georgia State, and Alabama handled Western Kentucky with a 35-0 win. One of the biggest surprises in the SEC from Week 2 was Vanderbilt's loss to Northwestern.

Post-Week 2 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. AJ McCarron, Alabama - Western Kentucky won’t be the toughest test of McCarron’s season, but the Tide’s quarterback completed 14 of 19 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns. In his last six games, McCarron has 12 touchdown and no interceptions. Next up: Arkansas.

2. Tyler Bray, Tennessee - A bigger test will come this week against Florida, but Bray already appears poised for a career year by completing 45 of 61 of his passes for 643 yards with six touchdowns in his first two games.

3. Mike Gillislee, Florida - Where would the Gators be without their top running back? Florida wants to center its offense around the power run game, and Gillislee is delivering. After rushing for 148 yards and two touchdowns against Bowling Green, the senior rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries against Texas A&M. Presumably, he would have been more of a factor had he not missed time with injury.

Post-Week 2 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jarvis Jones, Georgia - Bulldogs coach Mark Richt said Jones may be the best defensive player in America. He certainly was in the second week of the season as he almost single-handedly turned a stalemate of a game into a lopsided finish for Georgia. Jones set up a touchdown by intercepting a James Franklin pass and returning it 22 yards to the 1-yard line. Jones then sacked James Franklin later in the fourth quarter, forcing a fumble to set up a touchdown to seal the 41-20 win.

2. Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State - Opposing quarterbacks avoided the Bulldogs cornerback over the second half of last season. Auburns’ Kiehl Frazier would have been wise to do the same. Banks had two first-half interceptions against the Tigers to go with six tackles. Banks has 14 career picks and seven in the last two seasons.

3. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M - The nation’s top pass rush from a year ago showed no signs of letting up against Florida. The Aggies had eight sacks against the Gators, led by Damontre Moore. The junior finished with three sacks and 10 tackles.

Post-Week 2 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Nick Saban, Alabama - Until further notice, Saban’s still the best coach in the country even when he’s chastising the media (when he’s really chastising his own players).

2. Mark Richt, Georgia - The Bulldogs are still missing key players on defense, but big plays from the D set the tone in a conference road win.

3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina - It was only East Carolina, but the Gamecocks rolled despite a backup quarterback and only 40 yards from Marcus Lattimore.

Post-Week 2 SEC Power Rankings

1. Alabama (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Western Kentucky 35-0
It wasn’t the cleanest effort, but the Crimson Tide handled Western Kentucky to move to 2-0 on the year. Quarterback AJ McCarron was efficient and effective, completing 14 of 19 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns. Alabama’s defense held the Hilltoppers to 224 yards, while also forcing four turnovers. One concern for the Crimson Tide was the play of the offensive line. Western Kentucky recorded six sacks against McCarron, giving something for Nick Saban and his staff to address in practice this week.
Next Game: at Arkansas

2. LSU (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Washington 41-3
The Tigers haven’t had to sweat much through the first two weeks and should cruise to a 3-0 start with Idaho up next. LSU fell behind 3-0 to Washington but took control through the rest of the first half with a dominating defensive line and rushing attack. The Tigers ended up with three running backs with at least 10 carries, with Alfred Blue leading the way with 101 yards. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger wasn’t flashy but finished with 195 yards on 12 completions. The only downside to Week 2 was an injury to tackle Chris Faulk in practice, who will miss the rest of the year.
Next Game: Idaho

3. Georgia (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Missouri 41-20
All the talk about suspensions catching up to Georgia against Missouri seemed pretty silly by late Saturday. The Bulldogs still don’t have safety Bacarri Rambo, linebacker Alec Ogletree and cornerback Sanders Commings. Instead, linebacker Jarvis Jones was a wrecking crew on defense on his own. The Bulldogs had some miscues early with two turnovers and five punts in the first eight possessions, but they were tough to stop on either side of the ball in the second half. Georgia held Missouri to 2.6 yards per carry, and Aaron Murray settled in to complete 22-of-35 passes for 242 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.
This week: FAU

4. South Carolina (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat East Carolina 48-10
South Carolina had no need for Connor Shaw and his bruised shoulder against East Carolina, and in the process, the Gamecocks found a perfectly capably backup quarterback. Dylan Thompson was 21-of-37 for 330 yards with three touchdowns against the Pirates in his first career start. The 397 yards through the air were the most at South Carolina under Steve Spurrier.
This week: UAB

5. Tennessee (2-0. 0-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Georgia State 51-13
Georgia State was overmatched, but the Volunteers were encouraged to see their passing game click for the second time this season. Quarterback Tyler Bray finished 18 of 20 for 310 yards with four touchdown passes while receiver Justin Hunter showed he’s recovered from a torn ACL by catching eight passes for 146 yards with three touchdowns. Bray is riding a streak of 13 consecutive completions going into the matchup with Florida, which is suddenly the top game in the SEC following Arkansas’ loss to Louisiana-Monroe. If there’s a concern for Tennessee, it may be in the kicking game where Michael Palardy has missed two extra points and a field goal this season.
This week: Florida

6. Florida (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Texas A&M 20-17
Florida scored a major win in halftime adjustments. Without any film on Kevin Sumlin’s Texas A&M team, the Gators limped through the first half, especially in defending Aggies freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Gators allowed long drives throughout the first half, but they returned more disciplined in the second, forcing A&M to punt on all six second-half possessions. In his first game since being anointed as the starter, quarterback Jeff Driskel showed improvement, completing 13 of 16 passes for 162 yards with no turnovers. The Gators, though, must do a better job of protecting their quarterback, who was sacked eight times Saturday.
This week: at Tennessee

7. Mississippi State (2-0, 1-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Auburn 28-10
It’s only the second week of the season, but the Bulldogs 28-10 victory over Auburn was huge. The win over the Tigers was Dan Mullen’s first against a SEC West opponent outside of Ole Miss, while the game also showed it was a case of programs headed in opposite directions. Quarterback Tyler Russell completed 20 of 29 passes for 222 yards and three touchdowns, while the defense forced five turnovers and allowed no offensive touchdowns to Auburn. With games against Troy, South Alabama and Kentucky coming up, Mississippi State should be 5-0 before the Oct. 13 game against Tennessee.
Next Game: at Troy 

8. Missouri (1-1, 0-1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost to Georgia 41-20
The Tigers exited the loss to Georgia with bigger concerns than staring 0-1 in their new conference. The offensive line struggled from beginning to end and is facing a major injury to boot. Missouri had three bad snaps (including one over the head of quarterback James Franklin for a 24-yard loss) and two penalties on their first three possessions, and by halftime the line lost its leader. Tackle Elvis Fisher left the game with an MCL sprain, forcing a reshuffling of three spots on the line midway through the game. The result was a redshirt freshman at center and a career day for Georgia’s Jarvis Jones. If Fisher is out for a significant amount of time, the Tigers won’t have any warm up games with Arizona State and South Carolina on the schedule in the next two weeks.
This week: Arizona State

9. Texas A&M (0-1, 0-1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost to Florida 20-17
It was a big day in College Station but once again, the Aggies were unable to close out a lead in the second half. Texas A&M’s SEC debut started well, jumping out to a 17-7 lead at halftime. However, Florida kept Aggies’ quarterback Johnny Manziel in check in the second half, while making a few timely plays on offense to drop Texas A&M to 0-1. Although the Gators have struggled to establish consistency on the offensive line, coordinator Mark Snyder has to be pleased with the Aggies’ defense recording eight sacks on Saturday. Texas A&M should break into the win column with a matchup against SMU this Saturday.
Next Game: at SMU

10. Arkansas (1-1, 0-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost to UL Monroe 34-31 (OT)
Whether it was a case of looking ahead to Alabama or injuries adding up, Saturday’s loss to Louisiana-Monroe was inexcusable for a team that expected to compete for the SEC West title. The Razorbacks were knocked out of the national title race with a 34-31 loss to the Warhawks, a game that turned on an injury to quarterback Tyler Wilson. Arkansas’ defense was a question mark entering the season and it doesn’t appear to be much better after allowing 550 yards in Saturday’s loss. The Razorbacks don’t have much time to mope about the disappointing effort, especially with No. 1 Alabama coming to Fayetteville.
Next Game: Alabama

11. Auburn (0-2, 0-1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost 28-10 to Mississippi State
Outside of Onterio McCalebb’s kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, there wasn’t much in the way of positives for Auburn to take away from Saturday’s loss to Mississippi State. The Tigers managed only 216 total yards and committed five turnovers. Auburn quarterback Kiehl Frazier had a disastrous performance, completing only 13 of 22 passes for 125 yards and three interceptions. Making matters worse for the Tigers is the upcoming schedule, which features games against LSU, Arkansas and upset-minded Louisiana-Monroe this Saturday. Unless the offense makes major strides, it will be tough for Auburn to make a bowl this year.
Next Game: UL Monroe

12. Vanderbilt (0-2, 0-1 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost to Northwestern 23-13
The optimism from last season’s bowl trip is beginning to wane after the Commodores started their season with losses to South Carolina and Northwestern. Against the Wildcats, Vanderbilt allowed 10 points in the final 2:06, breaking a 13-13 tie on the road. Although Northwestern’s defense was shredded by Syracuse a week earlier, Vanderbilt struggled to move the ball in the second half. Jordan Rodgers finished 17-of-33 for 217 yards, took three sacks and lost two fumbles. Against Presbyterian of the FCS, Vandy may have a chance to play backup quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, who had a successful freshman season at Wyoming before his transfer. It might not be the last time Franklin turns to his backup.
This week: Presbyterian

13. Kentucky (1-1, 0-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Kent State 47-14
Kentucky needed a boost of confidence after the 32-14 loss to Louisville in the opener. The final score was lopsided, but the Wildcats led by merely a field goal until the final eight minutes of the third quarter. Kentucky scored 30 unanswered points in the second half to seal the rout. Maxwell Smith continues to be one of Kentucky’s only hopes for respectability. He was 30-of-39 for 354 yards with four touchdown passes an no interceptions against Kent State. And since taking over as Kentucky’s starting quarterback, he’s completing 63.7 percent of his passes for 1,403 yards with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions in his last six games.
This week: Western Kentucky

14. Ole Miss (2-0, 0-0 SEC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat UTEP 28-10
The competition hasn’t been great, but the Rebels have shown some signs of life and are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2009. Ole Miss didn't dominate but was never really in any danger of losing to UTEP on Saturday night. Quarterback Bo Wallace has been solid through the first two weeks, completing 35 of 46 passes for 438 yards and five touchdowns. Just how much has Ole Miss improved under new coach Huge Freeze? The Rebels should find out this Saturday with Texas coming to Oxford.
Next Game: Texas

by David Fox and Steven Lassan

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Week 2 College Football Recap

<p> SEC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 06:31
Path: /college-football/acc-post-week-2-power-rankings

With the top three teams playing non-conference opponents, it was a relatively quiet week in the ACC. NC State scored a key win at Connecticut, while Wake Forest opened conference play with a victory over North Carolina. Maryland matched its win total from last season by beating Temple, but Miami was whipped in a loss to Kansas State.

Post-Week 2 ACC Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson – Ellington wasn’t called upon much in Clemson’s blowout win over Ball State. Through two weeks, the senior has 269 yards, two scores and is averaging 7.1 yards per attempt.

2. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Hopkins followed up a stellar effort in the opener against Auburn with six catches for 105 yards and three scores against Ball State.

3. Michael Campanaro, WR, Wake Forest – Campanaro delivered in a big way for Wake Forest’s offense against North Carolina, catching 13 passes for 164 yards.

Post-Week 2 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner barely played against Savannah State but still notched two tackles, one sack and 1.5 tackles for a loss.

2. Joe Vellano, DL, Maryland – Vellano turned in another strong performance in Week 2, recording four tackles, one sack and one forced fumble against Temple.

3. Steve Greer, LB, Virginia – Greer has been a tackling machine through the first two weeks of the season, leading the team with 15 stops and two sacks in the narrow win over Penn State.

Post-Week 2 ACC Coach of the Year Standings

1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – The Seminoles haven’t been challenged through the first two games, but this team still looks like the one to beat in the ACC.

2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – No letdown for the Tigers on Saturday, cruising to an easy 52-27 win over Ball State.

3. Jim Grobe, Wake Forest – The Demon Deacons looked sluggish in their Week 1 win over Liberty but rebounded with a key ACC victory over North Carolina in Week 2.

ACC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings

1. Florida State (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Savannah State 55-0
As expected, the Seminoles cruised to an easy 55-0 victory over Savannah State. Inclement weather forced the game to end early, but there was really nothing for Florida State to gain by playing out the second half. Although the competition will get tougher over the next two weeks, it’s a positive sign the Seminoles have allowed zero sacks through the first two games. Quarterback EJ Manuel has been steady as well, completing 27 of 35 passes for 349 yards and four scores. Florida State’s quest for an ACC title starts on Saturday against Wake Forest.
Next Game: Wake Forest

2. Clemson (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Ball State 52-27
After a big win over Auburn, Clemson’s coaching staff had to be worried about an early letdown against Ball State. However, those concerns were quickly erased with a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. The Tigers got another solid performance from quarterback Tajh Boyd, throwing for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Andre Ellington chipped in two touchdowns, while receiver DeAndre Hopkins caught six passes for 105 yards and three scores. The Tigers have one more tune-up before taking on Florida State on Sept. 22. Although Clemson has been solid through the first two weeks, the offensive line still needs some work, and the defense has allowed 216 rushing yards per game.
Next Game: Furman

3. Virginia Tech (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Austin Peay 42-7
No letdown. That’s the most important motto coming out of Week 2 for Virginia Tech. After playing Boise State on Labor Day and losing to James Madison the following week in 2010, the Hokies came out and easily handled Austin Peay. Quarterback Logan Thomas was an efficient 15 of 23 for 212 yards and two scores. The defense forced two turnovers and allowed the Governors to gain only 221 yards. Virginia Tech takes on future ACC rival Pittsburgh this Saturday and doesn’t play another conference game until Oct. 6 at North Carolina.
Next Game: at Pittsburgh

4. Georgia Tech (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Presbyterian 59-3
Presbyterian was the perfect get-well opponent for Georgia Tech. After suffering an overtime loss to Virginia Tech in Week 1, the Yellow Jackets used the FCS opponent to take out some frustration. The offense recorded 712 yards, and the defense pitched a shutout until the final 10 seconds of the game. Considering Georgia Tech already has an ACC loss, Saturday’s game against Virginia is a must-win contest. Another conference defeat would make it tough for the Yellow Jackets to claim the ACC Coastal title this year.
Next Game: Virginia

5. Virginia (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Penn State 17-16
Despite being outgained (330 to 295) and losing the turnover battle, the Cavaliers knocked off Penn State 17-16. Virginia benefitted from the Nittany Lions struggling on field goals, as kicker Sam Ficken missed four attempts, including the game winner as time expired. Virginia’s rushing attack was grounded by Penn State, but quarterback Michael Rocco completed 21 of 33 passes for 258 yards and two scores to help pickup the offense. Although the Nittany Lions are down, it was a huge win for Virginia with games against Georgia Tech, TCU and Louisiana Tech upcoming.
Next Game: at Georgia Tech

6. NC State (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Connecticut 10-7
It was a hard-fought win for the Wolfpack in Week 2. NC State’s offense was held in check through most of the day, as Connecticut registered seven sacks and forced one turnover. However, quarterback Mike Glennon did just enough (15 of 30, 204 yards), while the defense made a key stop with less than two minutes to go to seal the victory. Cornerback David Amerson struggled in the opener but picked off one pass and made a crucial pass breakup late in the fourth quarter.
Next Game: South Alabama

