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All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/mlb-announcers-make-fun-selfie-sorority-girls-diamondbacks-game
Body:

Girls get a bad rep when they go to sporting events and after watching this, you'll see why.

 

A group of sorority girls at the Diamondbacks were taking selfies with each other and the announcers couldn't help but to hilariously mock them. It's all in good fun but it raises a good point... who takes pictures with hotdogs?

 

Just an FYI, not all girls take selfies with their food. Just want to point that out.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 13:16
All taxonomy terms: ACC, Air Force Falcons, Akron Zips, Alabama Crimson Tide, Appalachian State Mountaineers, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Arkansas State Red Wolves, Army Black Knights, Army West Point Black Knights, Auburn Tigers, Ball State Cardinals, Baylor Bears, Boise State Broncos, Boston College Eagles, Bowling Green Falcons, Buffalo Bulls, BYU Cougars, California Golden Bears, Central Michigan Chippewas, Charlotte 49ers, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, College Football, Colorado Buffaloes, Colorado State Rams, Connecticut Huskies, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, Eastern Michigan Eagles, FAU Owls, FIU Panthers, Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Fresno State Bulldogs, Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Southern Eagles, Georgia State Panthers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Hawaii Warriors, Houston Cougars, Idaho Vandals, Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Kent State Golden Flashes, Kentucky Wildcats, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marshall Thundering Herd, Maryland Terrapins, Memphis Tigers, Miami Hurricanes, Miami Ohio RedHawks, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Missouri Tigers, MTSU Blue Raiders, Navy Midshipmen, NC State Wolfpack, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Nevada Wolf Pack, New Mexico Lobos, New Mexico State Aggies, North Carolina Tar Heels, North Texas Mean Green, Northern Illinois Huskies, Northwestern Wildcats, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Ohio Bobcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Old Dominion Monarchs, Ole Miss Rebels, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Purdue Boilermakers, Rice Owls, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, San Diego State Aztecs, San Jose State Spartans, SMU Mustangs, South Alabama Jaguars, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, Stanford Cardinal, Syracuse Orange, TCU Horned Frogs, Temple Owls, Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Texas Longhorns, Texas State Bobcats, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Toledo Rockets, Troy Trojans, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, UAB Blazers, UCF Knights, UCLA Bruins, UConn Huskies, UL Lafayette Ragin Cajuns, UL Monroe Warhawks, UMass Minutemen, UNLV Rebels, USC Trojans, Utah State Aggies, Utah Utes, UTEP Miners, UTSA Roadrunners, Vanderbilt Commodores, Virginia Cavaliers, Virginia Tech Hokies, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Washington Huskies, Washington State Cougars, West Virginia Mountaineers, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, Western Michigan Broncos, Wisconsin Badgers, Wyoming Cowboys, American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independents, MAC, Mountain West, Pac 12, SEC, Sun Belt, News
Path: /college-football/predictions-every-college-football-game-week-5
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Week 5 of the 2015 college football season starts on Thursday night with Miami traveling to Cincinnati and continues on Friday with three matchups, including UConn visiting BYU. But as usual, the focus for every weekend slate is on Saturday. Several marquee matchups dot the schedule in Week 5, starting with Alabama visiting Georgia, Notre Dame traveling to Death Valley to take on Clemson, and two intriguing contests in the Big 12 with Texas Tech and Baylor meeting in Arlington, Texas and Oklahoma hosting West Virginia. 

 

Conference Predictions for Week 5

 

ACCBig 12Big TenPac-12SEC

 

College Football Week 5 Predictions
 

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

Mark

Ross

Miami at

Cincinnati

Temple at

Charlotte

Memphis at

USF

UConn at

BYU

Purdue at

Michigan State

Army at

Penn State

Pittsburgh at

Virginia Tech

Kansas at

Iowa State

South Carolina at

Missouri

Minnesota at

Northwestern

West Virginia at

Oklahoma

Texas at

TCU

Iowa at 

Wisconsin

UCF at

Tulane

Houston at 

Tulsa

Louisville at 

NC State

Ohio at

Akron

Toledo at 

Ball State

Northern Illinois at

Central Michigan

FIU at 

UMass

Boston College at

Duke

Alabama at

Georgia

North Carolina at

Georgia Tech

Ohio State at

Indiana

Florida State at

Wake Forest

Nebraska at

Illinois

Baylor vs. 

Texas Tech

Old Dominion at

Marshall

WKU at

Rice

Wyoming at

Appalachian State

Air Force at

Navy

Liberty at

Georgia State

Bowling Green at

Buffalo

Miami, Ohio at

Kent State

San Jose State at

Auburn

Kansas State at

Oklahoma State

Washington State at

California

East Carolina at 

SMU

Ole Miss at

Florida

Arkansas at

Tennessee

Eastern Michigan at 

LSU

Vanderbilt at

MTSU

UL Lafayette at

Louisiana Tech

North Texas at

Southern Miss

Idaho at 

Arkansas State

Georgia Southern at 

ULM

South Alabama at

Troy

UNLV at

Nevada

Eastern Kentucky at

Kentucky

Mississippi State at

Texas A&M

Arizona State at

UCLA

Notre Dame at

Clemson

Michigan at 

Maryland

UTSA at

UTEP

New Mexico State at

New Mexico

Oregon at 

Colorado

Hawaii at

Boise State

Colorado State at

Utah State

Arizona at

Stanford

Fresno State at

San Diego State

 

Teaser:
Predictions for Every College Football Game in Week 5
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 13:00
All taxonomy terms: NASCAR
Path: /nascar/tony-stewart-sails-sunset-right-time
Body:

Sports, even for the best of athletes comes with a cruel final chapter. A corporate vice president can choose when to end their career; if they’re lucky, it’s at a ripe old age where they can retire into the sunset, gray-haired and with a grandchild under each arm on the way out the door.

 

For athletes, Father Time doesn’t leave them with a choice. Diminishing skills at an early age leave the rug pulled out from under them well before they see it coming. For every John Elway, winning two Super Bowls and leaving at the top there’s ten Michael Jordans hanging on too long, clinging to the records they set while mistakenly thinking the mountain they’re sliding down can one day be climbed all over again.

 

I thought of those awkward realities as Tony Stewart went up on stage Wednesday, announcing his retirement from NASCAR effective the end of next season. Stewart, who will be 45 by the end of 2016, will go down as one of the best in stock car history, winning three titles, two Brickyard 400s and earning well over $120 million in career earnings. Unlike Jeff Gordon, retiring one year earlier (age 44) Smoke never had the desire to retire this early. Instead, he’s a guy out of the A.J. Foyt mold you could have seen aiming to pull a random Daytona 500 attempt well into his mid-50s.

 

Time, however told a different story, as well as an aging body. It’s hard to believe that Stewart, who’s scored all of two top 10s this season was the series champion as recently as November 2011. He won five races that year, surged from 10th in the standings to first during the Chase and ended Jimmie Johnson’s streak of five straight titles. Since then? He’s won only four times, not once since 2012 and gone through two major crew chief changes. An ugly sprint car accident broke his leg, left him out of the sport for half a season and still had him limping at times inside the garage area for nearly two years. Add in the tragedy of Kevin Ward Jr., the young driver killed by Stewart’s car in an incident at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, and it’s clear the downhill slide was filled with more vicious potholes than one could have ever predicted. (Ward’s family, filing a wrongful death civil lawsuit has brought forth litigation that could stretch on for years if no settlement is reached).

 

Credit Stewart, who was never even close to making the Chase this season, for realizing quickly that his on-track skills were diminishing. His choice? Retire rather than pull a Darrell Waltrip and drag on for years, riding around “just because” of his famous last name and past accomplishments. He’s not a man who enjoys running 35th and already has a four-car organization, one of the best dirt racetracks in the country (Eldora) and plenty of money to fall back on.

 

“It was a choice that was 100 percent mine,” Stewart said, claiming his off-track distractions – and leg – had nothing to do with it. “There wasn't any pressure from anybody. If anything, it was the opposite. I had more people trying to talk me out of it than anything. You know, I think it's a scenario where everybody in their career at some point makes the decision that it's time for a change. I think deep down, you know.”

 

Give credit to Stewart for knowing; he’s 25th in points during a year when two of his teammates may challenge for the championship. Even next year’s set of rumored rule changes, designed to put a looser car on the track (his specialty) wasn’t enough to convince him otherwise. And once Clint Bowyer became available, willing to work on Stewart’s timetable (he’ll run for another lower-tier team, run by Harry Scott before taking over the No. 14 car in 2017) making the call turned into a no-brainer.

 

“That’s when you know you seize the opportunity,” he said. “When somebody in a scenario like Clint's this year came about, you jump on those opportunities, and you know that timing is everything.”

 

Stewart hopes he’ll have one last chance now to rewrite his final chapter. Just 24 laps led, no top-5 finishes and no shot at a title isn’t exactly what he had in mind for an epilogue. But even if next year is as bad as this one, Stewart kept himself from falling into the trap of hanging on too long. He’s still got a chance to leave under his own terms.

 

It’s an example that other famous athletes should follow. Through the Gears we go as NASCAR’s first round of the Chase winds down at Dover this weekend…

 

FIRST GEAR: Harvick’s Postseason Nightmare

 

Reigning champion Kevin Harvick was in the midst of a record-setting season entering this Chase. Now? He’s poised to become the most surprising title knockout since NASCAR adopted a playoff format in 2004.

 

For Harvick, the ending is especially cruel considering his No. 4 Chevrolet was in position to win New Hampshire. Leading 216 of 300 laps, he had a dominant car only to have crew chief Rodney Childers get caught napping during a late caution flag. Waiting too long to call his driver in to pit, the duo was stuck with a terrible choice: give up all their track position to come in a lap later than everyone else or stay out, trying to go the final 86 laps on one tank of gas. For whatever reason, whether it was a faulty fuel tank or poor mileage, Harvick ran out with three laps left, dropping down to 21st at the finish and leaving himself an insurmountable 23 points outside the Chase with one race remaining until the reset. 

 

It’s possible Harvick, winless during his career at the Monster Mile, can get over the hump: he was second in the spring and has led 1,676 laps, nearly twice as many as any other driver this season. But it seems like the frustration of two horrible weekends combined with the success of other drivers at Dover (Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have combined to win the past four races there) make moving on to the next round a bit of a longshot. The next eight weeks may be filled with “what might have been” moments for a team that’s racked up two victories this season but a whopping 10 second-place finishes. What would have happened if one of those “silver medals” were turned into gold? That would have been 15 extra bonus points for the first round of NASCAR’s Chase and the ending here might have been different. Perhaps second place is the first loser after all.

 

SECOND GEAR: An Awkward End for Michael Waltrip Racing

 

Wednesday’s news Clint Bowyer’s 25-point appeal was denied put the final black eye on the knockout punch for Michael Waltrip Racing. The penalty scored at Chicagoland for messing with the track bar now leaves Bowyer a whopping 39 points behind 12th place in the standings entering Dover. Barring a miracle win, MWR will be knocked out of the Chase and now faces the natural distraction of all their major employees focused on new jobs beginning somewhere else in a few short months.

 

MWR’s fall from grace will always surround the infamous Spingate incident in the Fall of 2013 where Bowyer intentionally spun in a move designed to put teammate Martin Truex Jr. in position to still make the Chase. Who would have guessed that would wind up costing 200-plus jobs, three Sprint Cup teams and millions in investment from co-owners Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip?

 

THIRD GEAR: Big Names on a Big Bubble

 

Loudon led to major potholes in the title bids of both Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Busch, whose mid-race bout with the wall left him struggling to a 37th-place finish, now sits one point outside the Chase with one race remaining. Earnhardt is directly ahead, the victim of a faulty fuel tank like Harvick that sent him spiraling down to 25th during the final hectic laps of New Hampshire.

 

In some ways, both men have overachieved during a season where neither one was expected to contend for the title. Busch spent 11 races recovering from serious leg injuries suffered in a February Daytona accident; he had to win four races and surge inside the top 30 in points to even have a chance. For Earnhardt, running the first season with new crew chief Greg Ives there were necessary chemistry and communication adjustments he needed to get through. But now that they’re here, both have high expectations and for either one to get knocked out inside the first round would be a major disappointment. Both men have struggled at times at Dover, too; Busch crashed out in 36th this spring while Earnhardt was a ho-hum 14th. A repeat of either performance will leave both men on the outside looking in.

 

FOURTH GEAR: Kenseth, Joe Gibbs Racing Keep on Rolling

 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch Matt Kenseth earned his fifth win of the season at New Hampshire and is cruising to the next round of the Chase. His No. 20 team now appears as strong as his runner-up title performance two years ago and he’s looking like a formidable challenger to other drivers that dominated the early part of the season: four-time winner Johnson, Team Penske’s Joey Logano and Kurt Busch of Stewart-Haas Racing.

