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  • By Steven Lassan, 2 months 4 weeks ago

    College football’s Heisman Trophy won’t be awarded until next December, but it’s never too early to think about the frontrunners for next season.

    Bovada has released its early odds for 2014, and there’s a familiar face at the top. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is the favorite to repeat, with Oregon’s Marcus Mariota a 7/2 favorite.

    Quarterbacks own five out of the top seven spots in the early odds. Running backs T.J. Yeldon (Alabama) and Todd Gurley (Georgia) are the only skill players in the top seven.

    Also of interest: No wide receivers make the early odds for 2014.

    Here’s the early list of favorites to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy from Bovada:


    Jameis Winston (QB Florida State)2/1 
    Marcus Mariota (QB Oregon)7/2 
    Braxton Miller (QB Ohio State)4/1 
    T.J. Yeldon (RB Alabama)5/1 
    Bryce Petty (QB Baylor)6/1 
    Brett Hundley (QB UCLA)12/1 
    Todd Gurley (RB Georgia)12/1 
    Mike Davis (RB South Carolina)15/1 
    Melvin Gordon (RB Wisconsin)16/1 
    Everett Golson (Notre Dame)25/1 
    Trevor Knight (QB Oklahoma)25/1 
    Duke Johnson (RB Miami)33/1 
    Karlos Williams (RB Florida State)33/1 
    Matt Johnson (QB Bowling Green)66/1 
    Rakeem Cato (QB Marshall)66/1 
  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 21 hours ago

    Northwestern running back Venric Mark was expected to be one of the Big Ten’s top running backs in 2013, but an ankle injury sidelined him for most of the season.

    But the Wildcats received some good news for 2014 this week, as Mark was granted a fifth-year of eligibility, and the Texas native will return to Northwestern next year.

    Mark rushed for 1,366 yards and 12 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 104 yards in 2012.

    He was also a huge factor on special teams in 2012, averaging 18.7 yards per punt return and taking two back for scores.

    Considering Mark is listed at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, he isn’t a player that can handle 300 carries. However, having the senior back in the lineup is a huge plus for Northwestern’s offense. Mark should be in the mix for All-Big Ten honors in 2014.

  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 2 days ago

    The deadline for college football players to enter the 2014 NFL Draft has passed, and the official tally stands at 98 underclassmen declaring early for the next level.

    The list of early entrants also includes four players that have already graduated and are leaving with eligibility remaining, including Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Alabama linebacker Adrian Hubbard, Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford and USC safety Dion Bailey.

    Here’s the full list of the 98 underclassmen leaving for the NFL, along with four other players that have already graduated and set to move onto the next level.

