Articles By All

All taxonomy terms: Monthly
Path: /monthly/american-annual-entertaining-informative-thought-provoking
Body:

Every year delivers events that change our lives, alter our thinking and inspire us beyond measure. And every year, people pass away, leaving us sad, sometimes shaken and almost always introspective. This past year was certainly no different.
 
Finally, there is a book that encapsulates the past year and offers relevant perspective to the events and people who changed the world in 2014. The American Annual: 2014 in Perspective was published by AMG/Parade in February.

 

Derek Jeter bid farewell. The Winter Olympics introduced us to fresh faces like Mikaela Shiffrin. Tim Howard became a national hero at the World Cup. Americans were introduced to 13-year-old Mo’ne Davis, a role model in many ways during the Little League World Series. The San Francisco Giants, led by an incredible pitching performance by Madison Bumgarner, won their third World Series in five years. San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich continued to prove—in his own way—that he was a mastermind among NBA coaches. Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers posted a record-breaking season, comparable to the great Sandy Koufax. And we finally had a Final Four in College Football, although a catchy name has yet to emerge. 

 

These are just a few of the sports subjects that The American Annual tackles. In addition, an entertainment section explores how Jimmy Fallon hit the REFRESH button on late night TV. The stylish, 160-page coffee table book also offers perspective on ISIS, the threat of Ebola in the U.S. and why Sony cancelled a $75 million movie.

 

As we do every year, we said final good-byes to many American icons in 2014. For some, we celebrated long, full lives. For others, the loss feels too soon and too sudden. In The American Annual, we celebrate cherished memories and contributions that made us think, smile, cheer and learn. Here’s to Tony Gwynn and Chuck Noll, who made us cheer; Don Meyer and Frank Jobe, who—each in their own way—had such profound impacts on others’ lives; Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, who made us laugh; Eileen Ford, who made us rethink women’s roles in business; and Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney and James Garner, who always made us smile. 

 

Readers will enjoy reminiscing about the celebrities we lost in 2014.

 

The American Annual lends perspective to the events of 2014—the celebrations and the tragedies—as well as the people who changed the world. For these entire stories plus many others, go to AmericanAnnual.com for ordering information. 

 

The book is a bargain at $15.95, and is a terrific keepsake for any 2014 graduate, newlywed or newborn.

Teaser:
Post date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 10:04
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-college-football-teams-nfl-draft-2005
Body:

A decade is a long time in college football. Dynasties begin and end. Conferences ebb and flow. National champions are crowned and de-throned.

 

Even as the SEC as a conference replaced USC as the sport’s dominant figure over the last decade, the Trojans remained the prominent team for the NFL draft through the last 10 years.

 

The Trojans have churned out more NFL Draft picks in the last 10 cycles than any other team, despite the SEC’s status as the powerhouse conference of the era.

 

Make no mistake, the SEC is a force on draft day. Alabama has produced more first-round picks than any other team in the last 10 years. Of the top 10 college teams in the NFL from 2005-14, four are from the SEC.

 

The SEC has sent more total players (466) and first-round picks (93) to the draft that any other league by a wide margin.

 

But as far as a single school in the last 10 drafts, USC is still on top.

 

Athlon Sports has looked at each power conference in the NFL Draft in the last 10 seasons. We’ve collected the top 25 teams here.

 

For a more in-depth look at each team in each power conference, we’ve collected them here:

ACC

Big 12

Big Ten

Pac-12

SEC

 

We've also collected the draft numbers for every active coach.

 

College Football's Top Teams in the NFL Draft

2005-2014

 

 SchoolTotal PicksFirst Round2004-13 Record
1.681489-27 (.767)
2.6314104-27 (.794)
3.579105-28 (.789)
4.55794-37 (.718)
5.541380-40 (.667)
6.531680-30 (.727)
7.521392-24 (.793)
8.471194-36 (.723)
9.46675-50 (.600)
10.42696-35 (.733)
T11.41999-30 (.739)
T11.41585-44 (.659)
T13.40668-57 (.544)
T13.40578-48 (.619)
T13.40399-35 (.739)
16.39476-50 (.603)
T17.36484-46 (.646)
T17.36484-39 (.682)

T17.

36498-30 (.766)
20.35967-58 (.536)
T21.34992-37 (.713)
T21.34748-60 (.444)
T21.34677-49 (.611)
T21.34583-44 (.654)
25.33273-52 (.584)

FBS Conferences in the NFL Draft

2005-14

 

ConferenceTotal PicksFirst Round
46693
40363
38254
34238
23337
1346
1209
675
530
442

*in their current lineups

Teaser:
Ranking College Football Teams in the NFL Draft Since 2015
Post date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 09:30
All taxonomy terms: John Wall, Washington Wizards, NBA
Path: /nba/washington-wizards-are-looking-title-contenders
Body:

The regular season and the playoffs are simply not the same, and in the NBA the difference between the two may be more pronounced than in any major sports league.