 

But he’s not the only one from JGR mounting a bid. Carl Edwards looks settled in at his new JGR ride and overcame a pit road penalty to surge from the back into the top 5 at New Hampshire. He, along with teammate Denny Hamlin have the veteran experience needed to manage NASCAR’s multi-round Chase format and be there when the smoke clears at Homestead. What’s frustrating for traditional fans is neither one, like Kenseth, would be close to the top of the standings if NASCAR stuck to its old “regular season” format. Under that system, Logano would have a commanding lead and none of the JGR drivers would be closer than 117 points.

 

OVERDRIVE

 

Danica Patrick had to be frustrated over mid-race contact with Ryan Newman at New Hampshire that left her car a mangled mess. Patrick, 40th in the final rundown after flashing top-10 speed hasn’t run better than 15th in any Sprint Cup race since Dover in June... Don’t count out Paul Menard to advance to the next round of the Chase. Menard, the largest underdog in the 16-driver field, was eighth at Dover this spring and a second straight top-10 finish would send his No. 27 Chevy into the final 12.

 

— Written by Tom Bowles, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and the Majority Owner of NASCAR Web site Frontstretch.com. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @NASCARBowles.

 

Photos by ASP Inc.

Teaser:
Tony Stewart Sails Off Into Sunset At Right Time
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 12:30
Path: /overtime/jimmy-graham-congratulates-akiem-hicks-saints-trade-seahawks-patriots
Body:

It's common knowledge that Jimmy Graham was pretty happy to get out of New Orleans. 

 

Although there were reports the tight end was frustrated with his new role with the Seahawks, he later claimed they were untrue. Whatever the situation is in Seattle, it has to be better than New Orleans where the Saints are 0-3. Graham's former team traded Akiem Hicks to the Patriots, and he tweeted (and deleted) a congratulations to the defensive lineman.

 

 

The deletion of the tweet is leaving many to believe there's some underlying details surrounding Graham's departure from the Saints. We may never know the exact truth.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 12:10
All taxonomy terms: NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/why-you-must-start-ted-ginn-jr-and-other-wrte-startsit-advice-week-4
Body:

So how did I do in dispensing sound fantasy advice when it comes to wide receivers and tight ends in Week 3? 

 

Good Calls...

 

Start Steve Smith (30.6 fantasy points) — He’s the only option on the Ravens and he just keeps producing.

 

Start Brandon Marshall (14.9 FP) — Forget that ugly lateral. He is back to being a superstar.

 

Start Travis Benjamin (8.5 FP) — He scored another touchdown, I told you he might be worth the risk.

 

Sit Brandin Cooks (7.9 FP) — Couldn’t get anything going with Luke McCown under center.

 

Bad Calls...

 

Amari Cooper (11.4 FP) — Two weeks in a row I said sit Amari Cooper. That won’t happen a third time.

 

So who made the cut this week?

 

Teams on bye: Patriots, Titans

 

Wide Receivers

 

START THESE WRs...

 

Rishard Matthews, MIA (vs. NYJ, London)

Matthews has been one of the most pleasant surprises in all of fantasy football so far and he has played so well that he is now a must own in all 12-team leagues. Matthews appears to have a firm grasp on the No. 2 WR spot on a Dolphins team that has been throwing it more than they would like because they can’t get their run game going and have been playing from behind. This week Miami is in London to play the New York Jets, who may be without Darrelle Revis (and if Revis does play, he will probably be matched up with Jarvis Landry), and have already given up the 13th-most fantasy points to WRs this season. This makes Matthews a great WR3/flex play this week.

 

Ted Ginn Jr., CAR (at TB)

No that’s not a typo, I’m actually suggesting that you start Ginn this week against the pathetic Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense. Ginn has led all Panthers receivers in targets the last two weeks and seems to be developing great rapport with Cam Newton. Again, he’s not more than a WR3/flex play, but when someone is getting targeted as much as Ginn, and actually turning those targets into steady fantasy points, it’s time to start thinking logically instead of throwing Green Bay’s new WR3 Ty Montgomery out there and hoping that he turns into Jordy Nelson.

 

Jordan Matthews, PHI (at WAS)

Don`t give up on Matthews just because he didn`t really produce last week (he was stuck on Revis island) and that it appears Sam Bradford might not be a great fit for Chip Kelly`s offense after all. Matthews is going to bounce back this week with an outstanding game. This week Philadelphia travels to Washington to play a pass defense that surrendered 31 fantasy points to Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle one week ago. You can bet that Kelly is going to exploit Washington`s secondary in this game.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Travis Benjamin, CLE (at SD)

Hear me out before you think I’m crazy. Benjamin is still available in a lot of leagues and he has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season. Even the elite receivers can’t say that. Now of course you aren’t going to rely on Benjamin as your No. 1 wide receiver, but he is a good flex play this week as the Browns travel all the way out west to take on the San Diego Chargers. Believe it or not Josh McCown played pretty well last week in his return as the Browns’ starting QB and he has shown no hesitation to throw the ball deep down field in Benjamin’s direction. It’s been working so far, so look for it to continue.

 

SIT THESE WRs…

 

Vincent Jackson, TB (vs. CAR)

Last week against the Saints, even with Austin-Seferian Jenkins not playing and Mike Evans just getting back into game shape from a hamstring injury, Jackson managed to catch only two balls on four targets for 40 yards. That’s just not good enough for a guy you are probably starting as your WR2. Things don’t get much easier this week for Jackson and the rest of the Buccaneers as they play one of the best defenses in football in the Carolina Panthers, who will no doubt keep Jackson to a similar anemic stat line.

 

Alshon Jeffery, CHI (vs. OAK)

The good news for Jeffery owners is that he should return from his various injuries this week. The bad news is that he returns with Jimmy Clausen as his starting quarterback. With Clausen under center that means the Bears will lean heavily on their running game and any passes will be short throws to Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett. To make things worse for Jeffery, the Raiders' pass defense has actually been solid, at least against wide receivers. Oakland has allowed just one touchdown catch to a WR this season. Too bad the Raiders can't cover tight ends.

 

John Brown, ARI (vs. STL)

Brown is really good and a favorite target of Carson Palmer, so his time will come, just not this week. Look for the Palmer-to-Fitzgerald combo to keep rolling this week and Brown to be held to under 10 fantasy points. The Rams have surrendered just 14.37 fantasy points per game to opposing wideouts, so there might not be enough of an opportunity for Brown to produce this week.

 

YOU`VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Jarvis Landry, MIA (vs. NYJ, London)

This all comes down to what type of league you have Landry in – PPR or standard. Landry has been a beast in PPR formats so far in 2015 with 24 catches already, but he`s not even in the top 20 in standard leagues. This week Landry is most likely going to be lined up opposite Darrelle Revis, rendering Landry useless in standard leagues and probably a WR3 at best in PPR.

 

TIGHT ENDS

 

START THESE TEs...

 

Tyler Eifert, CIN (vs. KC)

So Eifert put up a big bagel on the stat sheet last week. That’s right – he had zero catches, for zero yards which means zero touchdowns. Instead Andy Dalton kept throwing the ball to A.J. Green (who had 227 yards and two touchdowns) and Marvin Jones (97 yards). But don’t jump off the Eifert bandwagon just yet. Keep in mind that Eifert scored 22.4 fantasy points in Week 1 and 10.9 fantasy points in Week 2 and was heavily targeted by Andy Dalton in those first two games. Look for that trend to continue this week, as Eifert should play a bigger role against Kansas City and should finish with a stat line closer to six catches for 65 yards and toss in a red zone touchdown for good measure.

 

Martellus Bennett, CHI (vs. OAK)

You could say that Bennett has been a disappointment to start the 2015 season. After all, he was widely considered the No. 3 tight end heading into the season. But 13 catches for 118 yards and only one touchdown so far just doesn’t cut it. Sure it doesn’t help that the whole Bears offense (other than Matt Forte) has struggled and now he is catching passes from Jimmy Clausen, but this is the week where Bennett turns things around. The Bears play the Raiders, a team that just let Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge get over 100 receiving yards last week plus a touchdown. If the Bears are going to have any chance of finally winning a game they are going to need to lean on Bennett, as he is the only dependable receiving threat they have when Alshon Jeffery is out of the lineup.

 

Jordan Reed, WAS (vs. PHI)

The Redskins might stink, but Reed sure doesn’t. Reed is breaking out right before our eyes as he has been one of the most consistent tight ends so far this season. When you look at the tight end position, you always want to take into consideration total targets, and Reed has been a target monster this year. Last week against the Giants he had nine targets, he caught six of those for 96 yards, which is good and totally awesome if you are in a PPR league. This week the Redskins play against an Eagles defense that is struggling and won’t be able to contain Reed. He will keep on rolling in Week 4 and with DeSean Jackson still nursing a hamstring injury, Reed should once again push close to 100 receiving yards.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Owen Daniels, DEN (at MIN)

It took some time but Daniels finally had the game that everyone had been expecting of him. He was targeted an outstanding nine times last week by Peyton Manning, which means that he is finally gaining trust in Daniels. It also helps that Daniels caught a great touchdown pass, something that Manning won’t forget when they are in the red zone this week against the Vikings. Denver is struggling mightily to run the ball, so you know that the Vikings are going to try and lock down Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, which should open up some space for Daniels. Five catches for 60-plus yards isn’t a bad game for a tight end that you might have to start if your starting tight end (like Gronk) is on a bye this week.

 

SIT THESE TEs...

 

Jared Cook, STL (at ARI)

Cook has had an excellent start to the 2015 season, until last week when everything came to a crashing halt as he had only one catch for seven yards, burning many fantasy owners who were jumping on the Cook bandwagon. Even though Cook is leading the Rams in targets and seems to be Nick Foles' favorite target, he is not a good sleeper pick this week. The Rams play the Cardinals, a defense that just simply crushed the 49ers last week – scoring an incredible 28 fantasy points thanks to four picks, two of which were returned for touchdowns. With the bye weeks starting this week, many folks will be looking for a tight end to pick up off the waiver wire, but Cook isn’t the answer.

 

Kyle Rudolph, MIN (at DEN)

Usually Rudolph is a low-end TE1 that you can start and hope he scores a touchdown, especially in a Norv Turner offense that loves to feature the tight end. Different story this week as you should probably look elsewhere as the Vikings are going up against the Broncos and their dominant defense and it looks like the way the Vikings need to win games is keep the ball out of Teddy Bridgewater’s hands and instead hand it off to Adrian Peterson.

 

Jordan Cameron, MIA (vs. NYJ, London)

Cameron had a nice start to his Dolphins career, catching seven passes for 135 yards in his first two games. Then last week with the Dolphins trying desperately to climb out of a huge hole against the Bills, he scored a mere 1.6 fantasy points and now faces a tough opponent all the way in London this week. The Jets have allowed the third fewest fantasy points, an outstanding 3.17 point per game, to tight ends so far this season.

 

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Richard Rodgers, GB (at SF)

Rodgers is one of those tight ends that you start and know that if he doesn’t score a touchdown, he’s not going to score enough points to help you win your weekly matchup. He just doesn’t get enough targets – even with Jordy Nelson and now it looks like Davante Adams out of the lineup. Aaron Rodgers has shown that he will throw to Richard Rodgers in the red zone, but are you willing to gamble that they connect for a touchdown this week against the 49ers?

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Teaser:
Why You Must Start Ted Ginn Jr. and Other WR/TE Start/Sit Fantasy Advice for Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, start or sit, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/why-you-must-start-karlos-williams-and-other-startsit-rb-fantasy-advice-week-4
Body:

Let's take a quick recap of my start/sit running back fantasy advice from Week 3.

 

Good Calls...

 

Start Latavius Murray (20.9 fantasy points) — Murray broke out for a huge game against the Browns rushing for 139 yards and a TD.

 

Start Joseph Randle (28.5 FP) — With Romo and Bryant out, he finally got his chance and scored 3 TDs.

 

Start Adrian Peterson (24.6 FP) — I know, I know – this one was too easy.

 

Sit Lamar Miller (6.5 FP) — The Dolphins can’t run the ball. Miller doesn’t look like he is going to break out this year.

 

Bad Calls...

 

Actually, it was a pretty good week last week. But I did tell you to consider sitting Jamal Charles against the Packers Monday night. Hopefully you didn’t listen and enjoyed his three touchdowns.

 

Teams on bye: Patriots, Titans

 

START THESE RBs...

 

Karlos Williams, BUF (vs. NYG)

It seems that LeSean McCoy’s hamstring injury just won’t go away and actually might keep him out of action for a couple of games. This is great news for anyone smart enough to pick up Williams off the waiver wire. Last week he ran 12 times for 110 yards and one touchdown, that’s excellent production. Williams now has an excellent opportunity to play himself into a timeshare when McCoy does return to action. This week Williams goes up against a Giants run defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs this season and you know that Rex Ryan loves to pound the ball, so expect the rookie to have a big day.