7. Wake Forest (2-0, 1-0 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 10
Week 2 result: Beat North Carolina 28-27
The Demon Deacons make a three-spot jump in the power rankings thanks to a 28-27 win over North Carolina. After struggling to beat Liberty in Week 1, Wake Forest looked much better in Saturday’s victory, largely due to quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro. The duo hooked up 13 times for 164 yards, which was just enough for the Demon Deacons to beat the Tar Heels for the third time in the last four games.
Next Game: at Florida State

8. North Carolina (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last week’s rank: 4
Week 2 result: Lost to Wake Forest 28-27
A week after cruising to a 62-0 win over Elon, the Tar Heels suffered a 28-27 loss to Wake Forest in the ACC opener for both teams. North Carolina’s offense was hindered by the absence of running back Giovani Bernard, and the defense had no answer for the Demon Deacons’ passing combo of quarterback Tanner Price and receiver Michael Campanaro. Bernard’s availability is uncertain for Week 3, and a secondary that was torched by Wake Forest will be under fire from Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Next Game: at Louisville

9. Miami (1-1, 1-0 ACC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost to Kansas State 52-13
After two games, it’s pretty clear Al Golden has a lot of work to do if Miami is going to finish with a winning record. The offense has shown signs of life, but the defense has allowed 84 points through two weeks and is allowing 517.5 yards per game. The Hurricanes had no chance in Saturday’s game and was easily blown out 52-13 by Kansas State. Miami’s struggling defense suffered another setback on Sunday, as linebacker Ramon Buchanan was lost for the year due to an injury. The Hurricanes should bounce back against Bethune-Cookman next Saturday, but the real test comes against Georgia Tech, NC State and Notre Dame in the next three games.
Next Game: Bethune-Cookman

10. Duke (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Lost to Stanford 50-13
After the Blue Devils knocked off FIU 46-26 in Week 1 and Stanford struggled to beat San Jose State, some thought Duke had a shot to pull off the upset in Palo Alto. Not so fast. The Blue Devils quickly fell behind in the first quarter and trailed 23-3 at halftime. The defense allowed Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes to throw for 275 yards in his second start, while Duke’s offense turned the ball over four times. After a disappointing performance, the Blue Devils should get back into the win column with N.C. Central in Week 3.
Next Game: N.C. Central

11. Boston College (1-1, 0-1 ACC)
Last week’s rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Maine 34-3
The Eagles bounced back after a disappointing Week 1 loss to Miami, handling Maine for a 34-3 victory. Quarterback Chase Rettig misfired on half of his passes but finished with 219 yards and three scores. The rushing attack was steady, getting 90 yards from Deuce Finch and 61 from Andre Williams. Receiver Spiffy Evans did his part on special teams with an 82-yard punt return in the third quarter. After allowing Miami to gain 415 yards in the opener, Boston College’s defense stepped up and held Maine to 193 yards. However, the defense will be tested by a Northwestern offense that’s averaging 32.5 points a game next Saturday.
Next Game: at Northwestern

12. Maryland (2-0, 0-0 ACC)
Last week’s Rank:
Week 2 result: Beat Temple 36-27
It hasn’t been pretty, but the Terrapins have already matched their win total from last season. True freshman quarterback Perry Hills rebounded after a sluggish performance in the opener to throw for 190 yards and two scores to beat Temple 36-27. Hills and the offense got a little help from the defense, which forced three turnovers and held the Owls to 52 rushing yards. The Terrapins are improved, but this team still has a ways to go before it can think about making bowl reservations in 2012.
Next Game: Connecticut

by Steven Lassan

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<p> ACC Post-Week 2 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 05:53
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-post-week-2-waiver-wire-report

We mentioned last week that the waiver wire is the deepest after Week One.  Last week’s names included:  Ameer Abdullah, Beau Blankenship, LaDarius Perkins, David Oku, Marcus Sales, Jaime Wilson, Davante Adams, Austin Hill, and Dan Buckner.  As previously stated in last week’s Waiver article, finding consistent fantasy production only gets tougher as the season progresses.  Don’t wait another week if anyone on this list is still available in your league.

Post-Week 2's Best Pickups

Brett Hundley, QB-UCLA

Hundley should be able to do more than just hold his own once the Bruins get into their conference schedule.

Connor Halliday, QB-Washington State

Starter Jeff Tuel left last week’s game with a knee injury, so Halliday should get his shot in Mike Leach’s ‘Air-Raid’ attack.

Rolandan Finch, RB-Boston College

Finch returned from injury and ran for 90 yards on 17 carries.  Expect a heavier workload next week at Northwestern.

Cody Getz, RB-Air Force

Getz proved that Week One was not a fluke by rushing for 130 yards and three touchdowns at Michigan.

Damien Williams, RB-Oklahoma

Even though Williams has only 19 carries in two weeks, his 13.7 yards-per-carry and five touchdowns cannot be ignored.

Leighton Settle, RB-Northern Illinois

Settle’s numbers have not been overly impressive, but defenses will start focusing their attention on quarterback Jordan Lynch.

Todd Gurley, RB-Georgia

The freshman running back has been too productive not to be given a bigger role as the season progresses.

Venric Mark, RB-Northwestern

Mark has given the Wildcats’ offense some stability at a position that was in question leading up to the season.

Alex Neutz, WR-Buffalo

If you picked up and started Neutz after we posted him onto our Emergency Starters list last Friday, you were rewarded with four touchdowns and 154 yards receiving against Morgan State.

Isaiah Burse, WR-Fresno State

Burse was another receiver that was in our Emergency Starters piece last week.  He and Davante Adams have clearly become WR#1 and WR#2 options for quarterback Derek Carr.

Austin Franklin, WR-New Mexico State

We were hesitant to pull the trigger after Franklin’s 200-yard, two touchdown game against Sacramento State to open the season, but he posted respectable numbers (5-72-1) against better competition (Ohio) in Week Two.

Jamison Crowder, WR-Duke

Crowder has posted at least six catches and 100 yards receiving in the first two weeks of the season. 

by Joe DiSalvo

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<p> College Fantasy Football: Post-Week 2 Waiver Wire Report</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 05:51
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-2-power-rankings

After going undefeated in Week 1, the Big 12 wasn't so lucky in Week 2. Oklahoma State fell on the road to Arizona, while Kansas suffered a surprising defeat to Rice. Oklahoma and Texas had easy victories over bad competition, and TCU opened a renovated stadium with an easy victory over Grambling. Iowa State moved to 2-0 with an ugly, but crucial 9-6 victory over Iowa.

Big 12 Post-Week 2 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia – The Mountaineers were off in Week 2, but Smith still ranks No. 1 after throwing for 323 yards and four scores in Week 1.

2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State – Klein has picked up where he left off last season, recording 504 yards and six touchdowns through two weeks.

3. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State – Randle didn’t reach the endzone against Arizona but managed 193 overall yards on 31 touches.

Big 12 Post-Week 2 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State – Brown came up big against his former school (Miami) recording 10 tackles, one sack, two tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery. Brown has 15 tackles through two weeks.

2. Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State – Knott recorded only six tackles against the Hawkeyes but came up with arguably the biggest play of the game, picking off James Vandenberg with less than two minutes to go to seal the win.

3. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Jeffcoat has been steady through the first two weeks, recording 14 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack.

Big 12 Post-Week 2 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State – The Cyclones will have to scrap to get to another bowl, but once again, Rhoads has this team in good position after two weeks.

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State – The schedule will get tougher over the next few weeks, but Kansas State seems to be loaded for another run at 10 victories.

3. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia – The Mountaineers were off in Week 2 but had an impressive debut in Week 1 against Marshall.

Post-Week 2 Big 12 Power Rankings

1. Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Beat Florida A&M 69-13
As expected, the Sooners had no trouble cruising to a 69-13 victory over Florida A&M in Week 2. Oklahoma hasn’t posted huge passing totals, but quarterback Landry Jones completed 19 of 28 passes for 252 yards in the win over the Rattlers. The rushing attack was a concern going into the season, but junior college recruit Damien Williams has been impressive through the first two games. One cause for concern: The offensive line. Oklahoma has allowed three sacks against two mediocre opponents. The Sooners have a bye this Saturday and return to action on Sept. 22 against Kansas State.
Next Game: Kansas State (Sept. 22)

2. Texas (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Beat New Mexico 45-0
So far, so good for the Longhorns. The passing attack still needs some work, but quarterback David Ash has thrown for 377 yards and two scores (without an interception) through the first two weeks. The biggest tests are still to come, but Texas has to be encouraged with Ash’s performance so far. As expected, the Longhorns have been strong on defense and rank eighth nationally in points allowed through two weeks.
Next Game: at Ole Miss

3. West Virginia (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Did not play
After an impressive debut against Marshall, the Mountaineers had a bye in Week 2. West Virginia will return to action this Saturday, traveling to Maryland for a neutral site matchup against James Madison in Landover. The Mountaineers seem to have the offense firing on all cylinders, but the defense allowed 545 yards in the opener against the Thundering Herd. Expect West Virginia to get better on defense as the year progresses, especially as the two new co-coordinators and scheme mixes with the personnel.
Next Game: James Madison

4. TCU (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Beat Grambling 56-0
The Horned Frogs christened a renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium with an impressive 56-0 rout over Grambling. Sure, the blowout was expected, but TCU quarterbacks did not throw an incompletion, while a revamped defense allowed only 70 yards. The Horned Frogs have another milestone ahead this Saturday, as they play their first game as Big 12 members against Kansas. TCU’s offense should have no trouble moving the ball against the Jayhawks, but this will be a better test for its retooled defense.
Next Game: at Kansas

5. Kansas State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Beat Miami 52-13
The Wildcats needed a last-second defensive stand to beat Miami last season, but the 2012 matchup was a one-sided affair. Kansas State jumped out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Quarterback Collin Klein completed 9 of 11 passes for 210 yards and one touchdown, while adding 71 yards and three scores on the ground. After allowing 418 yards to Missouri State in Week 1, Kansas State’s defense held the Hurricanes to 277 yards and forced three turnovers. Linebacker Arthur Brown had a huge game against his former team, recording 10 tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery.
Next Game: North Texas

6. Oklahoma State (1-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Lost to Arizona 59-38
Despite jumping out to a 14-0 lead against Arizona, the Cowboys were unable to capitalize on the momentum and suffered a 59-38 defeat. Oklahoma State outgained the Wildcats 636 to 501 but committed a ridiculous 15 penalties and lost four turnovers. Although he threw three interceptions, the Cowboys have to be pleased with freshman quarterback Wes Lunt’s performance. He threw for 436 yards and four touchdowns and certainly wasn’t the reason Oklahoma State lost. The Cowboys take on upset-minded Louisiana-Lafayette in Week 3 and open Big 12 play on Sept. 29 against Texas.
Next Game: UL Lafayette

7. Baylor (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Did not play
The Bears had their first of two bye weeks this season and did not play on Saturday. Baylor cruised to an easy 59-24 victory over SMU in Week 1 and should move to 2-0 with a favorable matchup against Sam Houston State next Saturday. The Bears have two more non-conference games before Big 12 play begins, which provides this team a few chances to work on the defense and get Nick Florence comfortable as the full-time starter.
Next Game: Sam Houston State

8. Iowa State (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Beat Iowa 9-6
It’s a clear sign of the Big 12’s depth when Iowa State ranks eighth after two weeks. The Cyclones have scored two impressive victories so far, beating one of the frontrunners for the Conference USA title (Tulsa), while knocking off in-state rival Iowa in Week 2. Quarterback Steele Jantz has been steady through the first two weeks, and the defense has made a few timely plays and forced five turnovers. Although the Cyclones have earned two tough wins to begin the season, it won’t get any easier with Big 12 play starting on Sept. 29.
Next Game: Western Illinois

9. Texas Tech (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Beat Texas State 58-10
The competition hasn’t been elite, but the Red Raiders are showing signs last season’s collapse is behind them. Texas Tech quickly dispatched any hopes Texas State had of an upset on Saturday, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and taking a 38-10 lead into halftime. Quarterback Seth Doege led the way against the Bobcats by throwing for 319 yards and five touchdowns, while the rushing attack generated 186 overall yards. The defense was a sore spot but has allowed just 16 points through two games. Bigger tests are ahead, but Texas Tech is off to a good start and should be 3-0 when it travels to Iowa State on Sept. 29.
Next Game: New Mexico

10. Kansas (1-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week:
Week 2 result: Lost 25-24 to Rice
The Jayhawks opened up the Charlie Weis era with a victory over South Dakota State but took a step back with Saturday’s loss to Rice. Kansas was outgained by the Owls (403 to 339) and also had three turnovers. Quarterback Dayne Crist had an off performance too, completing 16 of 28 throws for 144 yards. As Saturday’s performance showed, Weis still has a lot of work to do in order to make the Jayhawks a competitive Big 12 team, and the road ahead won’t get any easier with TCU coming up next Saturday.
Next Game: TCU

by Steven Lassan

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<p> Big 12 Post-Week 2 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Monday, September 10, 2012 - 05:49
Path: /college-football/missouri-and-texas-am-5-things-watch-sec

Missouri and Texas A&M technically joined the SEC on July 1, 2012, but Saturday will be the official introduction for both programs into their new conference home. While it won’t be easy to win championships in the SEC, it’s a conference with more stability and neither program will have to worry about a home in future realignment.

Both teams have the necessary resources to win division titles and compete for BCS bowls, but there will be a transition period to the SEC. Texas A&M made one of the top hires of the offseason, pulling Kevin Sumlin away from Houston to lead the charge into the SEC. Missouri is better equipped to win right away, especially with the return of quarterback James Franklin and the arrival of No. 1 recruit Dorial Green-Beckham.

What should Missouri and Texas A&M expect on Saturday and into the future with the move to the SEC? There’s no doubt the competition will be tougher, but both teams will also have to adapt to a different style of play.

Here are five things to watch as Missouri and Texas A&M kickoff their SEC openers:

1. Increased Competition
The Big 12 is no slouch when it comes to competition, as it is arguably the No. 2 conference in college football. However, Missouri and Texas A&M move from a conference with just 10 teams to one with 14. The SEC had nine bowl-eligible teams last season, including LSU and Alabama – the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the nation. In the final BCS standings released last year, the SEC had four teams in the top 10, while the Big 12 had two. Recruiting is a key part of any successful program, but it’s an even bigger deal in the SEC. Thirty-four of the top 100 recruits in Athlon’s 2012 Consensus 100 signed with an SEC school. It may sound cliché, but the best recruits want to play in the No. 1 conference and that only adds to the pressure of coaching staffs to reel in the top talent. The Big 12 is a tough conference, but the SEC is the best of the best.

2. Different Style of Play
In the Big 12, it’s all about offense. Seven Big 12 teams ranked in the top 35 of scoring offense last season, each averaging at least 31 points a game. There are a few exceptions (Texas, Kansas State, Iowa State), but most of the teams in the Big 12 base its offense around a pass-first approach. The SEC had four offenses in the top 35, with Arkansas leading the way with an average of 36.8 points a game. However, only two teams (Arkansas and Tennessee) had more rushing attempts than passing attempts last season. While spread offenses like the ones Missouri and Texas A&M will be running can work in the SEC, the conference places more emphasis on the rushing attack and winning the battle at the line of scrimmage. The Tigers and Aggies will both see more 3-4 and 4-3 looks from SEC defenses, as opposed to the 4-2-5 alignments some Big 12 teams have been using. 