 

The Washington Wizards are showing us this quite clearly today. The Wizards have advanced to the second round of the postseason after making mincemeat of the Toronto Raptors in a sweep. Now, they wait and rest as the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets carry on with their 2-2 deadlock of a series for the right to face them.

 

It’s looking like this won’t be much of a privilege. Point guard John Wall has been arguably the MVP of this year’s second season, averaging 12.5 assists per game as he zips through defenses and makes life easy for Washington bigs and perimeter shooters. Starting center Marcin Gortat is shooting 75 percent from the floor. Paul Pierce is emboldening the whole crew, talking a brand of trash that breaks enemies down on their insides.

 

Perhaps most important of all, though, is that head coach Randy Wittman seems to have pulled his head out of the mud. After a season spent struggling through frustrating lineups and play calls, he’s suddenly utilizing a five-man set that includes Pierce as a stretch power forward and makes the Wizards look frequently unguardable.

 

Was Wittman playing possum all along? This is an idea that fans and analysts have recently had fun with, particularly given this seemingly telling moment, in which the supposedly witless leader couldn’t figure out his clipboard:

 

With the Hawks looking taxed by a team that barely made the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers losing Kevin Love for the postseason and the Chicago Bulls struggling against the Milwaukee Bucks, Washington suddenly almost appears to be the favorite to come out of the Eastern Conference.

 

— John Wilmes

@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 14:25
Path: /college-football/2015-nfl-draft-prediction-west-virginia-de-shaq-riddick
Body:

With the 2015 NFL Draft upon us, writers from WVUPros and BlueGoldSports.com will team up and give you our predictions on where some of your favorite Mountaineers might land. Today, we examine DE Shaq Riddick and where he might land in the draft.

 

Many considered Riddick to be West Virginia’s top prospect heading into the last season before he ever played a snap. Riddick played one season at WVU after transferring in from Gardner-Webb. After a slow start to the season, Riddick came on late in the season, showing the speed and motor that led some to compare him to former Mountaineer, now Seattle Seahawk Bruce Irvin.

 

At almost 6-6, 231 lbs., Riddick needs to add some bulk, particularly in his lower body to fight off would-be blockers when plays are run in his direction. He had a great showing at the Medal of Honor Bowl, logging two sacks in his last collegiate action.

 

Predictions

 

Caleb Wygal, WVUPros

6th Round, 198 overall – Arizona Cardinals

One of the Cards' biggest remaining draft needs is at defensive end. The Cards have shown interest in Riddick, and he could wind up playing in the desert.

 

Jerry McGhee, BlueGoldSports.com

Undrafted

Riddick is a player with a high motor, but never reached his full potential at WVU. If a team takes a chance, it will be after the draft, and then Riddick will have the opportunity to showcase his ability in training camp. Carolina may be a landing spot after the draft.

 

Jeremy Simon, BlueGoldSports.com

6th round, 187 overall – New Orleans Saints

Riddick is low off the line and has a burst that makes him much like Bruce Irvin. While he has to work on his size he could enter the league as a pass rusher. The Saints will be looking to stack up on defense in the draft and Riddick could fit into their plans in the later rounds.


Adam DelGuercio, WVUPros

Undrafted

Riddick is a long and lean situational pass rusher. I’ve heard him referred to as a poor man’s Randy Gregory. Look for a team in the midst of a defensive rebuild to grab him as an undrafted free agent. My prediction is the Atlanta Falcons.

 

 

— Jeremy Simon is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.

 

Teaser:
BlueGoldSports.com and WVUPros.com offer their best guess as to where the Mountaineers' 2015 draft prospects could hear their name called this weekend
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 13:00
All taxonomy terms: Arkansas Razorbacks, College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/bret-bielema-receives-championship-belt-celebrate-arkansas-bowl-win-over-texas
Body:

Arkansas made quite the statement when it pounded Texas 31-7 in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 29. The Razorbacks thoroughly dominated their old Southwest Conference rivals, and while bowl games aren’t necessarily the best indicator of teams, it was a huge victory for coach Bret Bielema.

 

Fast forward to April and Bielema and Arkansas is still celebrating the victory over Texas.

 

On Monday, Bielema tweeted out this photo from a championship belt he received from the Texas Bowl victory. According to Bielema, the belt was produced by JT Custom Leather from Granbury, Texas.

 

Teaser:
Bret Bielema Receives Championship Belt to Celebrate Arkansas' Bowl Win Over Texas
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 12:44
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/dont-be-stupid-tampa-bay-take-jameis-winston
Body:

Jameis Winston is going to be the new starting quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

 

This time of year, narratives floated to the media are intentionally misleading so it’s hard to know what to believe. If anything.

