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College Football 2016 Conference, Playoff and National Championship Predictions

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 day ago
The start of the 2016 college football season is just a few days away. California and Hawaii meet in Australia on Aug. 26 in the first game of the year, with the full slate for Week 1 starting on Thursday, Sept. 1 and ending on Labor Day with Florida State and Ole Miss.   Athlon’s editors met before the preseason magazine was released to iron out the predictions for the...

Ranking the Pac-12's Top 35 Players for 2016

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 2 days ago
The Pac-12 is known for its high-scoring offenses and dynamic skill players, and with the likes of Oregon running back Royce Freeman, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and USC receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster returning, this league is going to have its share of fireworks on offense once again. However, the Pac-12 has a solid group of playmakers returning on defense, including Washington...

Predicting the Pac-12's Biggest Upsets in 2016

By Kyle Kensing, 1 month 6 days ago
An oft-echoed sentiment around Pac-12 country suggests that any week, just about any team in the conference can beat the rest. Though Oregon State faced some hard times in Gary Andersen's first season at the helm, going winless in the 2015 league slate, and Colorado's faced some lean years since joining five years ago, the coming campaign should be the most tumultuous.   Related:...

Outrageous College Football Predictions for the Pac-12 in 2016

By J.P. Scott, 1 month 1 week ago
Ask 10 college football writers and analysts around the country which team is going to win the Pac-12 in 2016 and you're likely to get at least six different answers. You've got two teams that aren't very good and 10 others that could finish anywhere from 6-6 to 11-1 depending on friendly bounces and bad breaks. You've also got five or six teams with realistic Heisman Trophy...

College Football's 20 Most Underrated Quarterbacks for 2016

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
Quarterback is the toughest position to play at any level. And regardless of team or conference affiliation, college football quarterbacks are always under the spotlight to produce. Good quarterback play or improvement at the position could be the difference between winning a national title or finishing outside of the playoff mix.   Related: Ranking All 128 College Football...

Heisman Watch: 12 Dark Horse Heisman Trophy Candidates in 2016

By Bryan Fischer, 1 month 1 week ago
Unlike many of the past few seasons, last year’s Heisman Trophy ceremony felt a little different because there was actually a bit of drama over who would win the award for college football’s most outstanding player. While the debate over whether Alabama’s Derrick Henry should have won the award over other finalists like Stanford tailback Christian McCaffrey or Clemson...

College Football's Top 50 Defensive Backfields for 2016

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
Finding and evaluating cornerbacks and safeties is one of the most difficult jobs for any college football coaching staff. Competition level and a variety of offenses in high school create a several obstacles in player evaluation. But for some programs, finding the next stars at defensive back is an easy task. LSU, Alabama and Florida consistently bring in and develop defensive...

Ranking the Pac-12 Running Back Tandems for 2016

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
Having two running backs is almost essential for every college football team. While some teams have workhorse options that can handle 275 or 300 carries, most programs want to have at least two (and sometimes three) running backs to split up the workload. The thought process is pretty simple: Take the workload off one player and spread it around to keep everyone fresh. This concept seems to gain...

College Football's Top 50 Linebacker Units for 2016

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
Picking the top linebacker units in college football is no easy task. After all, schemes dictate how linebackers are used and the rise of spread offenses generally means more defensive backs on the field. Regardless of whether a scheme utilizes a 4-3, 3-4, 4-2-5 or nickel package, linebackers are a critical component to any defense. How should a team with four starters at linebacker...

College Football's Top 50 Defensive Lines for 2016

By Steven Lassan, 1 month 1 week ago
The rise of spread offenses and the different schemes teams face on a week-to-week basis in a college football season has altered how some defensive coordinators think. While some are placing more emphasis on building a secondary, the success of any defense starts up front. Generating a pass rush and stopping the run are two staples of any defensive scheme.    Which...