3. Tougher Defenses
This aspect relates to the style of play, as the SEC is home to some of the best defenses in the nation. Alabama swept the four main defensive categories last year, while LSU allowed just 11.3 points per game. The defense didn’t end with those two teams, as only three SEC teams ranked outside of the top 50 in scoring defense. One of the reasons for the SEC's dominance on defense is the depth and talent in the front seven. For instance, LSU could have five players drafted from its defensive line over the next couple of seasons. That type of depth in the trenches just wasn’t there in the Big 12. Instead of recruiting skill players to run four- and five-wide sets, the SEC places a heavy emphasis on speed and depth on defense. Missouri and Texas A&M are bringing in a variation of a spread offense and while both options can work in the SEC, expect the Tigers and Aggies to find less room to maneuver on offense this year.

4. The Week-to-Week Grind
Just as we mentioned with the increase in competition, the SEC will present a tougher week-to-week grind for Missouri and Texas A&M. It won’t be a huge difference, but there are no easy games in conference play. In a six-game stretch of conference games in late September-October, the Aggies play four games on the road, including matchups against Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State. Even though Ole Miss is down, the Rebels are capable of pulling an upset. The Big 12 was tough, but the SEC’s week-to-week grind and a slight disadvantage in depth will be something to watch for Texas A&M and Missouri. 

5. The SEC…Its Just Different
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin had the perfect analogy to describe just how important the SEC is. “There are three conferences that matter in football, the AFC, NFC and the SEC.” It’s difficult to describe, but life in the SEC is just different than it is in other conferences. The fan support and commitment to facilities and winning is the best in college football. And we can’t forget the message boards either. The SEC is home to most of college football’s most rabid fanbases, and the conference will only kick that up a notch with Missouri and Texas A&M coming into the fold.

Georgia at Missouri – One Key Matchup to Watch

Can Missouri’s offensive line block Georgia’s defensive front?
The Tigers have suffered a few injuries on the offensive line since fall camp, so this unit has had to do a little shuffling. The tackle spots are set with Elvis Fisher and Justin Britt, but the interior of the line will be under attack from Georgia’s massive tackle duo of John Jenkins (358 pounds) and Kwame Geathers (355 pounds). Center Mitch Morse has only one career start, right guard Max Copeland is a former walk-on and also has only one start in his career, while true freshman Evan Bohem is expected to start at left guard. Jenkins and Geathers aren’t just difficult to move as both players are active against the run and can wreck havoc in opposing backfields. In addition to finding ways to slow down Georgia’s defensive line, the Tigers will need to keep tabs on linebacker Jarvis Jones, one of the nation’s top pass rushers. With an inexperienced offensive line, expect the Bulldogs to throw a few different looks at Missouri to create pre-snap confusion.

Florida at Texas A&M – One Key Matchup to Watch

Can Florida take advantage of Texas A&M’s young cornerbacks?
The Gators struggled to establish any consistency on offense last week, recording only 145 yards through the air and 27 points against Bowling Green. Florida has settled on Jeff Driskel as its starting quarterback and he should have an opportunity to take advantage of Texas A&M’s young cornerbacks. True freshman De’Vante Harris will start on one side, while sophomore Deshazor Everett will man the other spot. Driskel showed he has a long ways to go as a passer, but he should be able to exploit an Aggies’ secondary that allowed 276.3 passing yards per game last year. The Gators can’t blame Driskel for all of their struggles through the air, especially with inconsistent play from the receiving corps and offensive line. Expect Texas A&M to counter with pressure to help protect the cornerbacks, especially linebacker Sean Porter who led the team with 9.5 sacks last year.

by Steven Lassan


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<p> Missouri and Texas A&amp;M: 5 Things to Watch in the SEC</p>
Post date: Friday, September 7, 2012 - 09:16
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-2-preview-match-ups-upset-picks-and-storylines-watch-0

Week 2 of the college football season doesn't feature many marquee matchups, but there's plenty of intrigue around the nation this Saturday. The SEC welcomes Texas A&M and Missouri, while a handful of non-conference games should help compensate for the lack of matchups between top 25 teams.

Top Storylines for Week 2

1. A New Era in the SEC
Saturday represents a new era in the SEC. Gone is the 12-team format and in comes Missouri and Texas A&M. The Tigers cruised in Week 1, while the Aggies had their game canceled due to Hurricane Isaac. Both teams bring new markets to the conference, which in the age of big television deals, landing teams near St. Louis/Kansas City and Houston is huge. Both Missouri and Texas A&M are expecting a sellout crowd, and momentum will be on their sideline with this being the first SEC game. The Tigers need to win on Saturday to have any shot at contending in the East. The Aggies have a tough schedule, so there’s not much room for error when it comes to getting bowl eligible. Even if both teams lose, it’s a new era in the SEC, and it will be interesting to see how Missouri and Texas A&M transition into the conference over the next couple of seasons.

2. Jetlag in South Bend?
Notre Dame had one of the most interesting Week 1 road games, defeating Navy 50-10 in Dublin, Ireland. While the Irish have had almost a week to recover, there’s definitely an adjustment period after spending a couple of days overseas. Will it cost Notre Dame a victory on Saturday? History suggests it won’t be that big of a deal, especially since the Irish had no bye week after playing in Dublin in 1996 and defeated Boston College 48-21 the following Saturday. Purdue is a dangerous team but as long as Notre Dame doesn’t come out flat, the Irish should move to 2-0.

3. SEC West Intrigue
Since winning the 2010 national title, Auburn is a mediocre 8-6 in its last 14 games. Outside of beating Ole Miss, Mississippi State has not won a game against a team from the SEC West since Nov. 22, 2008 against Arkansas. Although Dan Mullen has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back bowl games, he needs to produce more victories against teams from the West. Saturday’s matchup between Auburn and Mississippi State is an under-the-radar game but could be one of the most intriguing matchups of Week 2. The last two games between these two teams were decided by a combined 10 points, so another close contest can be expected this week. With both teams breaking in a new starting quarterback, whichever squad wins the turnover battle and can establish the run will come out on top. Considering Mississippi State’s lack of wins against SEC West teams, and Auburn’s recent record, this is an important game for both teams to build some momentum for the rest of 2012. 

4. Will Nevada make it two in a row over BCS teams?
With a 31-24 win over California in Week 1, Nevada should be getting some consideration for a spot among the top 25 teams in the nation. And a matchup against South Florida could be all that stands between Nevada and an undefeated record until the season finale against Boise State. The Wolf Pack got a strong performance from quarterback Cody Fajardo and running back Stefphon Jefferson last week and both need to deliver for Nevada to win on Saturday. South Florida’s rush defense – which ranked No. 15 nationally last season – won’t be pushed around by the Wolf Pack on Saturday. Nevada recorded 450 yards on offense last week, while the defense held the Golden Bears to 24 points. Nevada knocked off the last BCS team to visit Reno (California in 2011) and with a win this week, Chris Ault’s team can realistically look at an 11-0 record before the Nov. 24 showdown against Boise State.

5. Bragging Rights in Iowa
It’s never a good idea to take everything that happened in Week 1 at face value. Case in point: Iowa. The Hawkeyes never got their offense on track, but the defense held Northern Illinois to 201 yards. It’s a safe bet Iowa was saving some of its new offense for Iowa State and the upcoming slate of Big Ten games, and it will be needed against Iowa State this Saturday. The Cyclones knocked off Iowa last season and won 38-23 in their opener against Tulsa. Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz was solid against the Golden Hurricane, but will be tested by a Hawkeye secondary that allowed just 54 yards to Northern Illinois. Jantz struggled with turnovers last year but looked more comfortable in the pocket against Tulsa last Saturday. Iowa is a slight favorite at home and this game should go down to the wire, especially as the Hawkeyes hope to regain control of the Cy-Hawk Trophy.

6. Should LSU be worried about Washington?
Considering Washington is a huge underdog (24 points by the good folks in Vegas), most expect LSU to win easily on Saturday. However, there may be cause for concern in Baton Rouge, especially now that offensive tackle Chris Faulk is out for the year due to a knee injury. The Huskies should test the Tigers’ secondary, which has two freshmen seeing significant snaps at one corner spot. Washington’s Keith Price is one of the Pac-12’s top quarterbacks but needs help from his offensive line and rushing attack to have any shot at winning this game. LSU is deep and talented on the defensive line, which includes two potential All-Americans in Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo. If the Huskies can give Price time to throw, he could take advantage of the Tigers’ youth in the secondary. However, even if Washington’s offense can move the ball, its defense will have trouble slowing down LSU’s rushing attack. The Huskies should keep it closer than the spread set by Vegas, but it's hard to see Washington winning in Baton Rouge.

7. Five Quarterbacks Under Pressure

Kiehl Frazier, Auburn (at Mississippi State)
Frazier’s first start was average, as he threw for 194 yards on 11 completions. Even though the coaching staff wants to implement a pro-style attack, Frazier’s mobility should be used more in the coming weeks.

Perry Hills, Maryland (at Temple)
Hills is learning on the job after being thrown into the fire as a true freshman. He threw three picks last week and needs to give Maryland’s offense a spark this Saturday.

Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State (at Central Michigan)
Maxwell had a so-so debut, throwing for 248 yards but also tossing three picks. The junior should post better numbers against the Chippewas this Saturday.

Josh Nunes, Stanford (Duke)
Replacing Andrew Luck is no easy task, but Nunes was unimpressive in a 20-17 win over San Jose State, completing 16 passes for 125 yards and one touchdown.

Tyler Russell, Mississippi State (Auburn)
Russell passed his first test as a starter, completing 15 of 24 throws for 185 yards and two scores against Jackson State. However, it’s a tougher test on tap this Saturday, as the Bulldogs take on Auburn.

8. Five Players to Watch

Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame – Golson wasn’t spectacular against Navy, but he completed 12 of 18 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown. Look for the redshirt freshman quarterback to take another step in his development with a solid game against Purdue.

Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska – With Rex Burkhead likely out, the Cornhuskers will have to lean a little more on Martinez, who was impressive in the Week 1 victory over Southern Miss.

T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama – Yeldon rushed for 111 yards and one touchdown against Michigan. Will he eventually surpass Eddie Lacy as the team’s No. 1 running back?

Brandon Mitchell, WR, Arkansas – This converted quarterback was a favorite target for quarterback Tyler Wilson against Jacksonville State, catching four passes for 122 yards. With Alabama up next, look for Wilson and Mitchell to work on their timing this Saturday against UL Monroe.

Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee – Da’Rick Rogers wasn’t missed by Tennessee’s offense, thanks to Patterson’s emergence against NC State. He caught six passes for 93 yards and one score, while rushing for 72 yards and one touchdown.

9. Teams Looking to Bounce Back

California – Opening a renovated stadium with a loss to Nevada certainly won’t help Jeff Tedford move off the hot seat. The Golden Bears shouldn’t have much trouble this Saturday, as FCS opponent Southern Utah visits Berkeley. It’s important for California to work out some of the kinks on both sides of the ball this Saturday, especially with road dates in the next two weeks at USC and Ohio State.

Michigan – After getting trounced by Alabama, the Wolverines have a difficult task to get ready for Air Force this Saturday. The Falcons cruised in their opener, and the triple-option offense won’t be easy to prepare for.

NC State – The Wolfpack don’t have much time to lick their wounds from the loss to Tennessee last Friday. Connecticut is a dangerous Week 2 opponent, especially now its offense seems to have found a quarterback in Chandler Whitmer. The Huskies are strong on defense, which will be a tough matchup for quarterback Mike Glennon.

Penn State – Although the Nittany Lions were able to ride the early momentum to a lead against Ohio, it wasn’t enough to hold off the Bobcats in the second half. However, Virginia won’t be an easy opponent to rebound against, and Penn State is facing its first 0-2 start since 2001.

Washington State – The much-anticipated return of Mike Leach to the sidelines was a dud. The Cougars scored only six points and managed only 224 yards of total offense. Leach should be able to unleash his aerial attack on Eastern Washington this Saturday, a FCS team that beat Idaho last week and gave Washington all it could handle last year. With Pac-12 play approaching, Washington State needs to find the right mix on offense, especially on a line that struggled to block BYU last Thursday.

10. Upset Watch

Note: Teams must be underdogs by Vegas spreads to be considered for the upset watch.

Nebraska at UCLA (+6)
Jim Mora opened his tenure at UCLA with a successful 49-24 victory over Rice. The Cornhuskers will provide a tougher test but could also be without running back Rex Burkhead.

Florida (+1.5) at Texas A&M
Both teams are a mystery, but the Gators defense will be a tough matchup for Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Iowa State (+5) at Iowa
The Cyclones looked good in their season opener against Tulsa, while the Hawkeyes struggled against Northern Illinois. This one is a tossup and there’s no question Iowa should be on upset alert.

UL Lafayette (+3) at Troy
It’s somewhat of a surprise to see the Ragin’ Cajuns listed as an underdog. Louisiana was the better team last season and should win at Troy on Saturday.

Utah at Utah State (+7)  (Friday)
The Aggies’ last victory against Utah came in 1997, so this one is a longshot on Friday night. Utah State has a solid offense but that will be tested by a Utes’ defense that allowed just 114 yards in the opener.

UTEP (+7) at Ole Miss
The Miners gave Oklahoma all it could handle last week. Can UTEP push Ole Miss this Saturday?

11. Key Injuries to Watch

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan – Robinson was banged up in the loss to Alabama but should be in the lineup for Michigan’s game against Air Force.

Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois – Scheelhaase suffered an ankle injury in the win over Western Michigan and will probably be a gametime decision. If he cannot go, sophomore Reilly O’Toole will get the start.

Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina – Shaw briefly left last Thursday’s game against Vanderbilt with a bruised shoulder. The Gamecocks still have Marcus Lattimore and a tough defense, so if Shaw is sidelined, they should be fine against East Carolina.

Bill Belton, RB, Penn State – The Nittany Lions are already shorthanded on offense and could be without Belton’s services (sprained ankle) against Virginia.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard left last week’s game against Elon with a knee injury but all signs point to a full workload this Saturday.

Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska – Burkhead suffered a sprained MCL in the win over Southern Miss and is not expected to play against UCLA.

Orleans Darkwa, RB, Tulane – Darkwa is dealing with a high-ankle sprain and will likely be out of action until Sept. 22.

Nathan Jeffery, RB, UTEP – Jeffery carried the Miners’ offense against Oklahoma and needs to be healthy for UTEP to have any shot at an upset against Ole Miss.

Montel Harris, RB, Temple – Knee injuries limited Harris at Boston College since 2010, but his return to the lineup was a short one in his Temple debut. A hamstring injury has Harris questionable for Saturday’s game against Maryland.

Chris Nwoke, RB, Colorado State – Nwoke is one of the Mountain West’s top running backs, but he is sidelined this week against North Dakota State with an ankle injury.

Chris Faulk, OL, LSU – Faulk suffered a knee injury in practice and will miss the rest of the year. Considering Faulk is one of the top linemen in the nation, he will be missed in Week 2.

12. Welcome to the 2012 season

These five teams did not play in Week 1:

Army – The Black Knights open the 2012 season with a trip to San Diego State.

Louisiana Tech – The Bulldogs’ first game was rescheduled due to Hurricane Isaac and will play at Houston this Saturday.

Oregon State – After the opener with Nicholls State was canceled, the Beavers take on Wisconsin this Saturday.

Texas A&M – With the opener against Louisiana Tech postponed, the Aggies won’t have any time to prep for SEC play with Florida coming to College Station this week.