 

So it comes with great comfort that I can report that I have no sources, no inside information, no shadowy figures telling me that Winston will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

 

It would just be that stupid for the Bucs to pass on the Florida State signal-caller.

 

Like most who have covered Winston’s transition from five-star prep recruit to Heisman Trophy quarterback to NFL prospect, I’m as tired of talking about his maturation process and personal decision-making as much as the next guy.

 

His behavior has been highly suspect at best and allegedly abhorrent at worst. But when it comes to his on-the-field talent, Winston is the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL Draft since Andrew Luck.

 

Related: NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the Quarterbacks

 

He was the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the nation coming out of Hueytown (Ala.) High School in the class of 2012. After redshirting, all Winston did was lead his team to an undefeated BCS national championship, winning a Heisman Trophy and smashing the NCAA record book along the way.

 

In 2014, against a much tougher schedule with a less talented supporting cast and under a significantly brighter spotlight (some of his own doing), Winston led Florida State to another undefeated ACC championship.

 

He’s big. He’s strong. He’s got a great arm. He’s a leader. He’s a winner. He produced big numbers. And he’s clutch when the game is on the line.

 

What more could you possibly want on the field from a quarterback prospect?

 

Facing certain playoff elimination against Notre Dame in the final 10 minutes? No big deal, Winston drove the Noles for the game-winning touchdown. Trailing 24-7 in the third quarter on the road against Louisville? How about 35 points in the final 24 minutes. Down six points with 11 minutes remaining against rival Miami on the road? Yawn, two drives produce 10 points and another come-from-behind victory.

 

Boston College? Florida? Georgia Tech?

 

And it seems entirely too convenient to forget the final 1:19 of the BCS era. Winston’s seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive against Auburn in the Rose Bowl was downright masterful. He completed 6-of-7 passes to win the national championship.

 

Time and time again, Winston did what the NFL defines as the ultimate success: Just win baby. Only once in 27 tries did anyone ever beat Winston during his entire college career. He started 25 regular season football games and he won every one.

 

The off-the-field decision-making is a major issue that only hours of face-to-face meetings clarify.

 

But with a strong personality for a head coach in Lovie Smith, a host of elite playmakers surrounding him and a Sunshine State zip code, the Tampa Bay Bucs would be absolutely foolish not to take Jameis Winston with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

Teaser:
Don't Be Stupid Tampa Bay, Take Jameis Winston
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/ranking-2015-nfl-draft-top-100-prospects
Body:

It’s here. NFL Draft week is finally here.

 

For three straight days, 32 fanbases will watch the future of the NFL fall into place as 256 former college players hope to hear their team called between Thursday and Saturday. Super Bowls are won and lost every year on draft weekend and 2015 won’t be any different.

 

With that in mind, here are our Top 100 prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft.

 

2015 NFL Draft Top 100

 