 

Latavius Murray, OAK (at CHI)

If you are one of the lucky few who have Murray as your RB3, you’re awesome. Actually, just having Murray on your roster right now is awesome as he is one of the few starting running backs out there who isn’t in a timeshare of any shape. Murray showed what he can do last week in a win against the Cleveland Browns having his biggest day as a Raider (139 yards rushing, TD). This week he is an absolute must start simply because he is playing the Chicago Bears, who just let undrafted free agent Thomas Rawls of the Seattle Seahawks rumble for 104 yards on 16 carries. Just imagine what Murray can do. Look for another 100-yard day with at least one trip into the end zone.

 

Mark Ingram, NO (vs. DAL)

You would think that it might be best to sit Ingram this week since he is playing against a usually stout Cowboys defense. But that was the thought process last week against not starting Devonta Freeman and all Freeman did was run for 141 yards and three touchdowns. Even with C.J. Spiller destined for a larger role (believe it when you see it) and even if Drew Brees does play, the Saints are going to have to rely on their running game to keep the chains moving and put points on the board. A 100-yard rushing day and a touchdown should be in store for Ingram this week.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Lance Dunbar, DAL (at NO)

So Dunbar only ran the ball once for five yards last week against the Falcons. So what? He also was the most targeted player on the Cowboys and caught all 10 of them for 100 yards. That’s awesome if you have Dunbar in a PPR league, and still pretty good in standard leagues. This week against the Saints he’s an absolute must start in PPR leagues as Brandon Weeden just loves dumping the ball off to Dunbar instead of trying to force it downfield. Dunbar won’t get much of an opportunity to run the ball with Joseph Randle emerging as a decent RB1, but another 10 catches for 100 yards seems very likely against the Saints.

 

SIT THESE RBs...

 

Alfred Morris, WAS (at PHI)

There's a good chance that you may have drafted Morris as your RB1 and if so, you are probably wishing you hadn’t. Morris now finds himself in a full-blown running back-by-committee (RBBC) approach in Washington with him, Matt Jones and even Chris Thompson in the mix for touches. If you are going to gamble and start Morris, you better hope he makes the most out of his limited opportunities. Even if he manages to get 15-plus carries, Morris is playing against an Eagles defense that has allowed an average of fewer than 13 fantasy points per game to RBs.

 

Todd Gurley, STL (at ARI)

You’ve drafted Gurley in the middle rounds, hoping that he would return to action sooner rather than later and last week he finally got on the field and ran the ball six times for nine yards. So forget about that game, what about this week. Well, keep in mind that by no means is Gurley the Rams' featured back. He finds himself (at least for now) in a time share with Tre Mason, and throw in the odd touch here and there for Benny Cunningham. Of course Gurley has the potential to break one every time he touches the ball, it just won’t happen this week against the Arizona Cardinals.

 

Doug Martin, TB (vs. CAR)

Hopefully you don`t even need to start Martin, but just in case you should probably know that he is playing against a Panthers defense that has allowed just 195 rushing yards and an average of 16.43 fantasy points to running backs in their first three games. This isn’t good news for Martin, who was once again dynamic during the preseason, but average at best so far during the regular season.

 

YOU`VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Giovani Bernard, CIN (vs. KC)

Jeremy Hill started last week against the Ravens, carrying the ball seven times and then it was all Bernard after that. His stat line wasn’t amazing (13 carries for 49 yards and 3 catches for 34 yards), but the Bengals appear to be moving forward with Bernard as their feature back in both the run and the passing game. This week against a stout Chiefs rush defense you are going to need Bernard’s pass-catching abilities to help you win and he shouldn’t disappoint. Bernard should be able to get over 100 total yards and maybe throw in a bonus touchdown for good measure. But be wary of the potential for a one-dimensional stat line from this Bengal.

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

 

(Top photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Teaser:
Why You Must Start Karlos Williams and Other Start/Sit RB Fantasy Advice for Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:45
All taxonomy terms: Fantasy Football, start or sit, NFL, Fantasy
Path: /fantasy/why-you-must-start-derek-carr-and-other-startsit-fantasy-qb-dst-advice-week-4
Body:

I nailed it last week. In last week’s Start/Sit column for the quarterback position I suggested it would be a good idea to start Cam Newton, Carson Palmer and Ryan Tannehill and even take a flyer on Tyrod Taylor.

 

I also thought you would be wise to sit Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees (who didn’t play).

 

So hopefully in your eyes I’ve built some degree of credibility/trust.

 

Let’s keep the good times rolling this week.

 

Teams on bye: Patriots, Titans

 

Quarterbacks

 

START THESE QBs...

 

Derek Carr, OAK (at CHI)

You’re probably as surprised as me starting off with the notion that you should actually start an Oakland Raiders quarterback this week. It simply just makes sense, not just because Carr is playing against the Chicago Bears, but because the second-year signal-caller has been outstanding in his last two games, scoring a combined 46.8 fantasy points. In case you were curious that’s more than Andrew Luck. If you’re a Tom Brady owner you are in need of a quarterback this week and if Carr is available don’t hesitate to pick him up and start him this week. The Bears have allowed eight touchdown passes and an average of 20.15 fantasy points to QBs this season.

 

Related: Fantasy Football 2015 Waiver Wire - Week 4

 

Tyrod Taylor, BUF (vs. NYG)

Can you name someone who has been a better waiver wire pickup this season than Taylor? Believe it or not, after three games, Taylor is a top-5 fantasy quarterback. This week he will continue to put up 20-plus fantasy points as the Bills play host to a New York Giants defense that so far has allowed an average of 18.40 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Taylor figures to do better than that.

 

Related: 5 Quarterback Replacements for Fantasy Owners Who Lost Ben Roethlisberger

 

Andy Dalton, CIN (vs. KC)

Dalton is on fire. It’s almost like he is on a mission to prove all the haters wrong (even though he is usually good during the regular season. The playoffs are a different story). He currently ranks as the No. 4 fantasy QB after three games, ahead of Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Carson Palmer and Ben Roethlisberger. This week Dalton is lucky enough to play against a Chiefs pass defense that can’t stop anyone – the Chiefs have given up the eighth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Look for Dalton to connect early and often with A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert because the Bengals' run game will continue to struggle.

 

MIGHT BE WORTH THE RISK...

 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ (at MIA, London)

So let’s say you have Tom Brady and can’t get your hands on Derek Carr, what should you do? Go and get Fitzpatrick as a one-week starter. While Fitzpatrick hasn’t been a superstar from a fantasy perspective, he’s doing very well in the Jets system and this week he gets a matchup against the Dolphins that screams huge upside. The Dolphins allowed Blake Bortles to score 20 fantasy points in Week 2 and Tyrod Taylor to score 24 last week. The Jets should get Chris Ivory and Eric Decker back this week, giving their offense more balance and more weapons for Fitzpatrick. A 20-point fantasy day isn’t out of the question.

 

SIT THESE QBs...

 

Matthew Stafford, DET (at SEA, Mon.)

Hopefully you didn’t draft Stafford as your starting fantasy quarterback. If you did, I feel sorry for you. Stafford has failed to score 15 fantasy points in two of his first three games this season, that’s not good and things are not going to get better this week as he and the Lions gets to play in Seattle on "Monday Night Football." Even with Calvin Johnson at 100 percent and Golden Tate on the opposite side of the field, Stafford is going to struggle big time, making him a must sit this week.

 

Ryan Tannehill, MIA (vs. NYJ, London)

In real football, Tannehill was awful last week. In fantasy football, Tannehill wasn’t horrible – getting 18.78 fantasy points. This week Tannehill is a "must sit" simply because he is playing against a New York Jets defense that is currently ranked as the fourth best in the league in passing yards allowed and one that is giving up less than 10 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. Traveling all the way to London, England this week won’t help either. Stay away from Tannehill this week.

 

Eli Manning, NYG (at BUF)

Manning played well in the Giants' first win of the season against Washington last Thursday, scoring 19.16 fantasy points thanks to 279 yards passing, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. This week he goes up against a Buffalo Bills defense that has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. So why is Manning a must sit? Because other than Week 2 against Tom Brady, the Bills' D has held Andrew Luck and Ryan Tannehill to 18 fantasy points or less, while creating several turnovers. If you have a better option this week, go with that.

 

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED...

 

Michael Vick, PIT (vs. BAL. Thurs.)

As tempting as it might be to start Vick this week because of all the weapons he has at his disposal in Pittsburgh, please remember this isn’t 2006. Vick is 3-12 in his last 15 starts and is playing on a short week against a Ravens team that is currently 0-3 and desperate for a win. If the Steelers are going to win this game it will because Vick handed the ball off to Le'Veon Bell most of the game, not because Vick aired it out downfield for Antonio Brown. Stay away.

 

Defense/Special Teams

 

START THESE DSTs...

 

Arizona Cardinals (vs. STL)

The Cardinals' defense was ridiculous last week, scoring an incredible 28 fantasy points in a blowout win versus the 49ers. Even though it is extremely unlikely the Cardinals' DST will score 28 fantasy points every week, Arizona does go up against a very weak St. Louis Rams offense, which is still trying to figure out its identity. First-round pick Toddy Gurley is still getting acclimated to the NFL and also keep in mind that opposing defenses have averaged the fifth-most fantasy points when facing Nick Foles this season.

 

Denver Broncos (at MIN)

It would be very hard to argue against the Broncos being the best defense in all of football so far this season – both on the field and in fantasy football. To prove that point, no defense has scored more fantasy points through the first three games than the Broncos. Even though the Broncos are up against a rejuvenated Adrian Peterson this week, they are still a must start. All the Broncos have to do is contain Peterson and force the Vikings to use Teddy Bridgewater and fantasy success will be yours.

 

SIT THESE DSTs...

 

St. Louis Rams (at ARI)

The Rams were ranked as a top-3 fantasy DST heading into the season, but haven’t really lived up to their billing, even though they have scored 11 fantasy points in two of their first three games. However, this week the Rams go up against one the best offenses in football – the Arizona Cardinals. Carson Palmer is on fire, so is Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals got their ground game going last week too and Andre Ellington should be back this week. Find a different DST to start this week.

 

New York Giants (vs. BUF)

Even though the Giants are playing the Bills at home on Sunday, just ask the Dolphins how that worked out for them last week. Thanks to Tyrod Taylor the Bills have a sneaky-good offense and this week they will feature Karlos Williams, who is going to pound the ball up the middle for over 100 yards and at least one touchdown. Throw is at least two Taylor touchdown passes and you have a situation where you must sit the Giants DST this week.

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Teaser:
Why You Must Start Derek Carr And Other Start/Sit Fantasy QB/DST Advice for Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:30
All taxonomy terms: NFL
Path: /nfl/betting-against-spread-sunday-nfl-picks-week-4
Body:

Bye weeks have begun in the NFL although it's just the Titans and Patriots for Week 4. The cream has risen to the top with the Packers, Cardinals and Patriots separating themselves from the pack. Meanwhile the winless club lost a few members in the Colts and Eagles although both fan bases can't feel great about how they won. That said, a win is a win and both teams have a decent shot to make it to two wins and .500 on the year. 