TCU – The Horned Frogs had an off date in Week 1 and host FCS opponent Grambling this Saturday.


by Steven Lassan

Related College Football Content

ACC Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Big East Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Big Ten Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Big 12 Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Pac-12 Week 2 Preview and Predictions

SEC Week 2 Preview and Predictions

Week 2 Upset Picks

<p> College Football Week 2 Preview: Match-Ups, Upset Picks and Storylines to Watch</p>
Post date: Friday, September 7, 2012 - 06:14
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-week-2-emergency-starters

If you checked-in with us at the end of last week, you were handed a few fantasy gems.  In fact, our emergency running backs list posted more points per player than our top ten running backs (21.5 vs. 20.7).  The quarterbacks list (19.3) offered tremendous value late in the week, while our receivers (8.7) did little to help your cause.  Our favorite combination this week:  QB-Gillett, RB-Alexander, WR-Amidon.

Emergency Starters—Week 2

Joe DiSalvo: (@theCFFsite on Twitter)


Alex Gillett-Eastern Michigan vs Illinois St

MarQueis Gray-Minnesota vs New Hampshire

Tre Roberson-Indiana at UMass

Matt Schilz-Bowling Green vs Idaho

Zac Dysert-Miami (OH) vs Southern Illinois

Last week’s list (points/player)—19.3

Running Backs

Trey Watts-Tulsa vs Tulane

Walter Kazee-San Diego St vs Army

Travon Van-Marshall vs Western Carolina

David Oku-Arkansas St vs Memphis

Donnell Alexander-Colorado St vs North Dakota St

Tony Pierson-Kansas vs Rice

Jeremy Wright-Louisville vs Missouri St

CJ Anderson-Cal vs Southern Utah

Last week’s list (points/player)—21.5


Robert Herron-Wyoming vs Toledo

Alex Nuetz-Buffalo vs Morgan St

Davante Adams at Oregon

Isaiah Burse at Oregon

Jaime Wilson-Western Michigan vs Eastern Illinois

Alex Amidon-Boston College vs Maine                 

Last week’s list (points/player)—8.7

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)


Rakeem Cato, Marshall vs. Western Carolina

Garrett Gilbert, SMU vs. Stephen F. Austin

Taylor McHargue, Rice at Kansas

Jordan Rodgers, Vanderbilt at Northwestern

Eric Soza, UTSA vs. Texas A&M-Commerce

Bo Wallace, Ole Miss vs. UTEP

Running Backs

Beau Blankenship, Ohio vs. New Mexico State

Tim Cornett, UNLV vs. Northern Arizona

De'Leon Eskridge, SJSU vs. UC Davis

Raymond Maples, Army vs. San Diego State

Damien Williams, Oklahoma vs. Florida A&M

Wide Receivers

Ryan Burbrink, Bowling Green vs. Idaho

Brandon Coleman, Rutgers vs. Howard

Bennie Fowler, Michigan State at Central Michigan

La'Rod King, Kentucky vs. Kent State

Chip Reeves, Troy vs. UL Lafayette

by Joe DiSalvo

The College Fantasy Football Site

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 2 Emergency Starters</p>
Post date: Friday, September 7, 2012 - 04:23
Path: /college-football/sec-week-2-preview-and-predictions

It's a big week in the SEC, as Missouri and Texas A&M open conference play with huge matchups. The Tigers begin their debut season in the SEC with a key showdown against Georgia, while the Aggies host Florida. Washington travels to LSU for an interesting non-conference matchup, while Auburn and Mississippi State square off in an important SEC West showdown.

Other Week 2 conference storylines

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

SEC's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 2

1. Texas A&M starts a sophomore and a redshirt freshman at cornerback: Can Florida take advantage?
Some have maintained that Florida played it close to the vest offensively in its Week 1 win over Bowling Green. That may be true, but we still saw nothing from this team that would suggest its offensive problems from a year ago have been solved. Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett combined to connect on 13-of-21 for 145 yards, with only one completion going for more than 18 yards. To have success this weekend in College Station, Florida will have to take advantage of a suspect A&M secondary that is especially green at the corners. It’s time for guys like Quinton Dunbar and Franklie Hammond Jr., or even true freshman Latroy Pittman, to emerge as playmakers.

2. LSU’s defense vs. the tight end
The plan for LSU this week is simple: Contain tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Washington’s 6-6, 266-pound sophomore is among the best players at his position in the nation. He caught nine passes for 82 yards in the Huskies’ 21–9 win over San Diego State and is one of few proven playmakers on the UW offense. Washington figures to have a tough time running the ball against the LSU front seven — especially now that junior Jesse Callier is out with a torn ACL — so the Huskies will lean heavily on the passing attack. Sophomore receiver Kasen Williams is a potential All-Pac-12 talent, but Seferian-Jenkins is emerging as Keith Price’s favorite target. If the Tigers can shut him down, the UW offense will struggle to move the ball with consistency.

3. Georgia is road tested
It’s one of the most highly anticipated games in the history of Missouri football. The crowd at Faurot Field will be at a fever pitch on Saturday afternoon when the Tigers play their first-ever SEC game. But don’t expect Georgia to be spooked by the atmosphere. This is a program that has made a habit of winning in the most difficult environments in the nation under Mark Richt. The numbers are staggering: Georgia is 30–8 in true SEC road games (doesn’t include the Florida games in Jacksonville) the past 11 years, and three of those losses came in one season (2010). “I like away games,” Richt said earlier this week. “I enjoy the travel with the team, and I enjoy the single purpose of the mission. There really aren’t a lot of distractions on the road — at least when it comes to travel, and the night before, and the time before the game. Now when the game kicks off, there is distraction with the crowd noise, but other than that I enjoy away games.”

4. David Yost vs. Todd Grantham
It is, as the saying goes, about the jimmy’s and joe’s, but the X’s and O’s also matter, especially in college football. And we have an intriguing matchup this week of David Yost’s spread offense at Missouri vs. Georgia’s 3-4 defense coordinated by Todd Grantham. “It’s fun to game-plan against good defenses,” Yost said in Wednesday’s Columbia (Mo.) Tribune. “It's fun to game-plan against good defensive coordinators that you know are going to keep bringing stuff at you. You know what you see on the first drive isn’t what you’re going to see all game. They’re going to keep pulling stuff out, so you’ve got to constantly be on your toes.” Georgia ranked fourth nationally in total defense last season — Grantham’s second at the school — and was equally stout against the run and the pass. The Dawgs feature playmakers at all three levels of the defense, highlighted by All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. Missouri will counter with a dual-threat quarterback in James Franklin, who threw for 2,865 yards and rushed for 981 in 2011, his first season as the starter.

5. Vanderbilt’s offense vs. Northwestern’s defense
One week after struggling to move the ball with consistency against South Carolina, Vanderbilt hopes to flex its muscles against a Northwestern defense that gave up 596 yards in a win at Syracuse. The Wildcats allowed 23 plays of 10 yards or more, seven of 20 yards or more and four of 30 yards or more. The NU defensive backs struggled to play the ball and were whistled three times for pass interference and once for defensive holding. Look for Vanderbilt to take advantage of some favorable matchups on the outside with big receivers Chris Boyd (6-5) and Jordan Matthews (6-4). And if the Commodores have success in the passing game, tailback Zac Stacy should be productive running the ball. It could be a big night for the Vanderbilt offense.

6. Can Auburn stop the run in Starkville?
Auburn gave up 320 yards rushing in its 26–19 loss to Clemson in Atlanta in Week 1. The Tigers allowed nine runs of at least 10 yards, including two of at least 40 yards. Gene Chizik and his staff were disappointed with the play of the defensive tackles (failed to get much push) and the safeties (missed too many tackles). Mississippi State isn’t as talented offensively as Clemson, but the Bulldogs have been a very good running team under Dan Mullen, ranking fifth, second and first in the SEC in rushing the last three seasons. Auburn is staring at an 0–2 start if it doesn’t make some significant improvements against the run.

7. Can South Carolina beat East Carolina without Connor Shaw?
Shaw is questionable for Saturday’s home opener after suffering a bruise to his left (non-throwing) shoulder against Vanderbilt. If Shaw can’t go, sophomore Dylan Thompson would be the next man up. The South Carolina offense sputtered with Thompson in the game last Thursday. He went 0-of-3 (and didn’t come close) and was sacked twice. “We’re trying to get his confidence up,” coach Steve Spurrier said on Tuesday. “It’s a struggle. He works at it. He works hard. Sometimes too hard. We have to loosen him up a bit.” That doesn’t sound like a coach who has much confidence in his backup quarterback. If Thompson is forced to start, expect to see a heavy dose of tailback Marcus Lattimore, who looked good in his first game back from a serious knee injury. Despite being favored by more than three touchdowns, the Gamecocks could be in for a serious fight on Saturday if Shaw is not in the lineup.

8. Can Ole Miss avoid an upset?
Ole Miss won in Hugh Freeze’s debut as the head coach, but there were some anxious moments in Oxford. Central Arkansas led 20–14 until midway through the third quarter before the Rebels seized control by scoring twice in a three-minute period. This week, Ole Miss hosts a UTEP team that went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma into the fourth quarter before losing 24–7. The key to avoiding the upset for Ole Miss will be slowing down tailback Nathan Jeffery, who rushed for 177 yards on 21 carries vs. Oklahoma. Last season, Ole Miss allowed at least one 100-yard rusher in 10 of 12 games (and that doesn’t include the LSU game in which five Tigers rushed for at least 50 yards).

9. How many Alabama tailbacks will run for 100 yards vs. Western Kentucky?
Alabama’s tailback rotation, for now, goes four deep, and all four figure to get plenty of carries this week against Western Kentucky. True freshman T.J. Yeldon, the most physically gifted of the group, rushed for 111 yards on 11 carries in the opener against Michigan. Jalston Fowler, Eddie Lacy and Dee Hart all received at least eight carries vs. the Wolverines. Don’t be surprised if three of the four run for at least 100 yards against the Hilltoppers.

10. Can Maxwell Smith continue to shine?
Lost in Kentucky’s disappointing loss at Louisville on Sunday was an outstanding performance by sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith. The California native completed 35-of-50 passes for 280 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Obviously, the UK staff doesn’t want to have its quarterback throw the ball 50 times, but offensive coordinator Randy Sanders would love to have Smith keep his completion percentage up in the 60 percent range and not turn the ball over. Kent State clearly won’t present the type of resistance Smith will face once the Cats enter SEC play, but the Golden Flashes are one of the better defensive teams in the MAC. It would be another positive sign if Smith played well once again this weekend.

Week 2 SEC Predictions

SEC David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Auburn at Miss. State (-3) Auburn 14-10 Miss. State 24-20 Miss. State 24-20 Auburn 24-21
E. Carolina at S. Carolina (-22.5) South Carolina 38-6 South Carolina 34-13 South Carolina 34-10 South Carolina 28-10
Florida at Texas A&M TAMU 21-17 TAMU 20-17 Florida 24-20 TAMU 17-14
W. Kentucky at Alabama (-40) Alabama 52-10 Alabama 42-6 Alabama 45-10 Alabama 44-10
Georgia State at Tennessee Tennessee 42-7 Tennessee 38-10 Tennessee 51-7 Tennessee 51-0
UTEP at Ole Miss (-7.5) UTEP 17-13 Ole Miss 28-20 Ole Miss 31-20 Ole Miss 17-14
Washington at LSU (-23.5) LSU 28-14 LSU 38-20 LSU 34-13 LSU 30-17
UL Monroe at Arkansas (-30.5) Arkansas 38-10 Arkansas 42-14 Arkansas 45-17 Arkansas 38-14
Kent State at Kentucky (-7) Kentucky 17-14 Kentucky 30-23 Kentucky 31-17 Kentucky 24-14
Georgia (-2.5) at Missouri Georgia 31-28 Georgia 27-14 Georgia 27-24 Georgia 27-21
Vanderbilt(-3) at Northwestern Vanderbilt 38-35 Vanderbilt 41-38 Vanderbilt 34-27 Vanderbilt 34-24
Season Record 11-1 12-0 11-1 12-0

by Mitch Light

<p> SEC Week 2 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 05:55
Path: /college-football/acc-week-2-preview-and-predictions

The ACC didn’t quite capitalize on its opportunity to earn national respect last week, but the conference did pickup a key victory with Clemson knocking off Auburn. Florida State easily handled Murray State, while Virginia Tech took an early lead in the race to win the Coastal Division with an overtime victory over Georgia Tech. Week 2 in the ACC features only one conference game, but some intriguing non-conference matchups, including Miami-Kansas State and NC State-Connecticut.

Other Week 2 conference storylines

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

1. Will NC State bounce back?
There’s no shame in losing to Tennessee, but the Wolfpack did not play their best game on Friday night. Quarterback Mike Glennon tossed a career-high four interceptions, while cornerback David Amerson had an uncharacteristic performance, giving up two long touchdowns to Tennessee receivers. NC State doesn’t have much time to dwell on the loss, especially with a trip to Storrs to take on Connecticut this Saturday. The Huskies suffocated UMass’ offense in Week 1, allowing only 59 yards and pitching a shutout. Moving the ball against Connecticut’s defense will be tough, so it’s important for NC State to eliminate the turnovers that plagued the offense last week. When the Huskies have the ball, the Wolfpack needs to stop the run and force quarterback Chandler Whitmer to win this one through the air. Whitmer was solid in his first start (15 of 25, 219 yards) but this will be his first test against a BCS defense. 

2. Can Maryland slow down Temple’s rushing attack?
With a true freshman starting at quarterback, it’s going to take Maryland’s offense a few games to find its rhythm. Perry Hills threw for only 145 yards in the win over William & Mary but also tossed three picks. The Terrapins have little margin for error once again in Week 2, as they travel to Philadelphia to take on Temple. The Owls recorded 47 rushing attempts in their opener against Villanova, while quarterback Chris Coyer attempted only 11 passes. Even with Montel Harris dealing with a hamstring injury, Temple has capable backs in Matt Brown and Kenny Harper, along with quarterback Chris Coyer to test the Maryland rush defense. With the Terrapins limited on offense, it’s important for the defense to limit Temple’s rushing attack, while creating a few turnovers to put Hills in a situation to get points. If Maryland’s defense can’t slow down Brown and Coyer on the ground, the Terrapins will need a big day from their young quarterback.

3. How will Florida State replace Brandon Jenkins?
Replacing a player of Jenkins’ caliber is never easy. However, thanks to some strong recruiting by Jimbo Fisher and his staff, Florida State has depth on the defensive line and should be able to maintain one of the nation’s top pass rushes without Jenkins. Bjoern Werner registered 37 tackles and seven sacks last season and recorded four sacks against Murray State in Week 1. He should be set on one side of the line, while senior Tank Carradine holds down the other spot. Werner and Carradine should be a solid duo, but the real question for Florida State will be depth. Redshirt freshman Giorgio Newberry and true freshmen Mario Edwards Jr. and Chris Casher will have to play significant snaps the rest of the year and could be forced to start if Werner or Carradine suffers an injury. Although Savannah State won’t provide much of a test, this is a good opportunity for Florida State to get some of the young linemen reps.

4. Can Virginia keep its momentum?
Mike London has Virginia rolling in the right direction and Saturday’s game against Penn State is an opportunity to score a solid non-conference victory. While the Nittany Lions are trending down, the Cavaliers best win outside of ACC play last season was against Indiana. Quarterback Michael Rocco was solid in Week 1, completing 25 of 37 passes for 311 yards and one touchdown. Rocco needs to continue playing mistake-free ball, while developing a rapport with his improving receiving corps. Penn State could be short handed on offense due to an injury to running back Bill Belton. The Nittany Lions still have a solid defense, but if the Cavaliers don’t give Penn State’s offense any help with turnovers, Virginia should win by at least a touchdown.