 PlayerTeamPos.HtWt
1Jameis Winston*QB6’4”232
2Leonard Williams*DT6’5”298
3Amari Cooper*WR6’1”210
4Marcus Mariota*QB6’4”222
5Dante Fowler Jr.*DE6’2”261
6Andrus Peat*OT6’7”312
7Brandon ScherffOL6’5”320
8Todd Gurley*RB6'0"222
9Kevin WhiteWR6'2"215
10Vic BeasleyOLB6'3"245
11Alvin DupreeOLB6’4”267
12La’el CollinsOT6’5”321
13Shane Ray*OLB6’3”245
14Landon Collins*S6’0”222
15Dorial Green-Beckham*WR6’5”237
16Melvin Gordon*RB6'0"215
17Trae Waynes*CB6'0"186
18Randy Gregory*OLB6'4"235
19Marcus Peters*CB5'11"198
20Jaelen Strong*WR6'2"217
21Malcom Brown*DT6’4”320
22DeVante ParkerWR6'2"209
23Danny SheltonDT6’2”332
24Ereck Flowers*OT6’5”324
25Shaq Thompson*OLB6’2”231
26Eddie Goldman*DT6’3”320
27TJ ClemmingsOT6’5”305
28Cameron ErvingOL6’5”308
29Benardrick McKinney*ILB6’4”249
30D.J. Humphries*OT6'5"307
31Eric KendricksILB6’0”230
32Nelson Agholor*WR6’1”198
33Jalen Collins*CB6'1"203
34Kevin JohnsonCB6’0”188
35Mario Edwards Jr.*DE6’3”294
36Denzel PerrymanILB5'10"236
37Brett Hundley*QB6’3”227
38Arik Armstead*DE6’7”296
39Hau’oli KikahaOLB6’3”253
40Jordan Phillips*DT6’6”335
41Maxx Williams*TE6’5”250
42Ameer AbdullahRB5'8"205
43Paul DawsonILB6'0"235
44Jay AjayiRB5'11"221
45Cedric OgbuehiOT6’5”300
46P.J. Williams*CB6’0”196
47Jake FisherOT6’6”299
48Breshad Perriman*WR6’2”214
49Stephone AnthonyILB6'2"243
50Duke Johnson*RB5’9”206
51Byron MooreCB6'0"199
52A.J. CannOG6’3”311
53Hroniss GrasuC6’3”297
54Preston SmithDE6’4”263
55T.J. Yeldon*RB6'1"221
56Laken TomlinsonOG6’3”320
57Owamagbe OdighizuwaDE6’3”270
58Eli Harold*OLB6'3"247
59Tyler LockettWR5'9"182
60Carl DavisDT6’5”315
61Damarious RandallS5'11"196
62Michael BennettDT6’2”288
63Tre’ JacksonOG6’4”330
64Trey FlowersDE6'2"266
65Devin Funchess*WR6'4"232
66Anthony HarrisSS6’1”190
67Devin SmithWR6'0"197
68Tevin Coleman*RB5'11"206
69Ifo Ekpre-OlomuCB5’9”195
70Eric RoweCB6'0"205
71Grady JarrettDT6’1”295
72Nate OrchardOLB6'3"255
73Rashad GreeneWR5'11"182
74Bryce PettyQB6'2"230
75Quinten RollinsCB6’0”203
76Kwon Alexander*OLB6’2”230
77Ronald Darby*CB5’11”195
78Rob HavensteinOT6’8”327
79Sammie Coates*WR6’2”212
80Danielle Hunter*OLB6’6”240
81Henry AndersonDE6’6”295
82Jamison CrowderWR5’9”185
83Buck Allen*RB6'0"221
84Markus GoldenDE6‘3”260
85Ali MarpetHobartOG6'3"307
86Donovan Smith*OT6’5”335
87Stefon Diggs*WR6'0"195
88Phillip DorsettWR5'9"185
89Steven NelsonCB5’11”195
90Cody PrewittSS6’2”217
91Daryl WilliamsOT6'5"327
92Sean MannionQB6'5"229
93Senquez GolsonCB5’9”176
94Hayes PullardILB6'0"240
95Garrett GraysonQB6'2"213
96Josh ShawCB6’1”200
97B.J. FinneyC6'3"318
98Doran GrantCB5'10"200
99Ty MontgomeryWR6’2”215
100Gerod Holliman*FS6’0”201
Teaser:
2015 NFL Draft Top 100 Prospects
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 11:30
Path: /nba/blazers-bucks-nets-mavericks-fighting-first-round-elimination
Body:

The first round of the NBA playoffs, days ago, looked to be a chalk fest. Save for the intriguing showdown between the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers — a pairing talented enough for a conference finals meeting — we looked to be in for a collection of potential sweeps.

 

Then, things got interesting. The Atlanta Hawks, who have largely not looked like supermen since their dominant winter, started to slip against a resurgent Deron Williams, who led the Brooklyn Nets with 35 points last night, bringing their series to a 2-2 tie after a second-straight home victory.

 

The Chicago Bulls began to look unsure of themselves in the task of closing out the young Milwaukee Bucks, who have suddenly developed into poised, shrewd killers in elimination games. After falling down 3-0, Jason Kidd’s squad has won two straight and made the Windy City quite nervous as the series heads back to Milwaukee 3-2 on Thursday.

 

Closing teams out, even if you’re the better group, is hard. Like the Bulls and Hawks, the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies are seeing that too, dropping sweep opportunities against the the Dallas Mavericks and Portland Trail Blazers, respectively. Veterans and newcomers alike have trouble putting their foot down on the opponent’s neck with finality, and sending their colleagues home for a long, reflective summer.

 

The Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards, thus, look all the more impressive for being able to complete their bits of postseason euthanasia swiftly. John Wall and Steph Curry catalyzed their teams to sweeps of the Toronto Raptors and New Orleans, and now both survivors sit pretty as they await the arrival of second-round foes who are still ensconced in early struggles.

 

Now, to see if rest or momentum holds the greater benefit for our remaining title contenders.

 

— John Wilmes

@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 11:22
All taxonomy terms: College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-secs-quarterbacks-2015
Body:

A handful of SEC teams enter the offseason with uncertainty at quarterback, but there’s no doubt about which player belongs at the top of the rankings for 2015. Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott is the reigning first-team All-SEC quarterback and one of the top signal-callers in college football for 2015.