    Davante AdamsWRFresno State
    Nick AddisonDBBethune-Cookman
    Jace AmaroTETexas Tech
    George AtkinsonRBNotre Dame
    Odell BeckhamWRLouisiana State
    Kelvin BenjaminWRFlorida State
    Kapri BibbsRBColorado State
    Brendan BigelowRBCalifornia
    Alfred BlueRBLouisiana State
    Russell BodineCNorth Carolina
    Blake BortlesQBCentral Florida
    Chris BoydWRVanderbilt
    Bashaud BreelandDBClemson
    Martavis BryantWRClemson
    Ka'Deem CareyRBArizona
    Ha Ha Clinton-DixDBAlabama
    Jadeveon ClowneyDESouth Carolina
    Brandon ColemanWRRutgers
    Brandin CooksWROregon State
    Scott CrichtonDEOregon State
    Isaiah CrowellRBAlabama State
    Jonathan DowlingDBWestern Kentucky
    Kony EalyDEMissouri
    Eric EbronTENorth Carolina
    Bruce EllingtonWRSouth Carolina
    Mike EvansWRTexas A&M
    Ego FergusonDTLouisiana State
    Cameron FlemingTStanford
    Khairi ForttLBCalifornia
    Austin FranklinWRNew Mexico State
    Devonta FreemanRBFlorida State
    Carlos GrayDTNorth Carolina State
    Xavier GrimbleTESouthern California
    Terrance HackneyTBethune-Cookman
    Victor HamptonDBSouth Carolina
    Jeremy HillRBLouisiana State
    Kameron JacksonDBCalifornia
    Nic JacobsTEMcNeese State
    Timmy JerniganDTFlorida State
    Anthony JohnsonDTLouisiana State
    Jamel JohnsonWRAlabama State
    Storm JohnsonRBCentral Florida
    Henry JoseyRBMissouri
    Cyrus KouandjioTAlabama
    Jarvis LandryWRLouisiana State
    Cody LatimerWRIndiana
    Demarcus LawrenceDEBoise State
    Marqise LeeWRSouthern California
    A.C. LeonardTETennessee State
    Albert Louis-JeanDBBoston College
    Colt LyerlaTEOregon
    Aaron LynchDESouth Florida
    Johnny ManzielQBTexas A&M
    Marcus MartinCSouthern California
    Tre MasonRBAuburn
    Chris McCainDECalifornia
    Terrance MitchellDBOregon
    Viliami MoalaDTCalifornia
    Donte MoncriefWRMississippi
    Adam MuemaRBSan Diego State
    Jake MurphyTEUtah
    Troy NiklasTENotre Dame
    Louis NixDTNotre Dame
    Jeoffrey PaganDEAlabama
    Ronald PowellDEFlorida
    Calvin PryorDBLouisville
    Loucheiz PurifoyDBFlorida
    Kelcy QuarlesDTSouth Carolina
    Darrin ReavesRBAlabama-Birmingham
    Ed ReynoldsDBStanford
    Antonio RichardsonTTennessee
    Paul RichardsonWRColorado
    Marcus RobersonDBFlorida
    Allen RobinsonWRPenn State
    Greg RobinsonTAuburn
    Bradley RobyDBOhio State
    Richard RodgersTECalifornia
    Bishop SankeyRBWashington
    Lache SeastrunkRBBaylor
    Austin Seferian-JenkinsTEWashington
    Ryan ShazierLBOhio State
    Yawin SmallwoodLBConnecticut
    Brett SmithQBWyoming
    Jerome SmithRBSyracuse
    Willie SneadWRBall State
    John SpooneyRBBrown
    Josh StewartWROklahoma State
    Xavier Su’a-FiloGUCLA
    Vinnie SunseriDBAlabama
    De’Anthony ThomasRBOregon
    Stephon TuittDENotre Dame
    Trai TurnerGLouisiana State
    George UkoDESouthern California
    Pierre WarrenDBJacksonville State
    Sammy WatkinsWRClemson
    Terrance WestRBTowson
    James WilderRBFlorida State
    David YankeyTStanford
    Dion BaileyDBSouthern California
    Carl BradfordDEArizona State
    Teddy BridgewaterQBLouisville
    Adrian HubbardLBAlabama
  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 6 days ago

    One of the key pieces in Minnesota’s offense has decided to transfer. Quarterback Philip Nelson will depart Minneapolis after two years with the Golden Gophers.

    Nelson threw for 1,306 yards and nine touchdowns and added 364 yards and six rushing scores in 2013.

    Nelson’s 2013 numbers were a slight improvement from 2012, but the Minnesota native still has a ways to develop as a passer.

    With Nelson’s decision to transfer, sophomore Mitch Leidner is expected to open spring practice as the No. 1 quarterback.

    Leidner threw for 619 yards and three scores in 2013, including 205 yards and two touchdowns in the bowl loss against Syracuse.

  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 1 week ago

    College football’s head coaching carousel hasn’t been as busy as some may have anticipated in November, but there has been plenty of movement in the coaching ranks.

    Whether it’s a change in head coaches or a coach wanting to shake up his coaching staff, the coordinator carousel is always one of the most active aspects of the offseason. And there will be over 50 changes in the coordinator ranks in the 2013-14 offseason.

    To help keep track of the latest moves, Athlon has compiled a coordinator tracker for the 2013-14 season. An important note: We listed a coordinator position if a change was made at head coach – even if the same coordinator was hired again at that school (FAU – Brian Wright, USC – Clay Helton). 

    We will keep this page updated until all of the jobs have been filled this offseason.