 

Record: 6-3-1 (2-0-1 last week)

 

Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Chicago Bears (0-3)

The Raiders are favored for just the second time in their last three seasons. For a point of reference, they have been a road favorite of three points or less just 15 times since 1992. This is a solid Oakland establishment led by Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. The offense has some balance with Latavius Murray on the ground. Chicago's offense struggled last week in Seattle and may do so again with Jimmy Clausen at the helm. The Bears have not thrown for more then 230 yards in any of their three games. They are pretty much relying on Matt Forte to do his thing although Alshon Jeffery should play in this one. It's an odd statistic with the Bears allowing 35 points per game, but only on 331 yards of offense. This is the second straight road game for Oakland which means the Raiders could struggle with the early kickoff time. I don't think I can back the Bears in this one even though it seems like the right side. SELECTION: Under 44.5

 

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) at Washington Redskins (1-2)

As I've noted in past articles, I am an Eagles fan and a highly critical one at that so play this at your own risk. Yes Philly won a game, but the offense was unspectacular once again. They are managing just 64.3 yards per game on the ground and 221 yards per game through the air. Washington's defense has been real good especially against the run. It's quite the opposite for the Skins, who can run it real well, but struggle with the aerial attack. Kirk Cousins threw it 49 times against the Giants and that's not a recipe for success. Weather could be a real issue with this one in that rain and wind from the hurricane could be in play. With that, we'd see a lot of running plays with two good rushing defenses. The under has hit in five of the last six home games where the Skins were three point underdogs or less. I say get in this early before the weather takes the total lower. SELECTION: Under 45

 

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-0)

Kansas City has the quick turnaround after a poor effort in Green Bay on Monday night. The biggest thing to come out of that one was the end of the WR touchdown-less streak. The other area that stood out was how awful the Chiefs' defense looked. This is a unit that got gashed by Aaron Rodgers to the tune of 325 passing yards and 38 points. The Bengals are capable of doing the same, as they are coming off an effort at Baltimore where they put up over 450 yards of offense. Cincinnati's defense should be able to key in on Jamaal Charles and Travis Kelce, which effectively limits KC. The Bengals are a very good ATS team especially at home where they have covered 13 of their last 17. SELECTION: Bengals -4

 

Minnesota Vikings (2-1) at Denver Broncos (3-0)

The Vikings' defense has been stellar this season allowing just 50 points in three games against the Niners, Lions and Chargers. Both teams of these teams have already faced and beaten the Lions, with the Broncos' victory coming in Detroit last Sunday night. Denver's offense has done enough to win despite not getting anything from the ground game. The Broncos will have to keep Minnesota honest as the Vikes have a solid secondary and a young nucleus. The big question is how Minny will move the ball as you have to figure the Broncos will stack the box against Adrian Peterson. Teddy Bridgewater has been disappointing statistically and will be asked to do more in this one. There should be plenty of FGs in this one. SELECTION: Under 44

 

Notes:

- "Thursday Night Football" gives us one of the best rivalries in football. It also gives us our first look in awhile at Michael Vick the starting quarterback. There's concern about how well he will run this offense, but with weapons like Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, he won't have too much to worry about. Vick's problem has been with turnovers, which he can't do in this game. Baltimore is a desperate bunch after the tough loss to the Bengals at home. Joe Flacco should have some success moving on this vulnerable Pittsburgh defense. Still, I don't know if I'm ready to lay the points on the road in this one. I think the play is Pittsburgh at home or nothing at all. 

 

- We get our first London game with the Jets and the Dolphins at 9:30 ET on Sunday morning. Last year Miami played the Raiders in Wembley and won 38-14. This year's version would love to play that well as they are 1-2 and have looked absolutely awful at times. The defense was supposed to be a strength, but instead they've allowed nearly 400 yards per game as a unit. The Jets came back down to earth a bit against the Eagles, but they are still in better shape then their opponent. The under seems like a solid play although there has been a team that has scored 30 points or more in five of the last six London games. 

 

- Sometimes in handicapping you get feelings that aren't based on any numbers, but playing a hunch. The Packers have been rolling while the 49ers have been awful since Week 1. San Francisco has won two straight in this series, which will probably fuel Green Bay more. Still, the 49ers' offense is capable of more than the seven points and 156 yards they put up against Arizona. This is a big spread for a reason, but I'm not quite ready to hand it over to the road team. As I said, sometimes you just get these feelings and I have a hunch San Fran gets up for this one and covers the spread. Green Bay is 8-9 ATS the last three seasons on the road.

 

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

Teaser:
Betting Against the Spread: NFL Picks For Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:15
Path: /college-football/pac-12-week-5-predictions-ucla-hosts-arizona-state-oregon-colorado
Body:

It’s a slight slate of action in the Pac-12 for Week 5. This conference held the spotlight nationally last Saturday, as three league games had the nation’s attention with Utah’s victory over Oregon, USC’s easy win over Arizona State, and UCLA’s key South Division win over Arizona. The matchups in Week 5 aren’t as appealing, but there’s still plenty of intrigue. UCLA looks to remain unbeaten against Arizona State, while Stanford takes on Arizona. The Wildcats won’t have star linebacker Scooby Wright due to a foot injury, while the status of quarterback Anu Solomon is also up in the air. Elsewhere in the Pac-12, the Ducks look to get back on track after last week’s loss, and California hosts Washington State.

 

Athlon Sports offers its Pac-12 Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch), David Fox (@DavidFox615), and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

Pac-12 Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Arizona State at UCLA

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: FOX

Spread: UCLA -13.5

 

Predictions for Arizona State at UCLA

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-2438-1735-2135-28

 

2. Arizona at Stanford

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

Spread: Stanford -17.5

 

Predictions for Arizona at Stanford

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
38-2028-2442-2141-28

 

3. Oregon at Colorado

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Oregon -7.5

 

Predictions for Oregon at Colorado

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
38-2431-2042-2842-35

 

4. Washington State at California

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Pac-12 Networks

Spread: California -19

 

Predictions for Washington State at California

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
45-3051-3852-4144-34

 

Teaser:
Pac-12 Week 5 Predictions: UCLA Hosts Arizona State, Oregon Looks for Rebound Against Colorado
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/big-12-week-5-predictions-texas-tech-baylor-shootout-west-virginia-travels-oklahoma
Body:

The Big 12 generated plenty of conversation and intrigue across the nation last Saturday from the thrilling TCU-Texas Tech game, along with Oklahoma State’s last-minute win over Texas. But the Week 5 slate is even more appealing. West Virginia is a quiet 3-0, and the Mountaineers have their biggest test of the season against Oklahoma on Saturday. Conference play in the state of Texas is under the spotlight, as TCU hosts Texas and there should be no shortage of points in the Texas Tech-Baylor matchup in Arlington.

 

Related: College Football's Top 10 QBs from September

 

Athlon Sports offers its Big 12 Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch), David Fox (@DavidFox615), and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

Related: College Football's Top 10 RBs from September

 

Big 12 Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. West Virginia at Oklahoma

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

Spread: Oklahoma -7

 

Predictions for West Virginia at Oklahoma

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-2737-2128-2137-34

 

2. Texas Tech vs. Baylor (Arlington)

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC/ESPN2

Spread: Baylor -17

 

Predictions for Texas Tech at Baylor

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
55-4058-4152-4141-38

 

3. Texas at TCU

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: TCU -15

 

Predictions for Texas at TCU

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
45-2444-2042-3141-28

 

4. Kansas State at Oklahoma State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Fox Sports 1

Spread: Oklahoma State -8

 

Predictions for Kansas State at Oklahoma State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
31-2033-2331-2130-24

 

5. Kansas at Iowa State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: FSN

Spread: Iowa State -16

 

Predictions for Kansas at Iowa State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
38-1724-1427-1434-14

 

Teaser:
Big 12 Week 5 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:30
All taxonomy terms: Overtime
Path: /overtime/bill-simmons-takes-shots-espn-roger-goodell-podcast-nfl-deflategate
Body:

We all saw this coming. 

 

Bill Simmons' first post-ESPN podcasts are up and he spent a little time talking about his former employer and the way they covered the NFL and Roger Goodell. It's no secret the two entities have a lucrative relationship.

 

"Granted, I'm a little biased here," Simmons said. "The way everyone else was covering Roger Goodell in this whole story versus the way ESPN covered it, it was embarrassing. I couldn't believe nobody called out ESPN on it."

 

Simmons is always the one to call ESPN out, whether he's on payroll or not. Clearly he's mistaken because for a while it seemed like everyone was talking about ESPN's method of covering the situation, but maybe Simmons is one of those people who only listens to himself.

 

"You have Dan Wetzel at Yahoo, you had Sally Jenkins at the Washington Post, you had all the people in Boston, you had different radio personalities, and people really going after how the NFL was handling this, how Goodell was handling this, all this stuff... When it came out that they had obviously leaked stuff and something really legitimately shady was going on, and yet if you went to ESPN you didn't see anything... It's hard to come away from that and not think that ESPN is in the bag for the NFL, because they were."

 

 

Former ESPN personalities seem more liberated and even more outspoken (if that's possible) after they leave the worldwide leader.

Teaser:
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:16
Path: /college-football/nebraskas-demornay-pierson-el-priming-million-dollar-moves-return
Body:

I never had the opportunity to see Nebraska football legend Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers live. My only knowledge of his on-the-field exploits is limited to video, books and anecdotes. I’ve shook the man’s hand, seen the Heisman Trophy he won and heard the tales about how people used to say he was worth 14 points per game.

 

I don’t refer to people as “the next” anyone. I don’t think that’s fair as we all have the right to write our own legacies, especially in sports. I will say this, though: while De’Mornay Pierson-El is not “the next” Johnny Rodgers, he is incredibly electric and has a spark Nebraska could really use right now.

 

No. 15’s been out of action since fall practice with a foot injury and his absence has affected Husker football. With him, the Big Red may be 4-0 right now. He’s that good. You’ll have to pardon a fan base that’s a might miffed over a 2-2 start to the season for being jacked about his return.

 

Cleveland had LeBron James' “Return,” Nebraska has DPE’s.

 

While no one has any delusions of him running back punt returns for scores or catching one-handed touchdown passes, there are things he can do to not only help the Huskers defeat Illinois, but do so in a more convincing fashion than many Big Red fans may expect.

 

If you’re Tim Banks and Mike Phair (Illinois’ co-defensive coordinators for the uninitiated), you know Pierson-El isn’t 100 percent, but he’s still a danger that has to be acknowledged.

 

Could Nebraska offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf be using him as a decoy? Is the personnel package tipping its hand for a fly sweep or a reverse? Have to be ready for both.

 

What if both are fakes and it’s a handoff to Andy Janovich up the gut or an out route to Jordan Westerkamp?

 

This is what Pierson-El brings to the table. He is the unknown, the X-Factor, the question mark.

 

Plenty of fans would rather he not even play versus Illinois and I understand their reasoning. Why run the risk of him re-injuring himself or what if he's no use on the field in his limited capacity?

 

Well, football being what it is, you can’t play scared. It’s not that Mike Riley and his band of merry men don’t have their focus on Illinois, but playing Pierson-El is part of the grand scheme of things.

 

The running game has to get the gunk out of its wheels, penalties have to be cleaned up (or played to if refs are going to call Illegal Formation like it’s going out of style) and everyone knows the score about Mark Banker’s defense such as it is.

 

DPE’s part of beating Illinois, but he also needs to knock the rust off because the Huskers are going to need every possible positive against the Wisconsin Badgers, let alone every opponent past them.

 

Despite Wisconsin losing running back Corey Clement (sports hernia surgery), that’s going to be a physical game and having a guy like Pierson-El on your side can break the back of an opponent in the blink of an eye.

 

If Nebraska’s going to win the Big Ten West, it needs to deck a mid-level team like Illinois and drop one of (if not the) division’s big boys in the Badgers.

 

That’s where Pierson-El and his "million dollar moves" come in.

 

— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow Brandon on Twitter @eightlaces and Periscope (eightlaces), and like his Facebook page.

Teaser:
Nebraska’s De’Mornay Pierson-El Priming "Million Dollar Moves" for Return
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:15
Path: /college-football/big-ten-week-5-predictions-indiana-aims-ohio-state-upset-iowa-visits-wisconsin
Body:

Conference play in the Big Ten is set to begin in full force in Week 5. After just one league game was played in September, six conference matchups dot the slate this Saturday. Indiana is 4-0 and hosts Ohio State in a huge opportunity for coach Kevin Wilson’s team to score an upset. While the Hoosiers-Buckeyes is an intriguing matchup, the Iowa-Wisconsin contest is the top Big Ten game this Saturday. The Hawkeyes-Badgers game should play a huge role in determining the Big Ten West champion. Points could be at a premium between Minnesota-Northwestern, but a high-scoring affair is expected between Nebraska and Illinois.

 

Related: College Football Awards for September

 

Athlon Sports offers its Big Ten Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch), David Fox (@DavidFox615), and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

Related: College Football's Best QBs from September

 

Big Ten Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Iowa at Wisconsin

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Wisconsin -7

 

Predictions for Iowa at Wisconsin

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
27-2428-2328-2131-30

 

2. Ohio State at Indiana

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2/ABC

Spread: Ohio State -21

 

Predictions for Ohio State at Indiana

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
45-2440-2841-2741-31

 

3. Minnesota at Northwestern

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Northwestern -4

 

Predictions for Minnesota at Northwestern

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
24-2017-1321-1021-17

 

4. Nebraska at Illinois

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Nebraska -6.5

 

Predictions for Nebraska at Illinois

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-2731-2349-2134-30

 

5. Michigan at Maryland

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: Big Ten Network

Spread: Michigan -16

 

Predictions for Michigan at Maryland

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
27-628-735-1030-0

 

6. Purdue at Michigan State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

Spread: Michigan State -22

 

Predictions for Purdue at Michigan State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
38-1331-1342-1434-14

 

7. Army at Penn State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: Penn State -24

 

Predictions for Army at Penn State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
38-1030-1035-1038-13
Teaser:
Big Ten Week 5 Predictions
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 10:00
Path: /college-football/sec-week-5-predictions-georgia-hosts-alabama-florida-looks-upset-over-ole-miss
Body:

The SEC’s Week 5 slate features one of the marquee matchups in the nation, as Alabama travels to Georgia for a key conference showdown. The Crimson Tide has not played the Bulldogs in a regular season game since 2008, but there’s plenty at stake in this year’s meeting. Outside of Alabama-Georgia, Florida looks to remain unbeaten with an upset bid over Ole Miss, Texas A&M hosts Mississippi State, while Tennessee and Missouri look to score key SEC wins after losses in conference play last week. 