 

After Prescott is where the intrigue begins in the SEC. Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson is poised for a breakout year in his first season as the starter, while Texas A&M’s Kyle Allen and Tennessee’s Joshua Dobbs are two other rising stars to watch in 2015. Missouri's Maty Mauk and Arkansas' Brandon Allen are experienced options looking to make a move up the rankings.

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of quarterbacks only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the quarterbacks in the SEC for 2015.

 

Ranking the SEC Quarterbacks for 2015

 

1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

En route to a top 10 finish in the Heisman voting, Prescott led Mississippi State to only its third double-digit win total in school history and earned first-team All-SEC honors. In 13 games last year, Prescott passed for 3,449 yards and 27 scores and added 986 yards and 14 rushing scores.

 

2. Jeremy Johnson, Auburn

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Johnson might have the most upside of any quarterback in college football for 2015. The Montgomery native is at the controls of a high-powered offense and has impressed in limited action over the last two seasons. Johnson is 57 of 78 for 858 yards and nine scores since 2013 and has rushed for 40 yards and one score on 11 attempts. He may not have the mobility of Nick Marshall, but Malzahn will adapt the offense to fit Johnson’s strengths in 2015.

 

3. Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Dobbs provided a late-season spark for Tennessee’s offense in 2014. After not playing in the first seven games, Dobbs replaced Nathan Peterman against Alabama and threw for 192 yards and two scores in a 34-20 loss to Alabama. The Georgia native started the final five games for the Volunteers and guided the team to a 4-1 mark in that stretch. In his limited 2014 action, Dobbs threw for 1,206 yards and nine scores and added 469 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.

 

4. Kyle Allen, Texas A&M

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Similar to Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson, Allen is a quarterback with plenty of promise and upside in 2015. Allen replaced Kenny Hill as Texas A&M’s starter for the final five games of 2014 and finished the year with 1,322 passing yards and 16 scores. The Arizona native was the No. 10 prospect in the 2014 247Sports Composite and is only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential entering his sophomore year.

 

5. Maty Mauk, Missouri

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Mauk has experienced his share of ups and downs as Missouri’s No. 1 quarterback. But in his first full season as the starter, Mauk guided the Tigers to a SEC East title and threw for 2,648 yards and 25 scores. Improving his play in conference games is a must if the Tigers want to challenge in the East Division once again. Mauk completed only 48.9 percent of his passes in SEC games last year.

 

6. Brandon Allen, Arkansas

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

New coordinator Dan Enos is tasked with helping Allen and the Arkansas’ passing offense take the next step in 2015. After dealing with a shoulder injury in 2013, Allen rebounded with a solid 2014 campaign and threw for 2,285 yards and 20 scores. Additionally, he only tossed five picks on 339 attempts. Expect more steady production from Allen in 2015.

 

7. Patrick Towles, Kentucky

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Touted redshirt freshman Drew Barker will push for snaps this fall, but Towles is expected to claim the No. 1 spot for the opener. The Kentucky native quietly had a solid debut in his first full year as the starter, throwing for 2,718 yards and 14 scores. Towles also rushed for 303 yards and six touchdowns and ranked sixth in the SEC by averaging 251.8 total yards per game.

 

8. Jacob Coker, Alabama

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Coker was expected by most to win the starting quarterback job last season, but Blake Sims edged the Florida State transfer and started all 14 games for Alabama. Coker enters 2015 as the frontrunner and holds a slight edge over David Cornwell for the No. 1 spot. In six appearances with the Crimson Tide last season, Coker threw for 403 yards and four touchdowns after completing 38 of 59 passes. Can Coker put it all together for a big senior year in Tuscaloosa?

 

9. Brice Ramsey, Georgia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Ramsey gets the nod here, but Faton Bauta made a strong case for the No. 1 job this spring. And needless to say, it’s safe to assume this battle will continue into the fall. Ramsey completed 24 of 39 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns as Hutson Mason’s backup last year. Bauta has attempted only five passes in his Georgia career but brings more mobility to the position than Ramsey. The Bulldogs usually reload without much trouble at quarterback. The guess here is that continues, but Ramsey and Bauta will both see time early in 2015.

 

10. Chad Kelly, Ole Miss

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Kelly continues the run of quarterbacks in this list not completely secure as the starter. The New York native started his career at Clemson and spent two years with the Tigers before transferring to East Mississippi Community College. In 12 games on the junior college level, Kelly threw for 3,906 yards and 47 touchdowns. Talent certainly isn’t an issue for the junior. Can he realize that potential under Hugh Freeze?

