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  • By David Fox, 1 week 2 days ago

    The debate concerning preseason rankings has started around the Athlon Sports offices, and we’re giving you an inside look at all the things that will shape the 2014 countdown.

    Braden Gall, David Fox and Steven Lassan take you inside the process of the rankings meeting as they talk through the teams in the ACC.

    Will anyone challenge Florida State in the Atlantic? Will Louisville be a factor in Bobby Petrino’s return? And how do we sort out the mess that is the Coastal Division?

    The podcast can be found on, iTunes and our podcast RSS feed.

    Please send any comments, questions and podcast topics to @AthlonSports, @BradenGall, @DavidFox615 and @AthlonSteven on Twitter or email


  • By David Fox, 5 months 1 day ago

    The quarterback who rearranged the Big 12 wasn’t even in the lineup until the last five games.

    As Baylor and Texas learned, Clint Chelf is in some ways the nation’s most unpredictable player.

    Two weeks ago, Chelf, considered less of a running threat than teammate J.W. Walsh, rushed for 95 yards and two touchdowns to defeat Texas in Austin.

    But Saturday brought the biggest surprise as Chelf, not his Baylor counterpart, was the quarterback of the most explosive and efficient offense. Chelf completed 19 of 25 passes for 370 yards with three touchdowns to earn Athlon Sports National Player of the Week honors.

    In defeating Baylor and Texas in the last two weeks, Chelf completed better than 70 percent of his passes and put Oklahoma State into the lead for the Fiesta Bowl.

    Athlon Sports Week 13 National Awards

    National Player of the Week: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State

    The Cowboys’ offense has evolved through the course of the season, most notably with return to Clint Chelf as starting quarterback. Even though he’d shown marked improvement, an explosion like the one against Baylor was a shock. Chelf completed his first 11 passes as Oklahoma State built a commanding lead in the third quarter. Chelf, who has started the last five games, finished 19 of 25 for 370 yards with four total touchdowns.

    National Defensive Player of the Week: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
    There were a handful of standout defensive performances in the ACC in Week 13, with Donald narrowly beating Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan and North Carolina’s Kareem Martin for this week’s honor.  With bowl eligibility on the line, Donald and Pittsburgh’s defense held Syracuse to 16 points and 307 yards on 67 plays. The Orange recorded 148 rushing yards, which was 73 below their weekly average. Donald once again wrecked havoc against the offensive line, recording nine tackles (3.5 tackles for a loss) and two quarterback hurries. Donald also blocked an extra point after Syracuse’s first touchdown.

    National Freshman of the Week: Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
    Like Oklahoma State, the rival Sooners started the season with one quarterback, switched and now returned to the opening day starter. Oklahoma went back to redshirt freshman Trevor Knight this week out of necessity with Blake Bell out following a concussion. Knight responded by completing 14 of 20 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 41-31 road win over Kansas State. Knight added 82 rushing yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

    Coordinator of the Week: John Chavis, LSU
    Chavis and his LSU defense did the impossible — shut down Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M offense. The Aggies’ 299 total yards were 279 below their season average and 187 below their previous season low (486 in the opener against Rice). Manziel completed only 16-of-41 passes for 224 yards — the fewest in any of his 10 starts this season — with one touchdown and two interceptions. Texas A&M also had its streak of 13 straight games with at least 40 points snapped. Not bad for a defense that had to replace eight starters from last season.

    Athlon Sports Week 13 Conference Awards

    Offense: Andre Williams, Boston College
    Defense: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
    Freshman: Jameis Winston, Florida State
    Coordinator: Blake Anderson, North Carolina

    Big 12
    Offense: Clint Chelf, Oklahoma State
    Defense: Jeremiah George, Iowa State
    Freshman: Trevor Knight, Oklahoma
    Coordinator: Glenn Spencer, Oklahoma State

    Big Ten
    Offense: Jeremy Langford and Connor Cook, Michigan State
    Defense: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
    Freshman: Michael Rose, Nebraska
    Coordinator: Dave Aranda, Wisconsin

    Offense: Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
    Defense: Chris Young, Arizona State
    Freshman: Scooby Wright, Arizona
    Coordinator: Jeff Casteel, Arizona

    Offense: Terrence Magee, LSU
    Defense: Chase Garnham, Vanderbilt
    Freshman: Reshard Robinson and Tre’Davious White, LSU
    Coordinator: John Chavis, LSU


  • By Steven Lassan, 9 months 1 week ago

    The ACC has only two top-25 teams in Athlon’s projected final 125 rankings, but the conference should make a run at having 10 teams make a postseason appearance.

    It’s not the biggest indicator when predicting success, but returning starters are an interesting trend to look at before the season starts.

    And it’s interesting to note that four teams in the Coastal Division have 13 returning starters, while Georgia Tech – the division’s ACC title representative last year – has a conference-best 16 starters back for 2013.


    Atlantic Division   
    Boston College7815
    Florida State6410
    NC State448
    Wake Forest7815
    Coastal Division   
    Georgia Tech8816
    North Carolina6713
    Virginia Tech4913