 

Related: College Football Awards from September

 

Athlon Sports offers its SEC Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), David Fox (@DavidFox615), Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch) and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

Related: College Football's Top 10 QBs from September

 

SEC Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Alabama at Georgia

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: CBS

Spread: Georgia -2.5

 

Predictions for Alabama at Georgia

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
27-2427-2428-2434-20

 

2. Ole Miss at Florida

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Ole Miss -7.5

 

Predictions for Ole Miss at Florida

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
31-1731-2035-1731-17

 

3. Mississippi State at Texas A&M

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Texas A&M -6.5

 

Predictions for Mississippi State at Texas A&M

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-2730-2035-2034-30

 

4. Arkansas at Tennessee

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2

Spread: Tennessee -6.5

 

Predictions for Arkansas at Tennessee

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
27-2427-2038-2830-27

 

5. South Carolina at Missouri

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Missouri -2.5

 

Predictions for South Carolina at Missouri

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
20-1724-1417-1421-20

 

6. Vanderbilt at MTSU

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: MTSU -1

 

Predictions for Vanderbilt at MTSU

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
27-2427-2321-1027-7

 

7. San Jose State at Auburn

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 4 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: Auburn -20.5

 

Predictions for San Jose State at Auburn

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-1030-1728-1438-14

 

8. Eastern Michigan at LSU

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: LSU -44.5

 

Predictions for Eastern Michigan at LSU

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
52-748-035-745-0

 

9. Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: SEC Network

Spread: NL

 

Predictions for Eastern Kentucky at Kentucky

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
38-1038-1331-1030-10
Teaser:
SEC Week 5 Predictions: Georgia Hosts Alabama, Ole Miss on Upset Alert at Florida
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 09:30
Path: /college-football/acc-week-5-predictions-clemson-notre-dame-showdown-nc-state-hosts-louisville
Body:

The ACC’s Week 5 schedule kicks off on Thursday night with a non-conference matchup between two offensive-minded teams in Cincinnati and Miami. While the midweek contest between the Hurricanes and Bearcats should draw plenty of attention, the marquee game for the ACC takes place on Saturday night when Notre Dame visits Death Valley for a matchup against Clemson. Conference play also takes center stage on Saturday with intriguing contests between NC State-Louisville, Georgia Tech-North Carolina and Pittsburgh-Virginia Tech.

 

Athlon Sports offers its ACC Week 5 predictions from four editors: Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven), Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch), David Fox (@DavidFox615), and Braden Gall (@BradenGall)

 

ACC Week 5 Game Power Rankings & Predictions

 

1. Notre Dame at Clemson

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ABC

Spread: Clemson -2

 

Predictions for Notre Dame at Clemson

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
27-2427-2435-2130-27

 

2. Louisville at NC State

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

Spread: NC State -4.5

 

Predictions for Louisville at NC State

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
24-2028-2028-2131-27

 

3. Miami at Cincinnati

Date and Kickoff Time: Thursday, Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Miami -6.5

 

Predictions for Miami at Cincinnati

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
40-3044-3038-3140-31

 

4. North Carolina at Georgia Tech

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPNU

Spread: Georgia Tech -7

 

Predictions for North Carolina at Georgia Tech

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-2431-2835-2734-21

 

5. Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at Noon ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

Spread: Virginia Tech -4.5

 

Predictions for Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
24-2021-2021-1730-24

 

6. Boston College at Duke

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN3

Spread: Duke -6.5

 

Predictions for Boston College at Duke

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
17-1317-1024-1414-13

 

7. Florida State at Wake Forest

Date and Kickoff Time: Saturday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Florida State -19

 

Predictions for Florida State at Wake Forest

Steven

Lassan

Mitch

Light

David

Fox

Braden

Gall

@AthlonSteven@AthlonMitch@DavidFox615@BradenGall
34-1038-1031-1034-13
Teaser:
ACC Week 5 Predictions: Clemson-Notre Dame Showdown, NC State Hosts Louisville
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 09:15
Path: /college-football/miami-hurricanes-vs-cincinnati-bearcats-preview-and-prediction-2015
Body:

For the sixth time since 2001, the Miami Hurricanes have started their season 3-0. After having a bye week following their 36-33 overtime victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the Hurricanes are on the road to face the Cincinnati Bearcats on Thursday night.

 

Last Thursday, the Bearcats (2-2) lost a thriller on the road to the Memphis Tigers 53-46. After starting quarterback Gunner Kiel left with a neck injury in the first quarter, redshirt freshman Hayden Moore threw for 557 yards and four touchdowns in a losing effort.

 

College Football Podcast: Week 5 Preview with Andy Staples



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Miami at Cincinnati

 

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET (Thursday)

TV Channel: ESPN

Spread: Miami -5.5

 

Three Things to Watch For

 

1. Moore gets another start

After Kiel was injured for the second straight week, Moore came in and performed admirably against the Tigers. After expressing uncertainty about Kiel's status for this game ealrier in the week, Cincinnati ruled him out on Tuesday. 

 

“Hayden played good enough to start, but we’ll sit down with the doctors,” Bearcats head coach Tommy Tuberville said prior to making the decision to hold Kiel out. “We just don’t know Gunner’s situation where something might make it worse. He could be the starter next week, I don’t know.”

 

Moore played well against Memphis but was average the previous week against Miami (Ohio). He finished 7-of-14 for 118 yards and two interceptions against the RedHawks. Moore also threw the decisive interception against Memphis with 10 seconds left in the game.

 

2. Brad Kaaya

The Hurricanes' offense doesn’t have the roster of their glory years when Andre Johnson, Clinton Portis and Jeremy Shockey were inside their huddle, but this team still has a ton of talent. Kaaya has been the one player Miami has depended on each week.

 

Against Nebraska, Kaaya threw for 379 yards and two touchdowns. Against a Cincinnati defense that ranks 96th in the country, the sophomore could have a huge night.

 

In the Bearcats' last two games against Miami (Ohio) and Memphis, their defense gave up a combined total of 1,018 passing yards. With defensive backs Adrian Witty out for the season and Clemente Casseus suspended, look for Kaaya to throw the ball deep to wide receivers Rashawn Scott, Stacy Coley and Herb Waters throughout the game.

 

3. Hurricanes' defense   

Coming into the game against Nebraska, Miami was ranked eighth nationally in total defense, giving up 234 yards per game. The Cornhuskers put up 462 yards as quarterback Tommy Armstrong threw four touchdown passes.

 

This week, Miami will have to try and slow down the nation's No. 2-ranked passing offense in Cincinnati. The Bearcats come into this game averaging 412.5 yards per game through the air.

 

“You can’t let them have time to throw the ball and get vertical, they’re a good run-after-catch team," said Hurricanes head coach Al Golden. "So many receivers on their team have so much experience. Their catch resume is phenomenal. They have a lot of guys that can do a lot of things with the ball after the catch."

 

Even though its Moore at quarterback for Cincinnati, the Hurricanes' secondary will have a tough time covering the Bearcats' receivers. Both Hurricane safeties Deon Bush and Jamal Carter will miss the first half of Thursday night’s game per NCAA rules after each was ejected last week against Nebraska for targeting.

 

Final Analysis

 

Neither Miami nor Cincinnati has a great defense, so that should make for an entertaining contest. The game is going to come down to which team can protect the football and the advantage there goes to Miami.

 

The Hurricanes have a plus-eight turnover margin, which is the second-best in the NCAA. Cincinnati ranks last in the country in turnover margin at minus-10.

 

Kaaya and running backs Joseph Yearly and Mark Walton should be able to make a number of plays against a terrible Bearcats defense if they can eliminate the mistakes. Miami recorded 13 penalties for 114 yards against Nebraska. If Golden's team can cut down on the mental mistakes, the Hurricanes should defeat the Bearcats by double digits.

 

Prediction: Miami 38, Cincinnati 27

 

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

Teaser:
Miami Hurricanes vs. Cincinnati Bearcats Preview and Prediction
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 09:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-best-college-football-games-october-2015
Body:

Pro tip for college football fans: Clear the calendar for Oct. 17.

 

The Third Saturday in October is no longer home of the Alabama-Tennessee rivalry, but it doesn't need to be.

 

The Oct. 17 weekend — starting with the UCLA-Stanford tilt on Thursday night — is going to be a mammoth weekend in college football

 

USC-Notre Dame, Michigan State-Michigan, Alabama-Teaxs A&M and West Virginia-Baylor are all on that Saturday. Even Memphis is playing a meaningful college football game that day.

 

Finish chores early, cancel pee wee soccer games and, by all means, skip that ill-advised fall wedding and get on the couch.

 

College Football Podcast: Week 5 Preview with Andy Staples



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

 

 GameDateLocation
1.Oct. 3Athens, Ga.

The most important SEC East vs. West matchup features Nick Chubb vs. Derrick Henry, unproven quarterbacks and the possibility of Nick Saban starting 0-2 in the league.

2.Oct. 15Palo Alto, Calif.

The ridiculously good Oct. 17 weekend gets started with a potential Pac-12 championship game preview on Thursday night. UCLA will try to redeem itself from last year’s embarrassment that knocked the Bruins out of the league title game, this time with freshman Josh Rosen at QB.

3.Oct. 17South Bend, Ind.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Bush Push and perhaps the most important game in the series for both teams since then.
4.Oct. 17Ann Arbor, Mich.

Everyone is pointing to the new Jim Harbaugh-Urban Meyer rivalry, Harbaugh-Mark Dantonio could be just as tense. The physicality on the field and intensity on the sidelines will be set to 11.

5.Oct. 24Oxford, Miss.

Will both teams be undefeated by the end of the month? Doesn’t matter. This could be the best offensive showcase in the SEC and a matchup of two of the best defensive players in the league in Myles Garrett and Robert Nkemdiche. 

6.Oct. 3Clemson, S.C.

Notre Dame has had a slew of injuries. Clemson looked pedestrian against its only game against an opponent with a mild pulse. The winner of this game will shed some skepticism.

7.Oct. 17College Station, Texas

Let’s hope this game is more like the 2012 and 2013 editions and less like the 2014 matchup.

8.Oct. 17Waco, Texas

In what might be a matchup of the best defense in the Big 12 and the best offense, Baylor’s Seth Russell tries to atone for the loss that kept Bryce Petty and the Bears out of the playoff.

9.Oct. 29Fort Worth, Texas

In what might be a matchup of the best defense in the Big 12 and the best offense, TCU will hope it is working on a playoff résumé and not chasing opposing receivers all over the field.

10.Oct. 10Knoxville, Tenn.
This rivalry game could decide the SEC East or it could decide the tenor of the offseason for Mark Richt and Butch Jones.    
11.Oct. 24Los Angeles
If Utah can beat both Oregon and USC on the road, the Utes have to be considered one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South — with a game in Salt Lake against UCLA looming in late November.
12.Oct. 10Dallas
This Red River Rivalry was unpredictable before Oklahoma’s furious comeback at Tennessee and Texas’ special teams foibles this season. The fourth quarter will be interesting.
13.Oct. 24Atlanta
A rematch of the wild ACC championship game could be between a Georgia Tech team grasping for its conference title chances and Florida State still trying to prove it belongs in the Playoff race.
14.Oct. 3College Station, Texas
The Bulldogs embarrassed Texas A&M last season, and Dak Prescott is heading to the rematch without much backup.
15.Oct. 24Norman, Okla.

Will this game be a meeting between top Big 12 teams? Not necessarily, but it’s also Baker Mayfield against the school that tried to block him from transferring to OU.

16.Oct. 10Lincoln, Neb.
At one point Wisconsin and Nebraska seemed like the only legitimate contenders in the Big Ten West. Not anymore. This might be a must-win game for first-year coaches Mike Riley and Paul Chryst.
17.Oct. 17Memphis
The Liberty Bowl might be the site of a game between two ranked, unbeaten regional rivals. We’re not sure how this game came to be scheduled in mid-October, but we like it.
18.Oct. 3Madison, Wis.

Are we ready to buy Iowa as a contender in the Big Ten? Get back to us after this game.

19.Oct. 31Berkeley, Calif.

Cal might not have the defense to win the North, but all signs point to this as being a vintage Pac-12 shootout between the two best (veteran) quarterbacks in the league.

20.Oct. 10Ann Arbor, Mich.

These two teams played in a 10–9 game last year that was scoreless at halftime. We can guarantee this year’s game will be any prettier, but it will be more meaningful.

Teaser:
Ranking the Best College Football Games in October 2015
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:45
Path: /nfl/baltimore-ravens-vs-pittsburgh-steelers-prediction-and-preview-2015
Body:

It seems as if every game the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens play this season is "must win." Granted, nobody is getting mathematically eliminated from a playoff berth after this game, but the Ravens simply cannot begin 0-4 and think playoffs.