 

11. Will Grier, Florida

2015 Year of Eligibility: Redshirt Freshman

 

Treon Harris started the final six games of last season and guided Florida to a 4-2 mark. However, Harris could be unseated by Grier – the No. 48 prospect in the 2014 247Sports Composite – by this fall. Grier is a better fit for new coach Jim McElwain’s offense and finished spring by completing 8 of 11 passes for 136 yards in the spring game. While Grier’s arm should infuse some life into the passing attack, a bigger problem for McElwain and the Florida offense is a line that’s thin on overall depth and proven options.

 

12. Brandon Harris, LSU

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Flip a coin on LSU’s starter right now. Anthony Jennings and Harris closed spring with little separation for the No. 1 job, which means the battle will continue into the fall. Jennings started 12 of LSU’s 13 games last year and threw for 1,611 yards and 11 scores. Harris made one start and completed 25 of 45 passes for 452 yards and six touchdowns. The upside is clearly in favor of Harris. But regardless of which quarterback starts, significant improvement is needed from the passing offense after averaging only 140.6 passing yards in SEC games last year.

 

13. Connor Mitch, South Carolina

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Mitch didn’t play much as a freshman last year, completing 2 of 6 passes for 19 yards in two appearances. The sophomore spent the spring as the favorite to win the job and completed 10 of 16 passes for 183 yards and one touchdown in South Carolina’s final scrimmage. The North Carolina native was the No. 345 overall recruit in the 2013 247Sports Composite, and barring a big performance in the fall by true freshman Lorenzo Nunez, he should take the first snap of the season against North Carolina.

 

14. Johnny McCrary, Vanderbilt

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

McCrary was one of four quarterbacks to make a start for Vanderbilt last season. No Commodore quarterback eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in passing yardage, with McCrary leading the way at 985. He also threw nine touchdowns and completed 51.3 percent of his passes. With Patton Robinette retiring from football this offseason, McCrary is the frontrunner, with Wade Freebeck and Shawn Stankavage the next in line.  

Teaser:
Ranking the SEC's Quarterbacks for 2015
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, SEC, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-sec-teams-nfl-draft-2005
Body:

SEC fans like to brag about conference depth. On that, the NFL can probably agree.

 

No league has been more prolific in the NFL Draft than the SEC in the last decade. The league has had 466 players selected in the last 10 drafts, 63 more than any other conference.

 

In 2014, seven SEC teams had a team selected in the first round of the NFL Draft. Ten teams have produced at least one-first round pick in the last three drafts.

 

None of this should come as too much of a surprise. Since 2006, four SEC teams have combined for seven national championships and several others have been national contenders late into the season.

 

Related: Which College Coach Has Produced the Most NFL Draft Picks?

 

For fans who are college football-centric, NFL Draft day is a chance for bragging rights and a sort of referendum on the relative talent levels for teams and conferences. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.

 

Here’s how teams in the SEC fared in the last 10 drafts, followed by a few observations.

 

*Data derived from Pro Football Reference

 

SEC NFL Draft Picks

2005-2014

 

 SchoolTotal PicksFirst Round2004-13 Record
1.6314104-27 (.794)
2.55794-37 (.718)
3.531680-30 (.727)
4.471194-36 (.723)
5.35967-58 (.536)
T6.34992-37 (.713)
T6.34583-44 (.654)
8.30468-56 (.548)
9.26474-52 (.587)
10.25685-44 (.659)
11.18257-66 (.463)
T12.16453-69 (.434)
T12.16251-71 (.418)
14.14050-73 (.407)

 

• LSU’s and Georgia’s place atop the league in the last decade may be a surprise at first glance, given Alabama’s recent dominance and Florida’s run under Urban Meyer. But under further consideration, it makes sense. LSU and Georgia have been arguably the most consistent performers of the time span. Our 2005-14 window contains the tail end of the Mike Shula era at Alabama and most of the Will Muschamp era at Florida.

 

• Hard to believe, but Alabama was shut out of the 2008 NFL Draft. Since then, the Tide have had 41 players selected overall since the 2009 draft and 15 in the first round alone since the 2010 draft.

 

• The SEC has produced eight teams with 30 or more draft picks in the last 10 years. By comparison, the ACC has five, the Big 12 has two, the Big Ten has six, the Pac-12 has four.

 

• The SEC has accounted for four No. 1 overall selections (South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney, Auburn’s Cam Newton, Georgia’s Matthew Stafford and LSU’s JaMarcus Russell) in our 10-year window. The current Pac-12 lineup is the only other league to produce more than one (Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Utah’s Alex Smith)

 

• Yet another sign of the turmoil Tennessee hopes it has left behind. The Volunteers have produced more draft picks than Auburn, South Carolina and Missouri in the last 10 years and so much less to show for it.

 

• Kentucky is the only SEC team in the last decade without a first-round pick. The Wildcats’ last first-rounder was Dewayne Robertson in 2003.