5. Can Miami upset Kansas State?
With a handful of young and inexperienced players stepping into playing time, Miami was a hard team to peg in the preseason. The Hurricanes showcased some of their promising talent in the first game, including freshman running back Duke Johnson. The victory against Boston College should give Miami some confidence this Saturday for its road trip to Kansas State. The Wildcats upset the Hurricanes last season, so there’s a revenge factor going for Al Golden's team. Kansas State’s pass defense is a question mark, which should allow quarterback Stephen Morris and the receivers to make some plays downfield. Although Miami should be able to score some points, it needs to find a way to slow down Wildcats’ quarterback Collin Klein. The Hurricanes had no answer for Klein last season, as he recorded 226 total yards and three touchdowns. It will take a perfect effort, but it's not out of the question for Miami can exit Manhattan with a 2-0 record.

6. Tuneups for Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech
The ACC’s top three contenders – Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech – should all have an easy outing in Week 2. Clemson hosts Ball State, Virginia Tech welcomes Austin Peay to Blacksburg, while Florida State takes on Savannah State. The Tigers have the toughest opponent out of that trio, but none of these teams should have to sweat much to win on Saturday. While there’s not a ton the coaching staffs at Virginia Tech and Florida State can take from one-sided non-conference games, it’s an opportunity to get reps for some of the younger players. The Hokies and Seminoles need their offensive lines to jell, while Clemson needs to develop depth on the defensive line. Although all three teams should win easily, the most important aspect for all of the coaching staffs will be to make it through without any injuries.

7. Battle for bragging rights in North Carolina
Larry Fedora had an impressive debut in Chapel Hill, as the Tar Heels easily handled Elon 62-0. Things get a little tougher for North Carolina this Saturday with a road trip to Wake Forest on the schedule. Running back Giovani Bernard left last week’s game with a knee injury but all signs point to a full workload for him in Week 2. The Demon Deacons struggled to beat Liberty in Week 1, but were they saving something for this matchup? The Tar Heels have the edge on offense and if they can jump out to an early lead, it will put extra pressure on Wake Forest’s young offense. North Carolina won’t be able to play in a bowl this year, but it looks like Fedora should have this team ready to play and motivated to make a run at nine victories.

8. Georgia Tech’s passing attack against Presbyterian
Even though the Yellow Jackets don’t throw it a ton, entering the year with a cast of unproven receivers was a concern for coach Paul Johnson. No Georgia Tech receiver on the roster has a career reception and all 10 catches against Virginia Tech went to running backs. The Yellow Jackets should have no trouble beating Presbyterian this Saturday, but expect the coaching staff to allow quarterback Tevin Washington to throw a little more than usual, especially as the offense looks to work in the receivers. Georgia Tech has some ground to make up in the Coastal Division and it’s important to develop a go-to receiver before playing Virginia next week.

9. Can Duke upset Stanford?
Despite having a handful of players out due to injuries, Duke easily handled FIU (46-26) last Saturday. The win was huge for the Blue Devils’ bowl hopes, but the competition only gets tougher in Week 2 with a long trip to Stanford. The Cardinal was unimpressive in a Week 1 victory against San Jose State and is still dealing with the transition from Andrew Luck to Josh Nunes at quarterback. The Blue Devils gave up 165 rushing yards last Saturday and will be challenged even more by Stanford’s physical offensive line. Duke was crushed by the Cardinal 44-14 last season, but this matchup should be much closer in 2012. An upset over Stanford would be a huge boost to the Blue Devils’ bowl hopes this year. 

Week 2 ACC Predictions

Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
NC State (-5) at Connecticut NC State 21-10 NC State 31-20 NC State 27-20 UConn 27-24
Penn State at Virginia (-10) Virginia 27-10 Virginia 28-13 Virginia 27-17 Virginia 27-14
Maryland at Temple (-10) Temple 14-7 Maryland 14-10 Temple 24-20 Temple 17-14
Miami (Fla.) at Kansas State (-7) K-State 35-14 K-State 31-24 K-State 34-27 K-State 34-28
Ball State at Clemson (-27) Clemson 56-14 Clemson 41-10 Clemson 45-17 Clemson 51-24
Maine at Boston College BC 38-17 BC 27-10 BC 41-10 BC 34-10
Austin Peay at Virginia Tech Va Tech 42-10 Va Tech 34-3 Va Tech 62-3 Va Tech 61-0
UNC (-10) at Wake Forest UNC 21-17 UNC 30-13 UNC 31-23 UNC 34-21
Savannah State at Florida State FSU 70-3 FSU 56-7 FSU 70-0 FSU 58-0
Presbyterian at Georgia Tech Ga Tech 35-7 Ga Tech 34-7 Ga Tech 55-3 Ga Tech 50-10
Duke at Stanford (-15) Stanford 27-10 Stanford 28-14 Stanford 31-20 Stanford 27-17
Season Record 9-1 10-0 9-1 10-0

by Steven Lassan

<p> ACC Week 2 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 05:47
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-2-preview-and-predictions

The competition wasn't particularly impressive, but Big 12 teams finished Week 1 with a 9-0 record. Eight Big 12 teams are in action this Saturday, with Baylor and West Virginia on a bye week. Non-conference play continues in Week 2, but Iowa State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State have key tests against BCS foes.

Other Week 2 Previews and Predictions

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

Big 12's Top Storylines to Watch in Week 2

1. Will Iowa State make it two in a row over Iowa?
The last time the Cyclones won back-to-back games against in-state rival Iowa was 2001-02. After last year’s 44-41 win in Ames and a solid opening week victory against Tulsa, Iowa State is in position to make it two in a row over the Hawkeyes. Even though it may seem simple, winning the turnover battle will be crucial to the Cyclones’ victory hopes on Saturday. Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz struggled with interceptions last year but played well in the opener (281 yards, two touchdowns), but he will have a tough matchup against Iowa’s secondary. The Hawkeyes struggled to get their offense on track last week, but running back Damon Bullock will test an Iowa State rush defense that allowed 160 yards to Tulsa last week. Iowa has outscored the Cyclones 52-12 in the last two matchups in Iowa City. However, considering Iowa State had a solid performance in Week 1, look for Saturday’s game to be a lot closer than the recent matchups at Iowa.

2. How will Wes Lunt fare in his first road start?
So far, so good for Wes Lunt as Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback. Of course, the competition in Week 1 was pretty weak, so Saturday’s road test at Arizona will give everyone a better glimpse of Lunt’s ability. Against Savannah State last Saturday, he threw for 129 yards and completed all 11 passes. Although the coaching staff needs to get Lunt some work – especially before Big 12 play arrives – the Cowboys don’t have to lean on the true freshman to win this game. Expect a heavy dose of running back Joseph Randle, while Oklahoma State’s defense will look to continue its opportunistic ways from last season. The Cowboys defense has a tough challenge ahead as it tries to slow down Arizona quarterback Matt Scott (387 yards, two touchdowns against Toledo). Lunt doesn’t need to have a huge game for Oklahoma State to win, but this is his first big test as the starting quarterback.

3. Will Kansas State’s defense struggle to stop Miami?
Coming into the season, Miami was one of the biggest mystery teams in the nation. The Hurricanes returned only nine starters and featured a depth chart littered with youth and inexperience. Miami’s defense struggled to stop Boston College last week, but its offense recorded 415 yards and 41 points – a bad sign for a Kansas State defense that allowed 418 yards to FCS foe Missouri State. The Wildcats’ secondary was a question mark coming into the season and gave up 323 yards last week. Although Miami isn’t one of the nation’s best passing teams, it has a capable quarterback (Stephen Morris) and some receivers capable of making plays on the outside. Expect Kansas State’s defense to get a little help from its offense and quarterback Collin Klein, as the Wildcats should be able to move the ball on Miami’s defense. Kansas State should win this one but concerns about the defense may keep this one close deep into the fourth quarter.

4. Can Texas Tech continue to make progress on defense?
Even though the competition wasn’t the best last Saturday, it was a good sign for Texas Tech that its defense allowed only 84 yards and six points to Northwestern State. The Red Raiders were active around the line of scrimmage, recording nine tackles for a loss and registering one forced fumble. This unit will have another opportunity on Saturday against Texas State to show just how far it has come since last season. The Bobcats will present a tougher challenge, especially after rushing for 248 yards and two touchdowns against Houston last week. If Texas Tech’s defense turns in another stellar effort, it should give the coaching staff confidence they found the right answers in the offseason. The Red Raiders have plenty of firepower on offense but fixing the defense is crucial to get back to a bowl game.

5. Another tuneup for Oklahoma, Texas in Week 2
It’s still another month before Oklahoma and Texas matchup in Dallas, and both teams have a lot of work to do before the Red River Rivalry. The Sooners looked sluggish in the opener against UTEP, while Wyoming gave Texas all it could handle in the first quarter, but the Longhorns eventually pulled away for a 37-17 win. Oklahoma’s passing attack is under the microscope after looking out of rhythm against the Miners. Florida A&M should provide little resistance to the Sooners’ offense, which should allow this group to work out some of the kinks before Big 12 play arrives on Sept. 22. For Texas, this Saturday is all about building more confidence for quarterback David Ash, as well as developing a pecking order at running back. Expect freshman Johnathan Gray to see a bigger role this Saturday, but Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown will likely tote the bulk of the workload. New Mexico thrashed Southern last week but remains one of the worst FBS teams, so Texas should be able to cruise to a 2-0 start.

6. TCU finally kicks off its 2012 season
It’s been an interesting offseason in Fort Worth, from the drug arrests to the move to the Big 12 and a major stadium renovation. After a long offseason and a bye in Week 1, TCU finally kicks off its 2012 season with a matchup against Grambling this Saturday. The Horned Frogs shouldn’t run into much trouble against the Tigers, and this will be a good opportunity to get a look at a revamped offensive line and linebacking corps. TCU’s secondary was a concern last season, but it won’t be tested against a Grambling offense that threw for just 66 yards last week against Alcorn State. The Horned Frogs should cruise to an easy victory, but with Kansas coming up in Week 2, it’s important for some of the inexperienced players to get as many reps as possible.

7. Can Kansas win two games in a row?
Charlie Weis’ debut in Lawrence wasn’t overly impressive, but the Jayhawks snapped a 10-game losing streak by beating South Dakota State 31-17. Running backs Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox each rushed for over 100 yards, while quarterback Dayne Crist had a so-so debut by completing 17 of 36 passes for 169 yards and one score. A bigger issue is the defense, which allowed 411 total yards last week. Saturday’s game against Rice is no cupcake, as the Owls recorded 358 yards and 24 points against UCLA in Week 1. However, Rice’s defense was invisible against the Bruins, allowing a whopping 646 yards and 49 points. The Jayhawks should be able to move the ball at will against the Owls. However, can Kansas’ defense make enough key stops to allow Charlie Weis to begin his tenure in Lawrence at 2-0? 

Week 2 Big 12 Predictions

Big 12 Games David Fox Braden Gall Steven Lassan Mitch Light
Miami (Fla.) at K-State (-7) K-State 35-14 K-State 31-24 K-State 34-27 K-State 34-28
Rice at Kansas (-10) Kansas 28-10 Kansas 27-17 Kansas 41-24 Kansas 41-10
Iowa State at Iowa (-5) Iowa State 21-17 Iowa 27-21 Iowa 27-24 Iowa State 21-20
Tex Tech (-18) at Texas State Tex. Tech 31-24 Tex. Tech 38-10 Tex. Tech 38-17 Tex. Tech 31-17
Florida A&M at Oklahoma Oklahoma 56-10 Oklahoma 49-7 Oklahoma 59-7 Oklahoma 48-13
Grambling at TCU TCU 42-7 TCU 41-10 TCU 52-3 TCU 48-0
New Mexico at Texas (-38) Texas 31-10 Texas 37-7 Texas 48-3 Texas 41-3
Okla. State (-10.5) at Arizona Okla State 35-14 Okla State 34-31 Okla State 38-31 Okla State 34-20
Season Record 9-0 9-0 9-0 9-0


by Steven Lassan

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<p> Big 12 Week 2 Preview and Predictions</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 05:40
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC, Big East, News
Path: /college-football/college-football-week-2-upset-predictions

Week 2 of the 2012 college football season doesn’t feature many marquee matchups and with a handful of BCS teams heavily favored, there are few opportunities for upset picks. Athlon’s editors hit on Ohio’s win over Penn State last week but missed on Western Michigan beating Illinois and Indiana State knocking off Indiana.

College Football's Week 2 Upset Picks

Braden Gall (@BradenGall): Nebraska (-5.5) at UCLA
If Florida (+1.5) beats Texas A&M or South Florida (+1.5) defeats Nevada, no one will be shocked, but most would be startled if UCLA starts the year 2-0 with an upset win over Nebraska. Jim Mora Jr., has instilled some toughness along both lines of scrimmage and quarterback Brett Hundley has added some much-needed balance to the Bruins offense. Yes, it was Rice, but it was on the road and UCLA's offense looked fantastic. If the Bruins can hold their ground at the point of attack, they have a great chance to pull the upset at home. Especially, if the Cornhuskers are without their offensive heart and soul in star tailback Rex Burkhead. He is questionable with a sprained MCL.

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven): Florida (+1.5) at Texas A&M
With a spread of 1.5 points, this game is essentially a pick’em. Florida did not have a great showing in its Week 1 opener against Bowling Green, while Texas A&M’s game was canceled due to Hurricane Isaac. Although the Gators looked sluggish against the Falcons, their defense should create some problems for Aggies’ quarterback Johnny Manziel in his first start. If Florida can run the ball and keep quarterback Jeff Driskel out of third-and-long situations, I like the Gators to sneak out of College Station with a victory. Considering this is Texas A&M’s first SEC game, there should be a great crowd and a lot of momentum on the Aggies’ sideline. However, I think Florida finds a way to edge out Texas A&M for a 24-20 victory.

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch): Iowa State (+4.5) at Iowa
Iowa State scored a total of 15 points en route to losing three straight to Iowa from 2008-10. Last year, however, the Cyclones erupted for 44 points in a three-point win in Ames. The ’12 season got off to good start offensively for Paul Rhoads’ club. The Clones, a surprising home underdog to Tulsa, rolled up 441 yards in a 38–23 win over the Golden Hurricane. Yards will be tougher to come by in Iowa City this weekend. Iowa gave up only 201 total yards (73 on one play) in an 18–17 win over Northern Illinois in Chicago. Take out that one big play — a run by NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch — and the Iowa defense gave up an average of 2.4 yards per play. Iowa State, however, has a few more weapons than Northern Illinois, which returned only three starters. Steel Jantz played well in the opener, and the Clones have some talented options at tailback.This rivalry game often doesn’t go as expected. This is just a hunch, but I like the Clones on the road. Iowa State 21, Iowa 20

Mark Ross: Louisiana-Lafayette (+3) over Troy
Both teams enter this Sun Belt clash 1-0 as Troy defeated C-USA representative UAB 39-29 on the road, while UL Lafayette shut out FCS member Lamar 40-0 at home last week. Even though the Trojans produced more total offense against seemingly tougher competition in its opener and will be the home team for this conference tilt, I think the Ragin' Cajuns are the more balanced team, which will be the difference in the end. Last season the Cajuns defeated the Trojans 31-17 even though Troy out-gained ULL in terms of total offense. This season's ULL offensive attack is even more potent with senior Blaine Gautier under center and it will be too much for Troy's defense to slow down.