 

Meanwhile, the worst thing that could happen to the Steelers after this week is they would fall two games behind in the AFC North race with two games left against first-place Cincinnati to make up the gap.

 

But if the Steelers don't beat the Ravens, it will likely cast doubt on quarterback Michael Vick's ability to lead a team. After Ben Roethlisberger went down with a left knee sprain against St. Louis, Vick led five drives, not including the final kneel down. In these drives the Steelers gained just two first downs, and one came on a 23-yard run by Le'Veon Bell on first and 10.   

 

The Ravens vs. Steelers has been called the NFL's most physical rivalry. With the injuries both teams have suffered one gets the feeling both teams will reinforce their running game, making this contest even more hard-hitting.

 

Baltimore at Pittsburgh

 

Kickoff: 8:25 p.m. ET (Thursday)

TV: CBS, NFL Network

Spread: Baltimore -2.5

 

Three Things to Watch

 

1. Vick

The talk is the Steelers will utilize a moving pocket. Though Vick showed little ability to scramble against St. Louis, he averaged 5.9 yards a rush last season with the Jets. The drawback is receivers often aren't quite sure where the ball is coming from when a quarterback is on the run, and rolling out limits a quarterback to just half the field.

 

That's important because Vick's yards per pass average (5.0) was actually lower than his yards per carry average last season. His six passes Sunday against St. Louis netted only 38 yards.

 

A quarterback cannot scramble to a championship. It simply becomes a question if Vick can throw the ball downfield during Roethlisberger's four-to-six-week absence.

 

Cincinnati's A.J. Green caught 10 passes for 227 yards against the Ravens last week in a 28-24 victory. If Vick can get the ball to Antonio Brown, the Steelers likely win. If he can't, the Steelers likely won't.

 

2. How will the secondaries do?

The Ravens' pass defense has been porous to date this year, ranking 29th in the league. Both Derek Carr and Andy Dalton have picked the Baltimore defense apart, each throwing for more than 350 yards against the Ravens.

 

The secret weapon for Baltimore in this game might be their quarterbacks coach, Marty Mornhinweg. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has asked Mornhinweg, Vick's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia and New York, to reveal some pointers on his tendencies.

 

Meanwhile, the Steelers' pass defense was a cause of concern at the beginning of the season. It's since shored up after not allowing a touchdown to the Rams and sacking Colin Kaepernick five times in Week 2.

 

But the Steelers have allowed 72 percent of passes thrown against them to be completed and Joe Flacco has only been sacked twice this season. He may have enough time to pick the Steelers apart.

 

3. Who is going to play, anyway?

The problem with Flacco's ability to pick the Steelers apart is that he may be without two of his primary targets and his left tackle. Breshad Perriman was listed as out with a knee injury in Monday's injury report and breakout tight end Crockett Gilmore, who has averaged more than 15 yards on 10 receptions this season, didn't practice after suffering a calf injury. Left tackle Eugene Monroe didn't play last Sunday after suffering a concussion, but Flacco was not sacked without Monroe protecting his blind side.

 

This means Steve Smith could be the only starting receiver Flacco will have to throw to. Smith was brilliant against Cincinnati, catching 13 passes for 186 yards, but Perriman's replacement, Kamar Aiken, was held without a catch.

 

On the Steelers' side, inside linebacker Ryan Shazier will miss his second straight game with a shoulder injury after registering a 15-tackle performance against San Francisco in Week Two. But after holding St. Louis to just 267 yards and six points how much did the Steelers really miss Shazier with former starter Sean Spence in his place?

 

Other Steelers who might miss the game are linebacker James Harrison and cornerback Cortez Allen. Though Harrison is a star, his role has been more of a part-time player this season, and most Steelers fans would prefer that Allen stayed on the sidelines.

 

Final Analysis

 

Look for Pittsburgh to continue to go for 2-point conversions after touchdowns with the mobile Vick under center. This strategy hasn't really affected the Steelers yet, but their failure to collect said conversion after scoring a touchdown against the Rams could very easily have meant defeat if St. Louis could have produced a touchdown on its final drive. Instead the Steelers were able to hold on for a 12-6 victory.

 

Modern offenses in the NFL don't remind anyone of Georgia Tech, but with the injuries both teams have suffered doesn't it seem likely a few more running plays than normal will be called in this game? If it comes down to Le'Veon Bell and DeAngelo Williams against Justin Forsett the Steelers win. You'd never think the Steelers would be in better shape injury-wise if Roethlisberger can't play, but it's likely the truth.

 

Prediction: Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 21

 

— Written by Marky Billson, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. An experienced beat reporter and sports writer, Billson began contributing to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2000. He has covered the Steelers, Pitt Panthers, MLB and more during his career. Follow him on Twitter @MarkyBillson.

 

(Top photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Teaser:
Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Prediction and Preview
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:30
All taxonomy terms: College Basketball, News
Path: /college-basketball/ranking-top-50-college-basketball-coaches-2015-16
Body:

Not all decisions in these coach rankings are easy. If we wanted it to be easy, we’d simply put together a list of wins and go from there.

 

But not all wins are equal and not all coaching jobs are equal.

 

In determining our top 50 coaches, we attempted to look at a variety of factor: Past success, regular season records, conference records, NCAA Tournament results, head-to-head rankings, team trends and records relative to the history of the program.

 

Picking our No. 1 coach in this year’s rankings was easier than in most years. Our pick has the most wins of any major college basketball coach, the most NCAA championships of any living coach, and he shows no sign of slowing down.

 

 

The Athlon Sports College Basketball Preview magazine is available now.

 

Podcast: Who should be No. 1 in College Basketball in 2015-16?



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

 

Ranking the Top 50 College Basketball Coaches for 2015-16

 

1. Mike Krzyzewski, Duke

Record at Duke: 945-251, 378-152 ACC

NCAA Tournament: 88-26, 12 Final Fours, five championships

Number to note: Duke has produced six one-and-done players in the NBA Draft since 2011, second only to Kentucky’s 12.

Why he’s ranked here: At 68 years and 63 days, Krzyzewski became the second-oldest coach to win a national championship, and there’s no signs he’ll slow down. His team brings in four five-star prospects in 2015 to replace the three he lost from his fifth national championship team.

 

2. John Calipari, Kentucky

Record at Kentucky: 190–38, 82–20 SEC

NCAA record: 47–15, six Final Fours, one championship

Number to note: Calipari has reached the Final Four five times since 2008. Michigan State’s Tom Izzo (three times) is the only other coach to make it there more than twice in that span.

Why he’s ranked here: The newly inducted Naismith Hall of Fame coach is one of the most divisive figures in the sport, but he’s done arguably the best coaching job of his career in just the last year or so. Kentucky regrouped to reach the Final Four as a No. 8 seed in 2014. The following season, Calipari balanced NBA-bound egos for a balanced, defensive-minded team that started 38–0.

 

3. Tom Izzo, Michigan State

Record at Michigan State: 495-199, 233-107 Big Ten

NCAA record: 46-17, seven Final Fours, one championship

Number to note: Izzo’s first three Final Four teams were No. 1 seeds. His last four were seeded seventh (2015), fifth (2010, 2005) and second (2009).

Why he’s ranked here: Izzo is 15 years removed from his national championship, but he’s on one of the best runs of his career. Michigan State has won at least 27 games in seven of the last eight seasons.

 

4. Rick Pitino, Louisville

Record at Louisville: 368-126, 164-76 C-USA/Big East/AAC/ACC

NCAA Tournament: 53-18, seven Final Fours, two championships

Number to note: Pitino’s teams have ranked in the top five in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency in each of the last five seasons and seven of the last eight.

Why he’s ranked here: Last year’s team was not one of Pitino’s best, losing to most of the top squads in the ACC, save for narrow home wins over Carolina and Virginia. The Cards were still an OT loss to Michigan State away from reaching the Final Four.

 

5. Bo Ryan, Wisconsin

Record at Wisconsin: 357-125, 172-68 Big Ten

NCAA record: 25-14, two Final Fours

Number to note: Ryan is 42-24 against Tom Izzo, John Beilein and Thad Matta. He’s also the only one of the four with a winning record against each of the other three.

Why he’s ranked here: Will he retire or won’t he? Either way, Ryan just capped the best two-year span of what’s likely a Hall of Fame career. If Wisconsin slips back to pre-Kaminsky/Dekker levels, that’s still a top-four finish in the Big Ten and an NCAA appearance.

 

6. Bill Self, Kansas

Record at Kansas: 352-78, 164-36 Big 12

NCAA record: 37-16, two Final Fours, one championship

Number to note: Some perspective for Self’s 11 consecutive Big 12 championships: John Wooden holds the record of consecutive league titles with 13 from 1967-79.

Why he’s ranked here: Fred Hoiberg and Frank Martin have come and gone. Kevin Durant couldn’t do it. Neither could Blake Griffin. Missouri isn’t even in the conference anymore. Nearly every Big 12 program over the last decade has had a shot an unseating Kansas at the top and ultimately failed to unseat Self.

 

7. Sean Miller, Arizona

Record at Arizona: 163-52, 79-29 Pac-12

NCAA record: 17-8

Number to note: Not only has Miller been to either the Elite Eight or Sweet 16 in each of his last six trips to the NCAA Tournament, Miller has never been knocked out of the Tourney by a team seeded lower than third.

Why he’s ranked here: Miller is only 46 and on the short list of best coaches in the game. He’s seeking his first Final Four, but he’s already on a Hall of Fame trajectory.

 

8. Tony Bennett, Virginia

Record at Virginia: 136-64, 64-37 ACC

NCAA Tournament: 6-5

Number to note: Virginia’s record against the RPI top 50 has improved in each of the last five seasons from 0-6 to 2-6 to 4-3 to 5-4 to 8-3 in 2015.

Why he’s ranked here: The early NCAA Tournament exits in the last two seasons — both to Michigan State — will haunt Bennett, but the Cavaliers are coming off back-to-back 30-win seasons and ACC regular season titles despite lesser talent compared to teams like Duke, North Carolina and Louisville.

 

9. Gregg Marshall, Wichita State

Record at Wichita State: 204–76, 101–43 Missouri Valley

NCAA Tournament: 8–11, one Final Four

Number to note: Seven coaches have won 30 or more games twice in the last three seasons. Marshall is the only one to do it each of the last three seasons.

Why he’s ranked here: In the last three seasons, Marshall has delivered a Final Four, a 35–0 start and a win over Kansas in the NCAA Tournament. What’s next in his final season with Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker?

 

10. Roy Williams, North Carolina

Record at North Carolina: 332-101, 141-57 ACC

NCAA Tournament: 65-23, seven Final Fours, two championships

Number to note: North Carolina is 23-1 against Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Florida State the last three seasons and 13-17 against the rest of the ACC.

Why he’s ranked here: Legacy. Williams’ two titles at two schools and Hall of Fame status can’t be denied, but the last three years (75-33) have been trying. With a veteran team, the Heels are built for a Final Four run in 2015-16. It would be their first since 2009 and perhaps their last for a while.

 

11. Jim Boehiem, Syracuse

Record at Syracuse: 966-333, 446-203 Big East/ACC

NCAA Tournament: 53-30, four Final Fours, one championship

Number to note: Boeheim’s 18 wins in 2014-15 — aided by a voluntary postseason ban — was his fewest since going 15-13 in 1981-82.

Why he’s ranked here: Boeheim will never get to 1,000 wins according to the NCAA record book (with vacated wins, he stands at 858). In the unofficial record book, Boeheim has two seasons to get 44 wins. Syracuse is 21-19 in its last 40 games after going 55-10 in the 65 prior.

 

12. John Beilein, Michigan

Record at Michigan: 166-110, 78-66 Big Ten

NCAA record: 16-9, one Final Four

Number to note: How about this for ball security: Nine of Beilein’s last 11 teams at Michigan and West Virginia have ranked in the top 25 in turnover rate.

Why he’s ranked here: Last year’s 16-16 debacle should be credited to injuries and bad luck. With Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton back, Michigan and Beilein should be back in the Big Ten title discussion.

 

13. Jay Wright, Villanova

Record at Villanova: 319-152, 140-81 Big East

NCAA record: 14-12, one Final Four

Number to note: Wright has had six of the top seven teams in Villanova history, according to sports-reference.com’s Simple Rating System. Last year’s 33-3 team was No. 1. Rollie Massimino’s national championship team in 1985 was ranked No. 20.

Why he’s ranked here: Wright’s recent tenure is worthy of some skepticism. The 29-win and 33-win seasons the last two years have coincided with a weaker Big East, and the Wildcats haven’t advanced to the Sweet 16 since the 2009 Final Four run.