Teaser:
Ranking SEC Teams in the NFL Draft since 2005
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-acc-teams-nfl-draft-2005
Body:

In the last three seasons, Florida State has rocketed past the field in the ACC, becoming the league’s only true national title contender the last two seasons.

 

The Seminoles have also dominated draft day for the league, no easy feat with teams like Miami and Clemson churning out draft picks.

 

Florida State produced 54 picks in the last 10 NFL Drafts, eight more than any other team in the league.

 

The Seminoles aren’t doing this cheaply or on legacy. FSU’s 13 first-round draft picks lead league by a wide margin — no other team in the ACC has produced more than seven in the last decade. And of Florida State’s 54 draft picks in the last 10 years, 22 have come in the last three seasons.

 

Related: Which College Coach Has Produced the Most NFL Draft Picks?

 

For fans who are college football-centric, NFL Draft day is a chance for bragging rights and a sort of referendum on the relative talent levels for teams and conferences. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.

 

Here’s how teams in the ACC fared in the last 10 drafts, followed by a few observations.

 

*Data derived from Pro Football Reference

 

ACC NFL Draft Picks

2005-2014

 

 SchoolTotal PicksFirst Round2004-13 Record
1.541380-40 (.667)
2.46675-50 (.600)
3.41585-44 (.659)
4.40399-35 (.739)
5.34748-60 (.444)
6.29584-41 (.672)
T7.28555-67 (.451)
T7.28358-65 (.472)
9.24470-55 (.560)
10.21378-53 (.595)
11.20248-74 (.393)
12.19159-64 (.480)
13.17676-52 (.594)
14.2035-86 (.289)

 

• Since Notre Dame will play four or five ACC teams each season for the next few years, it’s worth noting the Irish produced 40 NFL Draft picks in the last 10 seasons, tied with Virginia Tech.

 

• For any other school, 46 NFL Draft picks in a decade would be reason to brag. For Miami, 46 NFL Draft picks in a decade is subpar. The Hurricanes haven’t had a first-round pick since Kenny Phillips in 2008, shocking for a team that produced 33 first-rounders and at least one per year from 1995-2008.

 

• Duke has the longest first-round drought in the ACC, dating back to linebacker Mike Junkin in 1987. Duke is followed by NC State (which had three first-rounders in the 2006 draft) and Miami (2008).

 

• Let’s take another minute to praise the job Duke’s David Cutcliffe has done. Duke has two NFL Draft picks in the last 10 years and the Blue Devils have still gone 11-5 in the league the last two years. After Duke’s two selections in the last two years, the next fewest Power 5 team is Kansas with nine.

 

• Boston College has produced more first-round picks that Clemson or Virginia Tech in the last decade. Who knew?

 

• Louisville fits right in. The Cardinals produced 29 draft picks and five first-rounders, putting them in the top half of the league despite recruiting for most of that time to the Big East and American.

Teaser:
Ranking ACC Teams in the NFL Draft since 2005
Post date: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 09:00
Path: /nba/kevin-love-might-be-out-rest-playoffs
Body:

The Cleveland Cavaliers are moving on, after completing a first-round sweep of the Boston Celtics. But their victory comes at a grave cost: After a questionable play by Boston big man Kelly Olynyk, Cavs starting forward Kevin Love separated his shoulder, and is now expected to miss significant time:

 

This could be a death knell for Cleveland, who are likely to face the Chicago Bulls in a second-round series, probably slated for this upcoming weekend. Even with Love, this matchup looked like a tough one for a Cavs team that’s not exactly battle-tested outside of LeBron James.

 

This bad break is in keeping with Love’s first season in Ohio. He’s been the definitive third option behind James and Kyrie Irving after a stellar few seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he was starting to build buzz as a top-ten player in the league.

 

A suspected nagging back injury, plus an inability to find an optimal role in Cleveland’s offense, have plagued Love’s tenure with the Cavs. Rather than operating out of the post and elbow as the dynamic point forward he was with the Wolves, Love has often been relegated to the job of stretching defenses as a spot-up shooter beyond the three-point arc.

 

Cleveland could, of course, still overcome the Bulls without Love. Having LeBron James on the roster tends to mean that you’ve always got a chance. And Kevin can still come back to play an integral role in the Eastern Conference Finals. But if the Cavs don’t conquer Chicago, huge question marks about his future with the team will grow even larger as we head into the summer.

 

Perhaps a season of great expectations will feel as if it’s been torn away from Love, and he’ll want to rejoin James and Co. to squash regret in 2015-16. Or maybe he’ll take this difficult ending to be an end point to a pairing that was never meant to be, and bring his talents elsewhere this offseason.

 

— John Wilmes

@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 14:57
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Pac 12, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12-teams-nfl-draft-2005
Body:

As far as the NFL Draft goes, the Pac-12 is still USC’s league to rule.