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman): Iowa State (+4.5) over Iowa
The Hawkeyes are coming off a fortuitous 18-17 win over Northern Illinois in Week 1, while the Cyclones had a solid 38-23 victory against Tulsa. ISU quarterback Steele Jantz threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, while running back Shontrelle Johnson rushed for 120 yards on just 18 carries. They will face a much tougher defense this week versus Iowa, but I like the offensive balance the Paul Rhoads’ club showed against Tulsa. The Hawkeyes will look for another solid performance from tailback Damon Bullock, who totaled 150 yards and a touchdown versus NIU. The key to winning his year’s Cy-Hawk Trophy will be taking advantage of red-zone opportunities. The Cyclones have shown a penchant for winning as an underdog under Rhoads, and I’ll take Iowa State to make it two in a row over the Hawkeyes by the score of 24-23.

David Fox (@DavidFox615): Auburn (+3.5) at Mississippi State
This upset pick was too tantalizing given the recent history of the SEC West rivals: Auburn has won 10 of the last 11 meetings. Although Mississippi State has been within a touchdown or less in four of the last five seasons, Auburn hasn’t lost in Starkville since 2000. Auburn’s game last week wasn’t always pretty -- 528 yards allowed, two turnovers, 11 of 27 passing from Kiehl Frazier -- but Auburn led Clemson by a field goal in the fourth quarter. If Auburn can limit a Clemson offense to field goals for three quarters in a neutral site game, I can get on board with a road upset over Mississippi State. I realize Clemson was without Sammy Watkins, but do the Bulldogs have anyone to match Tajh Boyd or Andre Ellington? I doubt it.

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<p> College Football Week 2 Upset Picks</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 05:05
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-using-vegas-odds-determine-best-week-2-plays

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

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

Week 2

Best Fantasy Matchups(Games with the most fantasy potential)

Fresno State at Oregon

Line:  Oregon -34(O/U-73.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Oregon 54-20

Best plays:

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

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

Also consider:

Fresno St (WR-Rashad Evans)

Oregon (WR-Josh Huff, TE-Colt Lyerla)

theCFFsite projects:  Oregon 52-28


Oklahoma State at Arizona

Line:  Oklahoma St -13.5(O/U-70)

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

Best plays:

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

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

Also consider:

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

Arizona (WRs-Terrence Miller, Richard Morrison)

theCFFsite projects:  Oklahoma St 48-24


Louisiana at Troy

Line:  Troy -3(O/U-64.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Troy 34-31

Best plays:

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

Troy (QB-Corey Robinson, RB-Shawn Southward, WR-Chip Reeves)

Also consider:

Louisiana (WR-Harry Peoples, TE-Jacob Maxwell, K-Brett Baer)

Troy (WR-Eric Thomas)

theCFFsite projects:  Louisiana 31-30

Toledo at Wyoming

Line:  Toledo -3.5(O/U-55.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Toledo 30-26

Best plays:

Toledo (RB-David Fluellen, WR-Bernard Reedy)

Wyoming (QB-Brett Smith, RB-Brandon Miller, WR-Robert Herron)

Also consider:

Toledo (RB-Cassius McDowell, WR-Alonzo Russell)

Wyoming (WR-Dominic Rufran)

theCFFsite projects:  Toledo 31-28

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

Western Kentucky at Alabama

Line:  Alabama -40(O/U-53.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Alabama 47-7

Stay away from:

Western Kentucky (RB-Antonio Andrews)

theCFFsite projects:  Alabama 48-10

LA-Monroe at Arkansas

Line:  Arkansas -30.5(O/U-57)

Projected score based on point spread:  Arkansas 44-14

Stay away from:

LA-Monroe (RB-Jyruss Edwards)

theCFFsite projects:  Arkansas 52-17


New Mexico at Texas

Line:  Texas -37.5(O/U-53.5)

Projected score based on point spread:  Texas 46-8

Stay away from:

New Mexico (RB-Demarcus Rogers)

theCFFsite projects:  Texas 45-7


Michigan State at Central Michigan

Line:  Michigan State -23.5(O/U-48)

Projected score based on point spread:  Michigan State 36-12

Stay away from:

Central Michigan (QB-Ryan Radcliff, RB-Zurlon Tipton, WR-Cody Wilson)

theCFFsite projects:  Michigan State 30-10


Must Watch Games(The games with the biggest headlines)

Georgia at Missouri

Line:  Georgia -3.5(O/U-55)

Projected score based on point spread:  Georgia 29-26

Outlook:  After last week’s performance against Buffalo, we’re not sure that the Bulldogs are ready to visit a team looking to prove they belong in the SEC.     

theCFFsite projects:  Missouri 30-27


Florida at Texas A&M

Line:  Texas A&M -2.5(O/U-53)

Projected score based on point spread:  Texas A&M 28-25

Outlook:  Florida’s advantage is that they have a game under their belt, but the fact that Bowling Green gave the Gators all they could handle makes this decision easy.

theCFFsite projects:  Texas A&M 37-24


theCFFsite in Must Watch games:

2012 Season:  Straight Up (4-0)  ATS: (3-1)

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



The College Fantasy Football Site

By:  Joe DiSalvo

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

<p> College Fantasy Football: Using Vegas Odds to Determine Best Week 2 Plays</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 04:07
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Fantasy, News
Path: /college-football/college-fantasy-football-week-2-sit-or-start

Fantasy owners got burned last week when they decided to bench guys like Ryan Aplin, Jordan Lynch, Nathan Jeffery, and Branden Oliver.  Others got disappointing fantasy performances from preseason favorites like Cobi Hamilton, Cody Hoffman, Jeff Tuel, and David Piland.  Here’s your redemption:  Week 2. 

Week 2 College Fantasy Football Sit or Start


Colby Cameron, QB-LA Tech at Houston

Now that Boise State lost last week at Michigan State, the Bulldogs may have the best chance to bust the BCS, and Cameron has some weapons on the outside.

Derek Carr, QB-Fresno State at Oregon
If the Ducks race out to an early lead, expect Carr to put the ball in the air all night long.

Zac Dysert, QB-Miami, OH vs. Southern Illinois
Dysert put the ball in the air 53 times at Ohio St last week, but only threw for one score.  Expect fewer attempts this week, but the senior quarterback should account for at least two-to-three touchdowns.

Taylor McHargue, QB-Rice at Kansas
South Dakota State ran up 411 yards against Kansas’ defense last week, so we’re confident McHargue will at least duplicate his numbers from a week ago against UCLA.

Matt Brown, RB-Temple vs Maryland
As long as Montel Harris remains on the sideline with a hamstring injury, Brown is a solid fantasy performer.

Brandin Byrd, RB-North Texas vs Texas Southern
Byrd led all Mean Green running backs in rush attempts at LSU and will have a much easier time this week against Texas Southern.

Shawn Southward, RB-Troy vs Louisiana
Southward topped the 200-yard mark last week with 28 carries against UAB.  The Trojans will most likely call upon the junior running back to shoulder the load in what figures to be the biggest Sun Belt Conference matchup of the season.

Johnathan Franklin, RB-UCLA vs Nebraska
Franklin may not run for 200 yards again, but he should find some running room at home against the Huskers.

Ameer Abdullah, RB-Nebraska at UCLA
It is almost certain that Rex Burkhead will sit this one out, so look for the versatile sophomore to fill the void.

Tim Cornett, RB UNLV vs Northern Arizona
We have never recommended starting a UNLV running back in consecutive weeks, but Cornett should top the 100-yard mark again.

Tony Jones, RB-Colorado vs Sacramento State
The Buffaloes struggled to run the ball last week against Colorado State, but don’t give up on Jones just yet.

Nathan Jeffery, RB-UTEP at Ole Miss
After rushing for 177 yards against the Sooners last week, Jeffery could top 1,500 yards rushing this season if he stays healthy.

Noel Grigsby, WR-San Jose State vs UC-Davis
Grigsby’s inability to find the end zone last year kept him off of many fantasy rosters, so it was nice to see him score in Week 1 at Stanford.  We suggest rolling with the junior receiver in Week 2 vs UC-Davis.

Charlie Moore, WR-Oklahoma State @ Arizona
We did not learn anything about the Cowboys last week against Savannah State, but we still like Moore to emerge as a legitimate fantasy factor.

LaRod King, WR-Kentucky vs Kent State
King had 77 yards receiving on 8 catches against a solid Louisville defense in Week 1, so we’re looking for more against the Golden Flashes.


David Piland, QB-Houston vs LA Tech
The Cougars’ loss to Texas State was a shocker and we can promise things will not get any easier against Tech.

Kerwynn Williams, RB-Utah State vs Utah
Williams wasn’t even the leading rusher for the Aggies last week and they will face a stiff test when they host Utah Friday night.

Zurlon Tipton, RB-Central Michigan vs Michigan State
Tipton opened some eyes last week after running for 180 yards and three touchdowns against Southeast Missouri State, but the Chippewas step up in competition this week when they host Michigan State.

Storm Woods, RB-Oregon State vs Wisconsin
Woods may have been named the starter, but we should still see a lot of Malcolm Agnew against the Badgers.

Dominique Whaley, RB-Oklahoma vs Florida A&M
Whaley looked healthy last week, but Damien Williams was the more impressive Sooners running back and could steal more carries from the senior.  Plus, Whaley could exit early if the game gets out of hand against the Rattlers from Florida A&M.

Bishop Sankey, RB-Washington at LSU
Sankey assumed the role as full-time starter when fellow running back Jesse Callier was lost for the season with a torn ACL.  However, running room will be hard to find Saturday night in Tiger Stadium.

Cameron Marshall, RB-Arizona State vs Illinois
We’re not quite sure Marshall is 100% and he’ll go against an Illinois defense that held Western Michigan to negative-6 yards rushing last week.

Rashad Greene vs Savannah State
We learned from the Oklahoma State-Savannah State game last week that Greene will be on the sidelines by halftime.  Can he generate a score or two before an early exit?


Joe DiSalvo

The College Fantasy Football Site

Follow Joe on twitter (@theCFFsite)

<p> College Fantasy Football: Week 2 Sit or Start</p>
Post date: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 04:05
Path: /college-football/college-football-post-week-1-bowl-projections

College football's bowl season is still a few months away, but it's never too early to take a look at what the matchups might look like. With only one week of results in the books, it's hard to make long-term projections about teams. A team like Houston was expected to win Conference USA's West Division in the preseason but stumbled in the opener against Texas State. For now, the Cougars remain in our projections but that could change after Week 2.

With very little data to work with, the post-Week 1 bowl projections are a mixture between preseason projections and a small dose of the results so far this year. Expect more changes over the next few weeks, especially as we see how teams like Houston, UTEP, Miami (Fla.) and Texas Tech perform.

2012-2013 Post-Week 1 College Football Bowl Projections

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

by Steven Lassan

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College Football Week 1 Recap

<p> College Football Post-Week 1 Bowl Projections for 2012</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 06:35
Path: /college-football/college-footballs-top-20-coaches-hot-seat-post-week-1-rankings

Week 1 of the college football season is in the books and plenty of coaches are feeling the pressure to win. Kentucky showed some progress in the season opener against Louisville, but Joker Phillips passes Boston College's Frank Spaziani as the No. 1 coach on the hot seat. Some new names have joined the top 20, including Houston's Tony Levine and Colorado's Jon Embree. 

College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 1 Rankings

1. Joker Phillips, Kentucky
Last Week's Rank:
Record at Kentucky: 11-15 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Losing handily to a rival is enough for Phillips to claim the top spot after Week 1. The Wildcats showed some signs of life on offense, but the defense had no answer for Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Kentucky should get into the win column against Kent State this Saturday, but Phillips needs to pickup a few wins in SEC play this year.

2. Frank Spaziani, Boston College
Last Week's Rank: 1
Record at Boston College: 20-20 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Spaziani moved down from the No. 1 to the No. 2 spot this week. Although Boston College lost to Miami, the team showed some progress on offense. Hiring Doug Martin as the coordinator seems to be the right answer to develop quarterback Chase Rettig, as he threw for 441 yards and two touchdowns in the opener. Spaziani’s specialty is on defense, which is where the Eagles struggled on Saturday and must improve for Boston College to have any shot at a bowl.

3. Rick Stockstill, MTSU
Last Week's Rank:
Record at MTSU: 35-41 (7th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Stockstill makes a huge jump in the rankings after a Week 1 debacle against McNeese State. The Blue Raiders trailed the Cowboys 24-6 going into the fourth quarter and lost 27-21. MTSU has lost six consecutive season openers under Stockstill and enters Week 2 action with a seven-game losing streak.

4. David Bailiff, Rice
Last Week's Rank:
Record at Rice: 23-39 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Things never got on track for Rice in the season opener, as the Owls fell behind 19-0 to UCLA and did not score a point in the second half to lose 49-24. Rice’s defense did little to slow down the Bruins, allowing 646 yards and 49 points. Quarterback Taylor McHargue turned in a solid effort in a losing cause, but the Owls were simply overmatched. The road doesn’t get any easier for Rice, as they matchup against Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Marshall and Houston over the next few weeks.

5. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Last Week: 7
Record at Central Michigan: 7-18 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
For a half, it appeared Central Michigan would fall victim to FCS foe Southeast Missouri State. However, the Chippewas rallied in the final two quarters to win 38-27 and remain unbeaten under Enos in season openers. Despite the victory, it was an overall lackluster showing for Central Michigan, and the schedule gets tougher in Week 2 against Michigan State.

6. Jeff Tedford, California
Last Week: 15
Record at California: 79-49 (11th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Tedford makes a big jump in this week’s poll, climbing from No. 15 in the post-fall practice edition to No. 6 after Saturday’s loss to Nevada. Although the Wolf Pack are one of the top 50 teams in the nation, losing in the home debut after a major stadium renovation is a bad sign. Tedford has recorded a mediocre 12-14 record since 2010 and could be 1-3 after the first four weeks of the season. Tedford has had a successful run in Berkeley, but has the program gone stale?

7. Robb Akey, Idaho
Last Week:
Record at Idaho: 19-44 (6th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Eastern Washington is one of the top FCS programs, so it’s really no surprise it won on the road at Idaho. However, it’s another black eye for the Vandals, a program struggling to stay on the FBS level. Idaho has lost 10 out of its last 11 games and it could be a while before it cracks the win column. With Bowling Green, LSU, Wyoming and North Carolina coming up, the Vandals’ best opportunity at a victory is on Oct. 6 against New Mexico State. Akey’s teams have regressed since winning eight contests in 2009, and it’s shaping up to be another long year in Idaho.

8. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Last Week:
Record at Maryland: 3-10 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
Edsall’s 2012 opener nearly ended with disaster. The Terrapins squeaked out a lackluster 7-6 victory over FCS opponent William & Mary. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills turned in a so-so debut, completing 16 of 24 passes for 145 yards and three interceptions. While the defense was solid, the offense clearly has some work to do over the next couple of weeks. Maryland’s schedule doesn’t get any easier, as it travels to Philadelphia take on Temple this Saturday.

9. Tommy Tuberville, Texas Tech
Last Week:
Record at Texas Tech: 14-12 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
Texas Tech had a successful season opener, easily defeating Northwestern State 44-6. The offense gained 500 yards, while a much-maligned defense allowed only 84 yards and held the Demons to just six points. With matchups against Texas State and New Mexico in the next two weeks, Tuberville should slide down this list. However, Tuberville’s long-term future in Lubbock will be determined on what happens in Big 12 play.