 

14. Thad Matta, Ohio State

Record at Ohio State: 299-94, 132-60 Big Ten

NCAA record: 24-13, two Final Fours

Number to note: Ohio State is 5-12 against Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin the last two seasons.

Why he’s ranked here: In general, Matta is as steady as they come. He’s only missed the NCAA Tournament twice as a head coach. Ohio State was under NCAA sanctions in one of those; the Buckeyes won the NIT in the other. That said, the Buckeyes have taken a dip the last two seasons, finishing fifth and sixth in the Big Ten and failing to reach the Sweet 16.

 

15. Mark Few, Gonzaga

Record at Gonzaga: 438–103, 212–25 West Coast Conference

NCAA record: 19-16

Number to note: Few’s 95 wins during the last three seasons are the most in the country and the most of any three-year period during his career.

Why he’s ranked here: Gonzaga is arguably better than it’s ever been in the last three seasons under Few, advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1999 and earning a No. 1 ranking in 2013.

 

16. Shaka Smart, Texas

Record at Texas: First season

NCAA record: 7-5, one Final Four

Number to note: VCU led the nation in defensive turnover rate on KenPom from 2012-14 and still finished 11th last season despite losing defensive stopper Briante Weber midway through the year.

Why he’s ranked here: The 2011 Final Four and the Havoc defense are the lead items in Smart’s career, but it’s worth noting VCU remained consistent despite moving from the Colonial to the more competitive Atlantic 10.

 

Related: Athlon Sports preseason college basketball top 25

 

17. Kevin Ollie, UConn

Record at UConn: 72–33, 32–22 Big East/American

NCAA record: 6–0, one Final Four, one championship

Number to note: Under Ollie, UConn is 6–12 against KenPom top 100 teams in American Athletic Conference teams (10–14 including the league tournament).

Why he’s ranked here: The unlikely national championship run in 2014 vaulted Ollie to stardom. Apart from those three weeks, UConn has been mediocre. This should be a more typical season for a Huskies team wholly assembled under Ollie.

 

18. Lon Kruger, Oklahoma

Record at Oklahoma: 82-49, 40-32 Big 12

NCAA record: 16-16, one Final Four

Number to note: Oklahoma’s 36 Big 12 wins in the last three seasons under Kruger are the most for the Sooners since 2001-03.

Why he’s ranked here: Kruger cleaned up the mess left by Kelvin Sampson and Jeff Capel, leading the Sooners to their first Sweet 16 since 2009. There should be more to come.

 

19. Bob Huggins, West Virginia

Record at West Virginia: 175-101, 80-64 Big East/Big 12

NCAA record: 26-21, two Final Fours

Number to note: Huggins is seven wins short of 700 in Division I (his official career record includes 71 wins at Walsh University).

Why he’s ranked here: Huggins led West Virginia to its best season in five years by radically changing his approach — in his 33rd year as a head coach. The Mountaineers became a full-court pressing team that was the best in the country at forcing turnovers and steals.

 

20. Steve Fisher, San Diego State

Record at San Diego State: 339–185, 143–103 Mountain West

NCAA record: 26–14, three Final Fours, one championship

Number to note: Fisher is responsible for all of San Diego State’s six NCAA Tournament wins and all of the Aztecs’ 66 weeks ranked in the AP poll.

Why he’s ranked here: What Fisher has accomplished at San Diego State during the last six seasons is staggering — four Mountain West titles, two 30-win season and two Sweet 16 appearances. An NCAA investigation regarding potential rules violations, however, casts a shadow over the program.

 

21. Larry Brown, SMU

Record at SMU: 69–34, 32–20 Conference USA/American

NCAA record: 19–10, three Final Fours, one championship

Number to note: SMU’s 54 wins the last two seasons are the most in back-to-back years in school history. The next highest is 48 wins from 1986-88. th in adjusted tempo on KenPom, but eight of his 10 teams in Westwood ranked outside of the top 100 in tempo, including five outside of the top 200.

Why he’s ranked here: Brown’s coaching ledger is tough to beat. He’s a Hall of Famer with championships in the NBA and in college. His revival of the SMU basketball program, ending a 22-year NCAA Tournament drought and turning the Mustangs into one of the top teams in the American, is another chapter of a storied career. That said, it has come as at a price as SMU was hit for major NCAA violations, resulting in a postseason ban and a nine-game suspension for Brown.

 

22. Larry Krystkowiak, Utah

Record at Utah: 68-64, 30-42 Pac-12

NCAA record: 3-3

Number to note: In Krystkowiak’s four seasons, Utah has improved in KenPom’s ratings from No. 297 to No. 108 to No. 42 to No. 8.

Why he’s ranked here: By taking Utah to its second Sweet 16 since Rick Majerus left, Krystkowiak has resurrected the Utah program in an improving Pac-12. With Delon Wright gone, this is could be a critical season for Utah’s staying power.

 

23. Mike Brey, Notre Dame

Record at Notre Dame: 332-165, 157-100 Big East/ACC

NCAA Tournament: 9-12

Number to note: Scoring down? Not for Notre Dame. Of Brey’s 15 teams in South Bend, 11 have averaged 70 points per game in conference play.

Why he’s ranked here: Last year’s trip to the Elite Eight was Notre Dame’s first time reaching the second weekend of the Tournament since 2003. Brey generally can be counted on for about 25 wins a year and pushing 30 wins every now and then.

 

24. Ben Howland, Mississippi State

Record at Mississippi State: First season

NCAA record: 19–10, three Final Fours

Number to note: What kind of team will Howland have at Mississippi State? His last team at UCLA ranked 30th in adjusted tempo on KenPom, but eight of his 10 teams in Westwood ranked outside of the top 100 in tempo, including five outside of the top 200.

Why he’s ranked here: Howland will have a fresh start at Mississippi State after his tenure grew stale at UCLA. He already proved he could continue to recruit at a high level, landing legacy Malik Newman.

 

25. Bruce Pearl, Auburn

Record at Auburn: 15–20, 4–14 SEC

NCAA record: 10–8

Number to note: Auburn’s three SEC Tournament wins to cap Pearl’s first season were as many as the Tigers had from 2001-14. In that run, Auburn defeated NCAA Tournament hopefuls Texas A&M and LSU.

Why he’s ranked here: Last season was Pearl’s first losing campaign as a college basketball coach, including his years at Division II Southern Indiana. With the way he’s recruited at Auburn, it might be his last losing season for a while.

 

26. Archie Miller, Dayton

Record at Dayton: 90–47, 39–27 Atlantic 10

NCAA record: 5–2

Number to note: Miller’s five NCAA Tournament wins the last two years is as many as the Flyers had in total from 1975-2013.

Why he’s ranked here: Dayton reached the Elite Eight in 2014, but last season may have been the most impressive coaching job for Miller. A shorthanded roster with no post players went 13–5 in the A-10 and won two NCAA Tournament games. Soon, Miller will be the top candidate for a top program.

 

27. Mark Turgeon, Maryland

Record at Maryland: 87-50, 37-33 ACC/Big Ten

NCAA record: 6-6

Number to note: In eight seasons at Maryland and Texas A&M, Turgeon’s teams have ranked in the top 40 in defensive efficiency on KenPom six times.

Why he’s ranked here: Turgeon led Maryland to its best season since the 2003 national championship last year and will have a preseason top 10 team for the first time in his career.

 

28. Jim Larranaga, Miami

Record at Miami: 91-49, 41-29 ACC

NCAA Tournament: 7-6, one Final Four

Number to note: Miami is 7-2, 6-6 and 10-3 in the last three seasons on the road. The Hurricanes’ previous winning season on the road was in 1999-2000.

Why he’s ranked here: Larranaga might not match his banner year with Miami — a 29-win season and an ACC championship in 2013 — but last year’s 25 wins was still the second-most in school history. The ‘Canes will be in NCAA contention again this season.

 

29. Buzz Williams, Virginia Tech

Record at Virginia Tech: 11-22, 2-16 ACC

NCAA Tournament record: 8-5

Number to note: Williams’ Marquette teams were ranked in the top 30 of KenPom in five consecutive seasons — each one except for his last.

Why he’s ranked here: Virginia Tech has been ill-equipped to compete in the ACC, both before Williams arrived and during his first season. After gutting the roster, Williams is ready to begin anew.

 

30. Dana Altman, Oregon

Record at Oregon: 123-57, 55-35 Pac-12

NCAA record: 6-11

Number to note: Altman has won at least 10 conference games in 18 of his last 19 seasons, the exception being his first season at Oregon in 2010-11.

Why he’s ranked here: Altman is the first coach to lead Oregon to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments, but scandal and faltering attendance have marred his program.

 

31. Chris Mack, Xavier

Record at Xavier: 134-71, 67-33 Atlantic 10/Big East

NCAA record: 6-5

Number to note: In the last two seasons, Mack is 0-6 against Villanova (including the conference tournament) and 22-13 against the rest of the Big East.

Why he’s ranked here: Although Mack may not be held in as high esteem as predecessor Sean Miller, Mack has reached the Sweet 16 three times in his six seasons at Xavier.

 

32. Bob McKillop, Davidson

Record at Davidson: 496–300, 304–108 Big South/Southern/Atlantic 10

NCAA record: 3–8

Number to note: Davidson has ranked in the top 40 in offensive efficiency in each of the last four seasons, topping out at eighth last year.

Why he’s ranked here: McKillop was a good coach before recruiting Stephen Curry and a good coach after Curry left. After moving up from the SoCon, the Wildcats won the A-10 in their first season in the league.

 

33. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh

Record at Pittsburgh: 307-111, 134-74 Big East/ACC

NCAA Tournament record: 12-10

Number to note: Pitt is 19-17 as an ACC member, including 0-10 against Duke, Louisville, NC State and Virginia.

Why he’s ranked here: The last four seasons have been an enigma for Dixon, who once led one of the most steady programs in the country in his first eight seasons at Pitt. The Panthers have missed two of the last four NCAA Tournaments and last year alone beat North Carolina and Notre Dame but lost to lowly Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

 

34. John Thompson III, Georgetown

Record at Georgetown: 317-157, 119-68 Big East

NCAA record: 9-10, one Final Four

Number to note: Ten of Thompson’s 11 teams at Georgetown have ranked in the top 100 nationally in both offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom. Four teams have been among the top 50 most efficient teams on both ends of the court.

Why he’s ranked here: Thompson went 6-2 in the NCAA Tournament in his first two trips with Georgetown and 3-6 since. The early NCAA Tournament exits to lower-seeded teams will haunt him, even if they came against Final-Four bound VCU in 2011 and Stephen Curry in 2008.

 

35. Ed Cooley, Providence

Record at Providence: 79-56, 34-38 Big East

NCAA record: 0-2

Number to note: Providence’s KenPom rating has improved from No. 112 to 70 to 51 to 30 during Cooley’s tenure. The conference record has improved each year to match. Cooley’s KenPom ranking improved each of his five seasons at Fairfield as well.

Why he’s ranked here: The ceiling at Providence is well-established and Cooley may break through it. Cooley is the first coach since Rick Barnes to take Providence to back-to-back NCAA Tourneys (1989-90) and first since Barnes to win 20 games in back-to-back seasons (1993-94).

 

36. Steve Alford, UCLA

Record at UCLA: 50-23, 23-13 Pac-12

NCAA record: 9-9

Number to note: All of Alford’s teams since 2006-07 at Iowa have been ranked in the top 100 of both offensive and defensive efficiency on KenPom.

Why he’s ranked here: UCLA has reached the Sweet 16 in each Alford’s first two seasons (with the assist of facing double-digit seeds UAB and Stephen F. Austin in the round of 32). With his deepest roster in Westwood, Alford will be expected to challenge for bigger prizes.

 

37. Scott Drew, Baylor

Record at Baylor: 230-160, 85-115 Big 12

NCAA record: 8-5

Number to note: Baylor has ranked in the top 20 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency in each of the last four seasons and seven of the last eight.

Why he’s ranked here: It’s not fashionable to talk about Drew as a great coach — especially after Baylor’s first-round loss to Georgia State last season — but Drew is responsible for seven of the 10 20-win seasons in Baylor history, including each of the last four.

 

38. Mark Gottfried, NC State

Record at NC State: 92-52, 39-31 ACC

NCAA Tournament: 10-11

Number to note: Gottfried’s five NCAA wins in four years (including two Sweet 16 appearances) is the most at NC State since the Jim Valvano heyday.

Why he’s ranked here: NC State is consistent (between 22-24 wins and 9-11 ACC wins every year) under Gottfried but also a bit of a roller coaster. This is a team good enough to reach the Sweet 16 and beat a top ACC team, but has never won more than three ACC games in a row during the regular season.

 

39. Fran McCaffery, Iowa

Record at Iowa: 96-75, 42-48 Big Ten

NCAA record: 3-7

Number to note: McCaffery’s 67 wins over the last three seasons in the most for Iowa in a three-year span since Tom Davis went 77-25 from 1986-89.