    College Football's 2013-14 Coordinator Changes

    Air ForceCo-DefensiveSteve Russ, Charlton WarrenSteve Russ
    AlabamaOffensiveDoug NussmeierLane Kiffin
    ArkansasDefensiveChris AshRobb Smith
    Arkansas StateCo-OffensiveBush Hamdan, Eliah DrinkwitzGlen Elarbee and Walt Bell
    Arkansas StateDefensiveJohn Thompson 
    ArmyOffensiveIan Shields 
    ArmyCo-DefensivePayam Saadat, Chris SmelandJay Bateman
    Ball StateOffensiveRich SkroskyJoey Lynch
    Ball StateDefensiveJay BatemanKevin Kelly
    Boise StateOffensiveRobert PrinceMike Sanford Jr.
    Boise StateDefensivePete KwiatkowskiMarcel Yates
    Bowling GreenOffensiveWarren RuggieroSterlin GIlbert, Matt Mattox
    Bowling GreenDefensiveMike ElkoKim McCloud
    Central MichiganOffensiveMike CummingsMorris Watts
    CaliforniaDefensiveAndy BuhArt Kaufman
    CincinnatiDefensiveArt KaufmanHank Hughes, Robert Prunty
    DukeCo-OffensiveScottie Montgomery, Kurt Roper 
    Eastern MichiganOffensiveStan ParrishKalen DeBoer
    Eastern MichiganDefensiveRon EnglishBrad McCaslin
    FAUOffensiveBrian WrightBrian Wright
    FAUDefensiveJovan DeWittJovan DeWitt, Roc Bellantoni
    FloridaOffensiveBrent PeaseKurt Roper
    Florida StateDefensiveJeremy PruittCharles Kelly
    GeorgiaDefensiveTodd GranthamJeremy Pruitt
    HawaiiDefensiveThom KaumeyerKevin Clune
    HoustonCo-OffensiveDoug Meachem, Travis BushTravis Bush
    IndianaOffensiveSeth LittrellKevin Johns
    IndianaCo-DefensiveDoug Mallory, William IngeBrian Knorr
    Iowa StateOffensiveCourtney MessinghamMark Mangino
    KansasOffensiveCharlie WeisJohn Reagan
    Louisiana TechDefensiveKim DameronManny Diaz
    LouisvilleOffensiveShawn WatsonGarrick McGee
    LouisvilleDefensiveVance BedfordTodd Grantham
    Miami, OhioOffensiveJohn KlacikGeorge Barnett, Eric Koehler
    Miami, OhioDefensiveJay PetersonMatt Pawlowski
    MichiganOffensiveAl BorgesDoug Nussmeier
    Mississippi StateOffensiveLes Koenning 
    NevadaDefensiveScottie Hazelton 
    New MexicoDefensiveJeff Mills 
    NMSUDefensiveDavid ElsonLarry Coyer
    North CarolinaOffensiveBlake AndersonSeth Littrell
    Notre DameOffensiveChuck MartinMike Denbrock
    Notre DameDefensiveBob DiacoBrian VanGorder
    Ohio StateCo-DefensiveEverett WithersChris Ash, Luke Fickell
    OregonDefensiveNick AliottiDon Pellum
    Oregon StateOffensiveDanny Langsdorf 
    Penn StateOffensiveBill O'BrienJohn Donovan
    Penn StateDefensiveJohn ButlerBrent Pry, Bob Shoop
    RiceOffensiveJohn ReaganLarry Edmondson, Billy Lynch
    RutgersOffensiveRon PrinceRalph Friedgen
    RutgersDefensiveDave CohenJoe Rossi
    San Jose StateDefensiveKenwick Thompson 
    South AlabamaDefensiveKevin SherrerKevin Pearson
    South FloridaOffensiveWalt WellsPaul Wulff
    Southern MissOffensiveMarcus ArroyoChip Lindsey
    StanfordDefensiveDerek MasonLance Anderson
    TCUOffensiveJarrett Anderson, Rusty BurnsDoug Meachem, Sonny Cumbie
    TexasCo-OffensiveMajor Applewhite, Darrell WyattJoe Wickline
    TexasDefensiveGreg RobinsonVance Bedford
    Texas A&MOffensiveClarence McKinney, Jake SpavitalJake Spavital
    Texas A&MCo-DefensiveMarcel Yates, Mark Snyder 
    Texas TechCo-OffensiveSonny Cumbie, Eric MorrisEric Morris and ?
    ToledoCo-OffensiveLouis Ayeni, Jason CandleJason Candle and ?
    ToledoDefensiveTom MatukewiczJon Heacock
    TulsaOffensiveGreg PetersonDenver Johnson
    UABOffensiveRichard Owens 
    UABDefensiveJimmy Williams 
    UCFDefensiveJim FlemingPaul Ferraro
    UCLADefensiveLou SpanosJeff Ulbrich
    UConnOffensiveT.J. WeistMike Cummings
    UConnDefensiveHank HughesVincent Brown, Anthony Poindexter
    UMassOffensiveJohn Bond 
    UMassDefensivePhil ElmassianTom Masella
    USCOffensiveClay HeltonClay Helton
    USCDefensiveClancy PendergastJustin Wilcox
    UtahOffensiveDennis Erickson, Brian JohnsonDave Christensen
    VanderbiltOffensiveJohn DonovanKarl Dorrell
    VanderbiltDefensiveBob ShoopDavid Kotulski
    Wake ForestOffensiveSteed LobotzkeWarren Ruggiero
    Wake ForestDefensiveBrian KnorrMike Elko
    WashingtonOffensiveEric KiesauJonathan Smith
    WashingtonDefensiveJustin WilcoxPete Kwiatkowski
    West VirginiaDefensiveKeith Patterson 
    Western KentuckyOffensiveJeff BrohmTyson Helton
    Western KentuckyDefensiveNick Holt 
    WyomingOffensiveJim Harding, Pete KaligisBrent Vigen
    WyomingDefensiveJamar CainSteve Stanard