10. Tony Levine, Houston
Last Week: Not ranked
Record at Houston: 1-1
2012 Record: 0-1
Disaster is the only word to describe Levine’s regular season debut at Houston. The Cougars high-powered offense was grounded, scoring only 13 points and managing 326 yards of total offense. The defense was shredded for 248 yards on the ground and forced only one turnover. Only adding to the uneasiness surrounding Levine was the departure of coordinator Mike Nesbitt on Monday. Athlon ranked Levine as one of the worst coaching hires this offseason, and he needs to get Houston pointed back in the right direction before Conference USA play begins. Levine isn't in danger of losing his job anytime during the season, but his tenure at Houston is off to an awful start. 

11. Bobby Hauck, UNLV
Last Week:
Record at UNLV: 4-22 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
After nearly beating Minnesota last Thursday, Hauck moves from No. 9 to No. 11 on this list. The Rebels gave the Golden Gophers all they can handle, giving hope that Hauck can surpass last season’s two wins. The Rebels should get into the win column against Northern Arizona this Saturday.

12. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
Last Week:
Record at Syracuse: 17-21 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Marrone has been on a steady climb in Athlon’s coach on the hot seat rankings since the end of last year. The Orange finished 2011 with a five-game losing streak and opened 2012 with a loss to Northwestern. With a move to the ACC on the horizon for 2013, Syracuse may not want to join a new conference with a coach on the hot seat. Marrone may need to make a bowl to save his job.

13. Jeff Quinn, Buffalo
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at Buffalo: 5-20 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Quinn opened the season with a loss to Georgia, but the Bulls had a good showing in defeat. Although five wins in just over two years isn’t impressive, Quinn seems to be moving the program in the right direction.

14. George O'Leary, UCF
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at UCF: 51-51 (9th season)
2012 Record: 1-0
The Knights turned in one of the most dominating wins in Week 1, beating Akron 56-14. UCF has a tough road trip to Ohio State this Saturday but is a heavy favorite to win the Conference USA title. As long as the Knights reach a bowl game, O’Leary should be safe to return for 2013.

15. Jon Embree, Colorado
Last Week’s Rank:
Not ranked
Record at Colorado: 3-11 (2nd season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Embree didn’t inherit a great situation at Colorado, but the Buffaloes haven’t showed a whole lot of improvement in his tenure. Colorado did win two out of the last three from last season but opened 2012 with a disappointing loss to in-state rival Colorado State. Embree isn’t in any danger of losing his job this year, but this program can’t afford many more years of just three wins.

16. Derek Dooley, Tennessee
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at Tennessee: 12-14 (3rd season)
2012 Record: 1-0
Dooley is one of the biggest movers on this list, dropping from No. 3 to No. 16 after Friday’s win over NC State. The Volunteers were impressive against the Wolfpack and considering how Florida looked against Bowling Green, it’s not out of the question Tennessee could be 4-0 before playing at Georgia on Sept. 29. Dooley still has a lot to prove, but Friday night's win was a step in the right direction.

17. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at Western Michigan: 47-40 (8th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
The Broncos were a trendy upset pick for Week 1 but fell 24-7 to Illinois. Western Michigan has two more shots at pulling off an upset against a BCS team, as it visits Minnesota on Sept. 15 and hosts Connecticut on Sept. 22. Despite the opening week disappointment, the Broncos are considered the favorites to win the MAC’s West Division.

18. Mike Price, UTEP
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at UTEP: 45-53 (9th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Although it was a losing effort against Oklahoma, Price drops eight spots to No. 18 on the post-week 1 rankings. UTEP gave the Sooners all they could handle and has another shot at an upset against Ole Miss this Saturday. Considering Houston’s struggles against Texas State, the Miners have to be considered one of the favorites to win Conference USA’s West Division.

19. DeWayne Walker, New Mexico State
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at New Mexico State: 10-29 (4th season)
2012 Record: 1-0
The Aggies opened their season with a convincing 49-19 victory over Sacramento State. New Mexico State is a tough job, and the program faces an uncertain future at the FBS level. It’s clear Walker is making progress and would be a surprise if he doesn’t return to Las Cruces for 2013.

20. Dave Clawson, Bowling Green
Last Week’s Rank:
Record at Bowling Green: 14-24 (4th season)
2012 Record: 0-1
Clawson probably doesn’t deserve be on this list, especially after nearly leading Bowling Green to a win over Florida in the season opener. However, there are few candidates for this No. 20 ranking, and Clawson’s overall record is 14-24. The Falcons were picked by many to finish in the top three of the MAC East and assuming this team builds off Saturday’s performance, Clawson won’t be moving any higher on this list in 2012.

by Steven Lassan

Related College Football Content

ACC Post-Week 1 Power Rankings
Big 12 Post-Week 1 Power Rankings

Big East Post-Week 1 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 1 Power Rankings
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" target="_blank">College Football Week 1 Recap

<p> College Football's Top 20 Coaches on the Hot Seat: Post-Week 1 Rankings</p>
Post date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 06:30
All taxonomy terms: LSU Tigers, Washington Huskies, Pac 12, SEC, News
Path: /news/washington-brings-live-tiger-practice-prep-lsu

Washington has a huge test ahead this Saturday, as it travels to LSU for a night game in Baton Rouge. Winning at LSU hasn't been easy for opposing teams in recent years, so it's no surprise the Huskies are preparing with some unusual tactics.

To help prepare for Saturday night's hostile atmosphere, Washington had a live tiger at practice on Tuesday. Yes, that's right - a live tiger. 

These pictures tweeted by @RyanDivish and @Curtis_Crabtree show the tiger during practice, which is certainly an interesting motivational tactic for Washington. There's no question this will be a tough game for the Huskies but bringing in a live tiger to watch over practice is certainly among the most interesting practice tactics in recent years.

<p> Washington Brings Live Tiger to Practice to Prep for LSU</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 15:46
All taxonomy terms: Texas A&M Aggies, SEC, News
Path: /news/texas-am-slams-florida-your-face-billboard

Texas A&M opens SEC play against Florida this Saturday, but the Aggies aren’t waiting long to introduce themselves to the rest of the conference.

This billboard popped up in Gainesville recently, featuring the phrase “You’ve been annexed by Aggie Nation.”

Needless to say, it’s pretty brash talk from Texas A&M – a school that has yet to play its first SEC contest. The billboard also features the phrase “Real Football. Real Tradition.”

And this gem: “The Cleanest Program in the SEC.”

In the conference of secondary violations, it's a nice way to welcome yourself to your new SEC foes.

The billboard is all fun and games and probably means nothing for Saturday’s game. However, it’s definitely a welcome to the SEC moment for Texas A&M – and the Aggies aren’t backing down from anyone.

<p> Texas A&amp;M Slams Florida With In-Your-Face Billboard</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 10:53
Path: /college-football/sec-post-week-1-power-rankings

The 2012 college football season kicked off with South Carolina beating Vanderbilt on Thursday night. The Gamecocks weren't particularly impressive but did just enough to knock off the Commodores. Derek Dooley's seat got a little cooler in Knoxville after beating NC State on Friday night. Alabama was the most impressive team in Week 1, thrashing Michigan 41-14.

Post-Week 1 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina — Making his first appearance since injuring his knee last fall, Lattimore ran for 110 yards and two scores on 23 carries against a solid run defense at Vanderbilt.

2. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee — It was quite a debut for the junior college transfer. He combined for 165 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns — one on a 41-yard toss from Tyler Bray and one on a 67-yard run from scrimmage.

3. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee — The junior quarterback completed 27-of-41 passes for 333 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in the Vols’ win vs. NC State.


Post-Week 1 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama — Milliner had four pass deflections and an interception to lead Alabama’s dominant defensive effort against Michigan.

2. Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina — The sophomore had four total tackles, including two for a loss (and one sack) in the Gamecocks’ 17-13 win at Vanderbilt.

3. Kenny Ladler, S, Vanderbilt — Ladler shined in a losing effort for Vanderbilt, recording nine tackles, one interception and a sack as the Commodores held South Carolina to 272 total yards. 


Post-Week 1 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Nick Saban, Alabama — The Crimson Tide completely dominated Michigan, a team that won 11 games in 2011.

2. Derek Dooley, Tennessee — His seat is a whole lot cooler after the Vols’ impressive win over NC State in Atlanta.

3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina — He’s the only coach in the league with a 1-0 record in the SEC.


Post-Week 1 SEC Power Rankings

1. Alabama (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Michigan 41-14
Alabama was perhaps the most impressive team in the nation in the opening week of the season. The Crimson Tide completely dominated both sides of the ball against a Michigan team ranked in the top 10 heading into the season. The Bama defense did a masterful job on Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who completed only 11-of-26 passes and rushed for 27 yards on 10 attempts. True freshman T.J. Yeldon was the star on offense for the Tide, rushing for 111 yards and one touchdown on 11 carries. This was complete domination.
This Week: Western Kentucky

2. LSU (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat North Texas 41-14
The Tigers disposed of North Texas in predictable fashion, leaning on a rushing attack that churned out 316 yards on 46 carries for an impressive 6.9-yard average. Zach Mettenberger put up solid numbers in his debut at quarterback (19-of-26 for 192 yards with one TD and one INT), but he missed some throws that he will need to hit against better competition. Tailbacks Kenny Hilliard (141) and Alfred Blue (123) both went over the 100-yard mark, and Odell Beckham returned a punt 70 yards for a TD in the first quarter.
Next Game: Washington

3. Georgia (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Buffalo 45-23
The result was never in doubt, but Georgia didn’t exactly dominate Buffalo (3–9 last season) as thoroughly as most Bulldog fans would have liked. There was a lot to like on offense — especially the 100 yards on eight carries from freshman tailback Todd Gurley — but Georgia couldn’t have been thrilled about giving up 347 total yards (199 on the ground). Tavarres King caught six passes for 117 yards to lead the Dawgs’ receiving corps.
Next Game: at Missouri

4. South Carolina (1-0, 1-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Vanderbilt 17-13
South Carolina managed only 272 yards of offense, including just 67 through the air, but it was good enough to escape Nashville with a 17-13 win over Vanderbilt. Marcus Lattimore ran for 110 yards and two scores on 23 attempts in his return from a torn ACL. He might not be 100 percent just yet, but Lattimore is ready to carry to the load for the Gamecocks’ offense. And with Connor Shaw’s injury — the junior quarterback is questionable this week with a left shoulder bruise — South Carolina will lean on Lattimore quite a bit in the ensuing weeks. It was clear on Thursday night that Dylan Thomas, the No. 2 quarterback, isn’t ready to get the job done against a quality defense.
Next Game: East Carolina

5. Arkansas (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Jacksonville State 49-24
After a sluggish start — Arkansas trailed 14-7 early in the second quarter — the Razorbacks surged past Jacksonville State to claim a comfortable win in Fayetteville. Playing for the first time since the Sugar Bowl two years ago, tailback Knile Davis carried the ball 18 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Mitchell, the No. 2 quarterback last year, caught four passes for 122 yards in his debut at wide receiver, and tight end Chris Gragg caught seven passes for 110 yards and two scores.
Next Game: UL Monroe

6. Tennessee (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat NC State 35-21
Derek Dooley’s third season began with an impressive win over a quality ACC opponent. The Volunteers were terrific in the passing games and just good enough on the ground —  UT’s three tailbacks combined for 128 yards on 33 attempts — to keep the Wolfpack defense off balance. Quarterback Tyler Bray was sharp (333 yards and two touchdowns), but junior college transfer Cordarrelle Patterson was the story at the Georgia Dome. With Da’Rick Rogers now at Tennessee Tech, the Vols needed Patterson to live up to expectations — and he delivered by catching six passes for 93 yards and a TD and adding a 67-yard touchdown run.
Next Game: Georgia State

7. Missouri (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank: 8
Week 1 Result: Beat SE Louisiana 62-10
The Tigers raced out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter and cruised to a 62-10 win in a tune-up for their SEC opener on Saturday vs. Georgia. James Franklin, who underwent major shoulder surgery in the spring, completed 13-of-21 for 131 yards and one touchdown. He will have to play better this week against a ferocious Georgia defense that will force him to prove his shoulder is 100 percent.
Next Game: Georgia

8. Texas A&M (0-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Game with Louisiana Tech was postponed.
Next Game: Florida

9. Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:

Week 1 Result: Beat Bowling Green 27-14
Florida fans hoping that the Gators’ offense, under new coordinator Brent Pease, would show dramatic improvement in Week 1 were sorely disappointed. The final numbers (365 yards and 27 points) weren’t terrible, but the Gators are going to struggle to move the ball once they get into league play. Jeff Driskel, who will start this week at Texas A&M, completed 10-of-16 for 114 yards and one touchdown. Florida had only one pass play that went for more than 18 yards.
Next Game: at Texas A&M

10. Auburn (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank: 7
Week 1 Result: Lost to Clemson 26-19
Auburn’s defense remains a work in progress. The Tigers, who gave up an average 421.1 yards in 10 games vs. AQ conference opponents in 2011, struggled to stop Clemson — despite giving up only 26 points. The biggest issue was defending the run; Clemson’s Andre Ellington rushed for 231 yards on an 8.9-yard average. Kiehl Frazier, making his first start at quarterback for Auburn, completed only 11-of-27 passes for 194 yards. The Tigers, however, did run the ball well. Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb combined for 188 yards on 26 carries.
Next Game: at Mississippi State

11. Vanderbilt (0-1, 0-1 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Lost to South Carolina 17-13
The Commodores held a 13­-10 lead into the fourth quarterback but were unable to hold off South Carolina on Thursday night. Vanderbilt’s defense was strong, limiting the Gamecocks to 272 yards, but the offense didn’t make enough plays. The Dores came away with zero points on three drives that began in South Carolina territory, and they came away with a total of three points on two trips to the red zone.
Next Game: at Northwestern

12. Mississippi State (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Jackson State 56-9
The Bulldogs barely broke a sweat in a win over in-state “rival” Jackson State. Mississippi State’s offense showed nice balance, with 202 yards rushing and 193 yards passing. We will learn far more about this team when Auburn visits on Saturday.
Next Game: Auburn

13. Kentucky (0-1, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Lost to Louisville 32-14
Joker Phillips didn’t need to win this game, but he needed his team to be competitive. Didn’t happen. The Cats had no answer for a balanced Louisville offense that moved the ball at will for the first two-and-a-half quarters. There were some positive signs. Sophomore quarterback Maxwell Smith looked decent, completing 35-of-50 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Kentucky’s tailbacks also ran well, but the Cats were forced to abandon the running game after falling behind.
Next Game: Kent State

14. Ole Miss (1-0, 0-0 SEC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Central Arkansas 49-27
Ole Miss averted disaster by seizing control of the game with a 35-point second half. The Rebels trailed 20-14 until midway through the third quarter before scoring twice in a three-minute period. Bo Wallace, who beat out Barry Brunetti for the start, completed 20-of-24 passes for 264 yards with two TDs and one interception. 
Next Game: UTEP

by Mitch Light

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Big 12 Post-Week 1 Power Rankings
Big Ten Post-Week 1 Power Rankings

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College Football Week 1 Recap

<p> SEC Post-Week 1 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 05:59
Path: /college-football/acc-post-week-1-power-rankings

The first weekend of action in the ACC was a mixed bag of results. NC State missed an opportunity to earn the conference national respect in Friday night’s loss to Tennessee, but Clemson picked up a key win over Auburn on Saturday. Florida State dominated as expected in the matchup against Murray State. Miami and Virginia Tech earned the only two victories in conference play in Week 1.

Post-Week 1 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson – With a revamped offensive line, no one knew what to expect out of Clemson’s ground game in the opener. However, Ellington rushed for 228 yards on 25 attempts to lead the Tigers to a victory over Auburn.

2. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – A knee injury ended Bernard’s day a little early, but he scored three times and recorded 203 yards of total offense.

3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson – Hopkins, Tajh Boyd or Logan Thomas are all worthy of this spot. Hopkins shined in Clemson’s victory over Auburn, catching 13 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown.


Post-Week 1 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – With Brandon Jenkins sidelined for the rest of the year, Werner needs to take his play up another notch.

2. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – The Terrapins’ new 3-4 scheme didn’t slow down Vellano, as he recorded 11 tackles and one interception in the win over William & Mary.

3. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina – There were few standout defensive performances in Week 1 in the ACC. Williams recorded two sacks in the Tar Heels’ victory over Elon.


Post-Week 1 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – The Seminoles were the preseason favorite to win the ACC and handled their business with a 69-3 thrashing of Murray State.

2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – The defending ACC champs claimed a key non-conference victory with a 26-19 win over Auburn.

3. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech – Monday night’s win against Georgia Tech doesn’t guarantee a Coastal Division title, but it puts the Hokies in great shape after the first weekend of action.


Post-Week 1 ACC Power Rankings

1. Florida State (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Murray State 69-3
The outcome of the Week 1 matchup against Murray State was never in doubt. Florida State cruised to a 69-3 victory and even though the game was a one-sided affair, the contest allowed the coaching staff to get a good look at the revamped offensive line. The front five did not allow a sack and led the way for rushers to record 285 yards on the ground. The biggest news coming out of the opener was the loss of end Brandon Jenkins to a season-ending foot injury. Florida State has one more tuneup before ACC play, taking on another FCS opponent (Savannah State) this Saturday.
This week: Savannah State

2. Clemson (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Auburn 26-19
The Tigers had the most impressive victory among ACC teams in Week 1. Behind 266 total yards and one passing touchdown from quarterback Tajh Boyd, Clemson knocked off Auburn 26-19. The victory was huge for Clemson, but also the ACC as it looks to earn national respect. With star receiver Sammy Watkins suspended, DeAndre Hopkins emerged as the No. 1 target, catching 13 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown. Running back Andre Ellington was stellar, gashing Auburn for 231 yards on 26 attempts. The offensive line needs to work on pass protection but upcoming games against Furman and Ball State should allow the front five to jell before playing Florida State on Sept. 22.
This week: Ball State

3. Virginia Tech (1-0, 1-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Georgia Tech 20-17
The Hokies took an early lead in the battle to win the Coastal Division, edging Georgia Tech 20-17 in overtime. Virginia Tech’s offense struggled to get on track most of the night, with quarterback Logan Thomas making a few key plays late to send the game into overtime. The debut of running back Michael Holmes was solid, earning 54 yards on 12 carries. The Hokies have some time to work out the kinks on offense, as their next ACC game is Oct. 6 against North Carolina.
This week: Austin Peay

4. North Carolina (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Elon 62-0
Larry Fedora’s debut in Chapel Hill was a success. The Tar Heels recorded 62 points (the most by a North Carolina team since 1995) and the first shutout since 1999. Running back Giovani Bernard left early due to a minor knee injury but finished with 93 yards on the ground and three overall scores. The defense held Elon to 170 yards and recorded two sacks. North Carolina opens ACC play this Saturday with a matchup against in-state rival Wake Forest.
This week: at Wake Forest

5. Georgia Tech (0-1, 0-1 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Lost to Virginia Tech 20-17
The Yellow Jackets nearly escaped Blacksburg with a victory, but instead return home with a 0-1 record in ACC play. The Hokies kept Georgia Tech’s rushing attack in check for most of the night, but quarterback Tevin Washington made a few key plays through the air to give his team a chance to win. However, his interception in overtime ended any hopes the Yellow Jackets had of pulling off the upset. s also had some bright spots on defense but failed to stop Virginia Tech on the final drive in the fourth quarter. Although the season is far from over, this is a huge loss in the race to win the ACC Coastal.
This week: Presbyterian

6. Virginia (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank: 7
Week 1 Result: Beat Richmond 43-19
The Cavaliers continue to build momentum under coach Mike London, opening the 2012 season with a convincing 43-19 victory over Richmond. Michael Rocco edged Phillip Sims for the No. 1 quarterback spot in the fall and tightened his grip on the job, throwing for 311 yards and one touchdown on 25 completions. Running backs Kevin Parks and Perry Jones had a light workload but combined for 101 yards and three scores. The schedule gets a little tougher for Virginia this Saturday, as it hosts Penn State in the first meeting between these schools since 2002.
This week: Penn State

7. NC State (0-1, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Lost to Tennessee 35-21
Even though the result wasn’t that one-sided, the Wolfpack had to be the biggest disappointment in the ACC for Week 1. Quarterback Mike Glennon had a bad performance, tossing four picks on 46 attempts, while the rushing attack never really got on track. The secondary was expected to be among the best in the ACC but allowed 333 yards and two touchdowns to Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray. NC State looks to get back on track in Week 2 against Connecticut.
This Week: at Connecticut

8. Miami (1-0, 1-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Boston College 41-32
With a lot of youth and inexperience stepping into the starting lineup, Miami was a difficult team to get a read on in the preseason. The Hurricanes showed flashes of promise in the opener against Boston College, recording 415 yards and forcing three turnovers on defense. Quarterback Stephen Morris was a steady 28 of 45 for 207 yards, while freshman running back Duke Johnson was impressive, rushing for 135 yards on seven attempts. Miami’s defense struggled to stop the Eagles’ passing attack, which will be a concern against some of the teams in the ACC.
This week: at Kansas State

9. Duke (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat FIU 46-26
The Blue Devils No. 1 goal for 2012 is to get to a bowl game, and the team took a step in the right direction with a 46-26 victory over FIU on Saturday. The Blue Devils allowed 513 yards to the Golden Panthers but made timely plays, including a blocked field goal return for a score at the end of the first half. The rushing attack still needs work, but quarterback Sean Renfree is off to a good start after throwing for 290 yards against FIU. Duke has a difficult test ahead in Week 2, as it travels west to take on Stanford.
This week: at Stanford

10. Wake Forest (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Liberty 20-17
There’s not much to say about the Demon Deacons’ Week 1 performance other than it was a victory. Squeaking by a FCS opponent is concerning, but Wake Forest’s Week 2 matchup against North Carolina will provide more insight into this team. Quarterback Tanner Price was steady in the opener, throwing for 195 yards and one score, while running back Josh Harris left early due to a concussion. The Demon Deacons allowed 363 yards to Liberty but recorded two sacks and generated two turnovers.
This week: North Carolina

11. Boston College (0-1, 0-1 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Lost to Miami 41-32
There were positive signs for Boston College in the season opener against Miami but with a challenging schedule, the Eagles couldn’t afford to lose their first game. Quarterback Chase Rettig was missing two key players from the receiving corps but threw for 441 yards and two touchdowns. While Rettig’s play was a bright spot, Boston College’s defense had no answer for Miami. The Eagles allowed 41 points and 415 yards and gave up a few big plays to the Hurricanes’ offense. Boston College should get a victory in Week 2 against Maine, but the schedule doesn’t let up with Northwestern in Week 3 and Clemson in Week 5.
This week: Maine

12. Maryland (1-0, 0-0 ACC)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat William & Mary 7-6
Ugly. That’s really the only way to describe the Terrapins’ opener against William & Mary. With quarterback C.J. Brown lost for the year with a torn ACL, true freshman Perry Hills took over as the starter. Hills completed 16 of 24 passes but tossed three picks. The offense managed only 236 yards but was bailed out by a defense that held the Tribe to just 229 yards and six points. With two new coordinators and a freshman quarterback, there will no doubt be growing pains for Maryland. However, the schedule only gets tougher from here, as the Terrapins visit Temple in Week 2.
This week: at Temple

by Steven Lassan

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Big East Post-Week 1 Power Rankings
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SEC Post-Week 1 Power Rankings
College Football Week 1 Recap

<p> ACC Post-Week 1 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 05:57
Path: /college-football/big-12-post-week-1-power-rankings

Week 1 in the Big 12 was filled with non-conference games and some surprises. Oklahoma struggled in a 24-7 win at UTEP, while Texas Tech’s defense appears to be improved after a solid performance in the opener against Northwestern State. West Virginia was impressive against Marshall, while Baylor did not miss Robert Griffin against SMU.

Post-Week 1 Offensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia – Smith was nearly perfect in Saturday’s win over Marshall, as he threw only four incompletions and passed for 323 yards and four touchdowns.

2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State – Klein didn’t have to do much with Kansas State in control in the second half against Missouri State, finishing with 223 total yards and two touchdowns.

3. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State – Randle barely broke a sweat in Saturday’s win over Savannah State, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns on six attempts.

Post-Week 1 Defensive Player of the Year Standings

1. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Jeffcoat didn’t have a spectacular debut, but he led the team with six tackles and recorded one quarterback hurry.

2. Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State – The Cyclones have one of the best linebacking corps in the nation, and Knott picked up where he left off last year. He recorded 11 tackles and one forced fumble in the win over Tulsa.

3. Isaiah Bruce, LB, West Virginia – Bruce turned in an impressive performance in the first game of his West Virginia career, recording 16 tackles, one tackle for a loss and one fumble recovery.

Post-Week 1 Coach of the Year Standings

1. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia – The Mountaineers’ offense will be a handful for Big 12 defenses, but the defense has to get better if this team wants to win the conference championship.

2. Art Briles, Baylor – Robert Griffin will be missed, but Baylor has more depth than it has in years, and the defense showed improvement in Sunday’s win against SMU.

3. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State – Beating Savannah State won’t win Gundy any coach of the year honors, but he should be in the mix for this award if the Cowboys push for the Big 12 title once again.

Post-Week 1 Big 12 Power Rankings

1. Oklahoma (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 1
Week 1 Result: Beat UTEP 24-7
It wasn’t pretty, but the Sooners left El Paso with a 24-7 victory over UTEP. The offseason concerns about the offense continued in Saturday’s win, as Landry Jones was sacked three times, and this unit never seemed to find its rhythm. Dominique Whaley returned to the lineup after missing the final five games of last season with a significant ankle injury and rushed for 54 yards on 11 attempts. The rush defense struggled to slow down the Miners, especially with Casey Walker and Stacy McGee missing the game. Week 1 was a less than perfect effort, but the Sooners still have plenty of time to find the right answers.
This week: Florida A&M

2. Texas (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 2
Week 1 Result: Beat Wyoming 37-17
The Longhorns weren’t particularly impressive in the season opener but turned in an overall solid effort. The rushing attack generated 280 yards and four touchdowns, while quarterback David Ash was an efficient 20 of 27 for 156 yards and one touchdown. Texas’ defense allowed Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith to throw for 276 yards but held the Cowboys’ offense to just eight points in the second half. The Longhorns will get another tuneup in Week 2 with New Mexico visiting Austin.
This week: New Mexico

3. West Virginia (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week’s Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat Marshall 69-34
The Mountaineers’ offense picked up where it left off in the Orange Bowl, scoring 69 points to easily defeat Marshall. Quarterback Geno Smith was unstoppable, throwing for 323 yards and four touchdowns on 32 completions. He added 65 yards and one score on the ground. The offense wasn’t just about the pass, as Shawne Alston added 123 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. The Mountaineers’ new 3-4 defense still needs some work, but the offense should score plenty of points in 2012.
Next Game: James Madison (9/15)

4. Oklahoma State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 4
Week 1 Result: Beat Savannah State 84-0
Savannah State was one of the worst FCS teams last season, so it’s hard to takeaway much for Oklahoma State. The Cowboys easily cruised to an 84-0 victory and was able to play a ton of players thanks to the blowout. True freshman quarterback Wes Lunt was perfect in his first start, completing all 11 of his passes for 129 yards. Running back Joseph Randle was also effective in limited work, rushing for 107 yards and two touchdowns on six attempts. The road gets tougher for Oklahoma State this Saturday, as it travels to Tucson to take on Arizona. The Cowboys beat the Wildcats 37-14 last year, but this will be a huge test for Lunt in his first road start.
This week: at Arizona

5. TCU (0-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 5
Week 1 Result: Did not play
The Horned Frogs had the rare Week 1 bye, so they will have to wait until this Saturday to play their first game as a Big 12 member. TCU will open a newly renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium with FCS opponent Grambling, a team that lost 22-21 to Alcorn State in Week 1. The Horned Frogs should have no trouble opening up the 2012 season with a victory, but the coaching staff will be eager to see how much a revamped offensive line and linebacking corps will perform.
This week: Grambling

6. Kansas State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 6
Week 1 Result: Beat Missouri State 51-9
Bill Snyder kept things basic in the Wildcats’ 51-9 blowout win over Missouri State. Kansas State led only 9-6 at halftime but scored 42 points in the second half to cruise to the victory. Quarterback Collin Klein threw for 169 yards and two scores, while adding 54 yards on the ground. The Wildcats’ secondary was tested by FBS transfer quarterback Ashton Glaser, as he threw for 257 yards on 22 completions. Expect Kansas State to pickup the intensity in Week 2, as it hosts Miami this Saturday.
This week: Miami (Fla.)

7. Baylor (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank:
Week 1 Result: Beat SMU 59-24
Robert who? Nick Florence showed Baylor’s offense still has plenty of firepower, throwing for 342 yards and four touchdowns in the 59-24 rout over SMU. The senior quarterback also completed 70 percent of his throws and did not toss an interception. Florence had plenty of help from his receiving corps, and a rushing attack that was led by Jarred Salubi. Baylor’s defense allowed over 500 yards but showed signs of improvement after struggling in 2011. The Bears do not play in Week 2 and will return to action in Week 3 against Sam Houston State.
This week: Sam Houston State (9/15)

8. Iowa State (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 9
Week 1 Result: Beat Tulsa 38-23
The Cyclones weren’t given much respect going into the Week 1 matchup against Tulsa, as the folks in Vegas listed Iowa State as a home underdog. However, the Cyclones rallied from a 16-7 deficit after the first quarter to win 38-23. Steele Jantz won a close competition with Jared Barnett for the starting quarterback spot, and he responded with 281 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Shontrelle Johnson showed no ill-effects from a neck injury that sidelined him most of last year, rushing for 120 yards and one score on 18 attempts. Beating Tulsa is just one victory, but with a difficult schedule, Iowa State needed this one to have any shot at making a bowl.
This week: at Iowa

9. Texas Tech (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 8
Week 1 Result: Beat Northwestern State 44-6
Northwestern State wasn’t the toughest of Week 1 tests, but Texas Tech has to be pleased with its performance. The defense did not allow a touchdown and limited the Demons to just 84 yards. After struggling on defense the last two years, Saturday’s performance was a welcomed sight for coach Tommy Tuberville. The other good sign was the return of running back Eric Stephens. After suffering a significant knee injury last season, Stephens looked ready for Big 12 play by rushing for 58 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts.
This week: at Texas State

10. Kansas (1-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Preseason Rank: 10
Week 1 Result: Beat South Dakota State 31-17
The Jayhawks opened up the Charlie Weis era with a much-needed 31-17 victory over South Dakota State. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak and should help this team build some confidence. Quarterback Dayne Crist completed 17 of 36 throws for 169 yards and one touchdown in his Kansas debut, while running back Tony Pierson chipped in 124 yards and two scores. The defense was awful last season, and there’s still plenty of work to be done after allowing 411 yards in the opener.
This week: Rice

by Steven Lassan

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<p> Big 12 Post-Week 1 Power Rankings</p>
Post date: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - 05:49