Why he’s ranked here: McCaffery has revived the Hawkeyes' program, but he still has work to do to get Iowa into the same stratosphere as Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State.

 

40. Rick Byrd, Belmont

Record at Belmont: 711–369, 192–64 Atlantic Sun/Ohio Valley

NCAA record: 0–7

Number to note: Belmont has had either the best or second-best conference record each year since 2006 in both the Atlantic Sun and Ohio Valley

Why he’s ranked here: Byrd is tied with two others for the most NCAA Tournament appearances without a win. It’s a dubious record, but one that shouldn’t overshadow that Byrd is a campus institution who turned an NAIA also-ran into one of the flagship programs of the Ohio Valley Conference.

 

41. Mick Cronin, Cincinnati

Record at Cincinnati: 185–118, 85–75 Big East/American

NCAA record: 4–7

Number to note: Cincinnati has ranked in the top 25 in defensive efficiency in each of the last five seasons. .

Why he’s ranked here: The Bearcats might not be a consistent top-10 team again, but Cincinnati always will be respectable under Cronin. The Bearcats have made five consecutive NCAA Tournaments under Cronin.

 

42. Brad Underwood, Stephen F. Austin

Record at Stephen F. Austin: 61–8, 35–1 Southland

NCAA record: 1–2

Number to note: Stephen F. Austin has ranked fifth and seventh nationally in defensive turnover rate in two seasons under Underwood.

Why he’s ranked here: A decade ago, Underwood was a junior college coaches. By the end of his third season, he might find himself a candidate for major jobs.

 

43. Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt

Record at Vanderbilt: 313–206, 127–135 SEC

NCAA record: 6–8

Number to note: A sign things are about to turn at Vanderbilt: The Commodores ranked 19th in offensive efficiency on KenPom last season. Stallings’ best teams at Vanderbilt from 2010-12 all ranked in the top 30. Vanderbilt returns all but two notable players from last year’s team.

Why he’s ranked here: Stallings doesn’t always get his due, and that’s understandable. His teams have reached only six NCAA Tournaments at Vanderbilt, and only two advanced to the Sweet 16. But he’s also the fourth-longest tenured coach in a power conference after Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski and Tom Izzo.

 

44. Tom Crean, Indiana

Record at Indiana: 121-111, 49-77 Big Ten

NCAA record: 9-8, one Final Four

Number to note: Three of Crean’s last four teams have shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range.

Why he’s ranked here: Perpetually on the hot seat, Crean is entering a critical season. The Hoosiers have had a winning Big Ten record twice since he was hired in 2008.

 

45. Matt Painter, Purdue

Record at Purdue: 212-125, 101-75 Big Ten

NCAA record: 8-8

Number to note: Purdue has lost seven in a row to Michigan State, four in a row to Wisconsin, seven of eight to Ohio State and four of the last five against Michigan.

Why he’s ranked here: Painter has pulled Purdue out of its two-year funk since the Robbie Hummel class left. The Boilermakers have a huge season ahead of them.

 

46. Tim Miles, Nebraska

Record at Nebraska: 47-79, 21-33 Big Ten

NCAA record: 0-2

Number to note: Nebraska hasn’t finished in the top 100 offensive efficiency since 2000-10 or the top 90 since 2003-04. Last year’s team was the worst offensive showing for Nebraska since 2002-03.

Why he’s ranked here: This time last year, Miles appeared to have Nebraska on the rise after the Cornhuskers’ first NCAA appearance since 1998. Last season showed how far his roster has to go.

 

47. Tommy Amaker, Harvard

Record at Harvard: 108–84, 78–34 Ivy

NCAA record: 4–5

Number to note: Amaker is 59–11 in the Ivy League in his last five seasons alone.

Why he's ranked here: Harvard had one NCAA Tournament appearance and no NCAA Tournament wins before Amaker was hired. The Crimson have had four consecutive trips to the tournament, including upsets of top-five seeds Cincinnati and New Mexico.

 

48. Rick Barnes, Tennessee

Record at Tennessee: First season

NCAA record: 21–22, one Final Four

Number to note: Barnes has missed the NCAA Tournament only once since 1996.

Why he’s ranked here: While it’s tough to go to the NCAA Tournament nearly every year for two decades, Texas didn’t reach its full potential under Barnes. In 17 seasons with all the resources at Texas, Barnes reached the Final Four once and never won the Big 12 tournament. The Longhorns failed to reach the Sweet 16 or even claim a share of the Big 12 title in his last seven years. Could a change of scenery do him good?

 

49. Mike Anderson, Arkansas

Record at Arkansas: 86–48, 39–31 SEC

NCAA record: 8–7

Number to note: Anderson’s teams at UAB, Missouri and Arkansas have ranked in the top 40 in defensive turnover rate in all but one year of his career and in the top 20 11 times.

Why he’s ranked here: Arkansas steadily improved in each of Anderson’s four seasons before the Razorbacks lost to North Carolina in the round of 32 in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. He’s more or less starting from scratch this season.

 

50. Cuonzo Martin, Cal

Record at Cal: 18-15, 7-11 Pac-12

NCAA record: 3-1

Number to note: In 2015, Martin signed Cal’s first McDonald’s All-Americans since 2003.

Why he’s ranked here: Cal is expecting big things with Martin adding freshmen Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb to a veteran team. Martin likely will coach a ranked team for the first time in his career.

Teaser:
Ranking the Top 50 College Basketball Coaches for 2015-16
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:15
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2015-kicker-rankings-week-4
Body:

As Week 4 is upon us in the NFL, it's time to look at the kicker rankings. With two teams on a bye, the kicker rankings don't change... all that much.

 

For Stephen Gostkowski owners, if you do have room on your roster to carry two kickers, we don't hold that against you. Gostkowski has been great this year and will continue to be a stud, so if you need two kickers to get through this week (or, just take a zero in the kicker spot), do it.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

If you are looking for a one-week replacement, look no further than the Week 4 kicker rankings:

 

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2015 Kicker Rankings: Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2015-defensespecial-teams-rankings-week-4
Body:

Surprising no one, the Seattle Seahawks DST was a great start in Week 3 against a Chicago Bears team that managed to put up zero points. The Seahawks are the top-rated DST again for Week 4, playing Detroit in Seattle. Matthew Stafford will turn the ball over, and the Seahawks play much better at home than on the road. The Bears face the Oakland Raiders, and if you are looking to stream defenses, Khalil Mack and the Raiders are a nice plug-and-play option this week, as the Bears' offense is struggling. Another interesting streamer is the Green Bay Packers DST, cracking the top 10. They face the also-struggling San Francisco 49ers.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Here are the rest of the Week 4 DST rankings:

 

 

 

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2015 Defense/Special Teams Rankings: Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2015-quarterback-rankings-week-4
Body:

After throwing five touchdowns on "Monday Night Football" in Week 3, it should be no surprise that Aaron Rodgers is the No. 1-ranked quarterback for Week 4. With 10 touchdowns and no interceptions so far this season, he is in the running for the top quarterback overall. Carson Palmer, Derek Carr and Andy Dalton all make appearances in the top 10 this week as well, based on how well they've been playing — and how many other starting quarterbacks have gotten injured.

 

Related: 5 Quarterback Replacements for Fantasy Owners Who Lost Ben Roethlisberger

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

It's been a rough position so far this season, but the QB rankings are here to help you in Week 4:

 

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

— Written by Sarah Lewis, who is part of the Athlon Contributor network and lives, eats, and breathes fantasy football. She also writes for SoCalledFantasyExperts.com among other sites. Have a fantasy football question? Send it to her on Twitter @Sarah_Lewis32.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2015 Quarterback Rankings: Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2015-wide-receiver-rankings-week-4
Body:

Week 4 is upon us and your AthlonSports.com fantasy team is back with the weekly positional rankings. As with every week these will likely be tweaked as the week goes on with injury updates and what not. These rankings should be able to help you with some Start or Sit questions or issues you may be having.

 

It is also the first week of byes and with New England and Tennessee not playing this week some bigger names will need to be replaced. Use all of our positional rankings to help determine who you should start, and the Flex rankings to help with multiple position issues you may be having for Week 4.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Most importantly, good luck this week! Here are the Week 4 WR rankings:

 

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2015 Wide Receiver Rankings: Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2015-flex-rankings-week-4
Body:

Flex rankings are here for Week 4, and should be your best weapon for deciding who to plug in to your flex positions for the upcoming fantasy week. With bye weeks starting this week and a game in London very early on Sunday some decisions will need to be made a little sooner. They may also be more difficult as you may need to find replacements for Rob Gronkowski or Julian Edelman.

 

Week 4 is also the turning point for me in the young fantasy season where depending how you do will determine how you should handle the rest of the upcoming season. Should you sit tight or try and strengthen your starting lineup? Do you need to drop players, make trades, or blow up your roster? Maybe it is already over and you need to focus on DFS.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Look forward to more posts from myself and the AthlonSports.com team focusing on strategies, whether to panic or remain patient with certain players, other positional rankings, injury updates and Start/Sit posts. We are here to help you win, and if you are looking to win in DFS keep reading my posts too and we can try to win money together.

 

Fantasy Football Rankings powered by FantasyPros

 

 

— Written by Chris Meyers, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a member of the FSWA. Meyers' work appears on many other sites, including socalledfantasyexperts.com. Follow him on Twitter @FantsyChillpony.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2015 Flex Rankings: Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:00
Path: /fantasy/fantasy-football-2015-running-back-rankings-week-4
Body:

One trend that appears to be taking shape this fantasy season is that you cannot count on supposed stud running backs each week. First or early second-round picks like Marshawn Lynch, Jeremy Hill, C.J. Anderson and DeMarco Murray have been severely outplayed by guys who were late-round fliers or even went undrafted in many fantasy leagues (Karlos Williams, Matt Jones, Darren Sproles — to name a few) and the list could keep on going.

 

The important takeaway in all this is that you can't have enough depth in your backfield and need to try and identify those running backs that are seemingly well positioned to have a big week. That's why these running back rankings are so important.

 

Positional Rankings: QB I RB I WR I TE I DST I K I Flex

 

Here are the Week 4 RB rankings:

 

RankPlayerTeamOpp
1Matt Forte CHI vs. OAK
2Le'Veon Bell PIT vs. BAL (Thurs.)
3Jamal Charles KC at CIN
4Latavius Murray OAK at CHI
5Joseph Randle DAL at NO
6Adrian Peterson MIN vs. DEN
7Karlos Williams BUF vs. NYG
8Devonta Freeman ATL vs. HOU
9Carlos Hyde SF vs. GB
10Frank Gore IND vs. JAC
11Mark Ingram NO vs. DAL
12T.J. Yeldon JAC at IND
13Jonathan Stewart CAR at TB
14Melvin Gordon SD vs. CLE
15Chris Ivory NYJ at MIA (London)
16Marshawn Lynch* SEA vs. DET (Mon.)
17Jeremy Hill CIN vs. KC
18Lamar Miller MIA vs. NYJ (London)
19Arian Foster* HOU at ATL
20DeMarco Murray PHI at WAS
21Giovani Bernard CIN vs. KC
22Justin Forsett BAL at PIT (Thurs.)
23Isiah Crowell CLE at SD
24Danny Woodhead SD vs. CLE
25C.J. Anderson DEN vs. MIN
26Todd Gurley STL at ARI
27Alfred Morris WAS vs. PHI
28Rashad Jennings NYG at BUF
29Matt Jones WAS vs. PHI
30Andre Ellington ARI vs. STL
31Ameer Abdullah DET at SEA (Mon.)
32Ronnie Hillman DEN vs. MIN
33Shane Vereen NYG at BUF
34Doug Martin TB vs. CAR
35Duke Johnson CLE at SD
36Bilal Powell NYJ at MIA (London)
37Chris Johnson ARI vs. STL
38Charles Sims TB vs. CAR
39Darren Sproles PHI at WAS
40Lance Dunbar DAL at NO
41C.J. Spiller NO vs. DAL
42Ryan Matthews PHI at WAS
43Alfred Blue HOU at ATL
44Darren McFadden DAL at NO
45Thomas Rawls SEA vs. DET (Mon.)
46Lorenzo Taliaferro BAL at PIT (Thurs.)
47Mike Davis SF vs. GB
48Tre Mason STL at ARI
49Joique Bell DET at SEA (Mon.)
50Anthony Dixon BUF vs. NYG

*May or not play due to injury, monitor status this week

 

— Written by Michael Horvath, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Horvath is a Canadian who also happens to be a fantasy football (not to be confused with CFL) and fitness nut. Follow him on Twitter @realmikehorvath.

Teaser:
Fantasy Football 2015 Running Back Rankings: Week 4
Post date: Thursday, October 1, 2015 - 08:00

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