  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 1 week ago

    After a successful three-year stint as Vanderbilt’s head coach, James Franklin is returning home. Franklin was announced as Penn State’s new head coach on Saturday, replacing Bill O’Brien who departed Happy Valley for the NFL.

    Prior to taking over at Vanderbilt, Franklin worked as an offensive coordinator at Maryland and Kansas State and worked for one year as an assistant with the Packers. Franklin also spent time at James Madison, Washington State and Idaho State.

    Franklin finishes his three-year stint at Vanderbilt with a 24-15 record, including three consecutive bowl appearances. The Commodores won 18 games over the last two seasons. 

    Franklin grew up in Pennsylvania and played his college ball at East Stroudsburg, which is less than three hours outside of Happy Valley.

  • By David Fox, 3 months 2 weeks ago

    The Athlon Sports Cover 2 Podcast returns after a brief holiday hiatus to talk about the three big stories in college football. The Texas job remains opens as the Longhorns (maybe) close in on candidates. David Fox and Braden Gall discus the reported list of finalists.

    Penn State also opened up this week. Where does this job rank right now given the sanctions for the next few years, and what kind of candidates can Penn State hope to get?

    After that, Fox and Gall delve into the national championship game. On paper, all the signs point to Florida State dominating. But there’s something about this Auburn team.

    Finally, we share our hopes for the college football world in 2014 and react to a best names of 2013 bracket.

    Send any ideas, questions or comments to @BradenGall or @DavidFox615 or email The podcast can be found on, iTunes and our podcast RSS feed.

  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 3 weeks ago

    According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Penn State’s Bill O’Brien has accepted the head coaching job with the Houston Texans. O’Brien went 15-9 in two years with the Nittany Lions.

    O’Brien inherited a challenging situation at Penn State, as the program was hit by NCAA sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky scandal prior to his first season in Happy Valley.

    Penn State is one of the Big Ten’s top jobs, but it isn’t without challenges. The school has uncertainty surrounding its athletic director position and is ineligible for a bowl game for the next two years.

    Here are 10 replacements for Bill O'Brien at Penn State.



  • By Steven Lassan, 3 months 3 weeks ago

    Michigan State’s Rose Bowl hopes took a hit on Thursday, as head coach Mark Dantonio announced linebacker Max Bullough has been suspended for the Jan. 1 matchup against Stanford. Bullough was suspended for a violation of team rules.

    Bullough ranked third on the team with 76 tackles (9.5 for a loss) and recorded one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks.

    The senior was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and the coaches this season and finished his career in East Lansing with 299 tackles and eight sacks.

    Bullough is a big loss for a Michigan State defense that led the nation in rush defense and allowed just 12.7 points a game.

    Senior Kyler Elsworth is listed as Bullough’s backup, but there’s plenty of talent for coordinator Pat Narduzzi to mix if necessary. Senior Denicos Allen and junior Taiwan Jones are solid players and will anchor the outside spots in the linebacking corps in the Rose Bowl.

  • By Steven Lassan, 4 months 3 days ago

    Wisconsin’s 2014 Big Ten title hopes received a boost on Friday, as running back Melvin Gordon announced his intention to return for next season.

    Gordon is only a junior but could have left early for the NFL Draft, as he redshirted after playing sparingly in 2011.

    Gordon rushed for 1,466 yards and 12 touchdowns on 181 attempts in 2013.

    Gordon should be one of the top returning running backs in college football next season.