 

Even as Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State have elevated their level of play in recent seasons, USC still casts a shadow on the rest of the conference in the NFL Draft.

 

True, most of USC’s draft picks in the last 10 years came from the Pete Carroll era. But USC has produced 28 more draft picks than any other team in the league over the last 10 drafts, a sign of the Trojans’ dominance and a sign that the program is still churning out pros despite NCAA sanctions.

 

That total will grow in this season’s draft with Leonard Williams a projected high first-round pick. When he’s selected, he will be — shockingly — USC’s first first-round pick since 2012.

 

Related: Which College Coach Has Produced the Most NFL Draft Picks?

 

For fans who are college football-centric, NFL Draft day is a chance for bragging rights and a sort of referendum on the relative talent levels for teams and conferences. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.

 

Here’s how teams in the Pac-12 fared in the last 10 drafts, followed by a few observations.

 

*Data derived from Pro Football Reference

 

Pac-12 NFL Draft Picks

2005-2014

 

 SchoolTotal PicksFirst Round2004-13 Record
1.681489-27 (.767)
2.40668-57 (.544)
3.36498-30 (.765)
4.33273-52 (.584)
5.26369-59 (.539)
6.25172-54 (.571)
T7.24287-39 (.690)
T7.24072-54 (.571)
9.23160-63 (.487)
10.18244-80 (.355)
11.14247-76 (.382)
12.11138-82 (.317)

 

• USC has produced 14 first-round picks in the last 10 years. The rest of the Pac-12 South has produced eight.

 

• Oregon’s 36 draft picks over the last decade are a surprising total for a team that has played for two national titles in the last four seasons. The Ducks have the same amount of draft picks during the last 10 seasons as Nebraska and Penn State and fewer than Iowa, Clemson and Virginia Tech. Since 2008, Oregon has produced only two first-round picks, both in the same draft (Dion Jordan and Kyle Long in 2013).

 

• Not only are Oregon, Stanford and UCLA chasing USC in the draft, they’re chasing Cal. Under Jeff Tedford, the Bears produced 44 NFL Draft picks (only 38 of those are counted here). Cal went 9-18 in the Pac-12 in his final three seasons and sent 14 players to the draft after those three seasons. That’s part of the reason Sonny Dykes is coaching in Berkeley now.

 

• Stanford has produced 20 draft picks in the last four drafts, compared to 13 in the six drafts prior.

 

• Here’s a shocker: Arizona State has been shut out of the first round since Terrell Suggs in 2003.

Teaser:
Ranking Pac-12 Teams in the NFL Draft since 2005
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 13:30
Path: /college-football/nfl-draft-prediction-quinton-spain
Body:

With the 2015 NFL Draft upon us, writers from WVUPros and BlueGoldSports.com will team up and give you our predictions on where some of your favorite Mountaineers might land. Today, we look at offensive lineman Quinton Spain and where he might land in the draft.

 

Spain earned several honors during his time at West Virginia and recognition for being named to the Lombardi and Outland Trophy watch lists. He has the ideal size NFL offensive coordinators look for in an interior offensive lineman. He possesses good footwork and good agility, but has some areas to work on. After leaving Morgantown, he worked out at Tom Shaw Training at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando for his pre-draft preparations. 

 

So where could he be playing next season? Here is how we see it.

 

Predictions

Caleb Wygal, WVUPros

6th Round, Pick 212 – Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers love two things: tough players and West Virginia Mountaineers. Many players who used to wear Gold n’ Blue go on to wear Black n’ Gold in the NFL, including current players Will Johnson and Terence Garvin. Spain’s ruggedness and lunch pail-mentality help him fit both categories. Pittsburgh's need for an interior lineman puts Spain in a Steelers uniform here.

 

Jeremy Simon, BlueGoldSports.com

6th Round, Pick 200 – Detriot Lions

The Lions will be targeting both offensive and defensive line prospects. Spain needs some work with his hands and footwork but that can be taught. However, his size and ability to get that initial push off the line makes him a potential steal in the late rounds

 

Adam DelGuercio, WVUPros

6th Round, Pick 206 - Green Bay Packers

Spain is a bit of a project, but the physical attributes are there. I think he’ll go to a team that likes to grab linemen in the late rounds and develop talent. I think the Packers like what they got in Don Barclay a few years ago from West Virginia and will return to the well here.

 

Jerry McGhee, BlueGoldSports.com

6th Round, Pick 214 – Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are looking for offensive linemen to bolster the run game for Marshawn Lynch, so why not take a chance on Spain? With former Mountaineer Bruce Irvin already on the team, this could be a landing spot for the big man from Petersburg, Va.

 

 

— Jeremy Simon is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.

 

Teaser:
BlueGoldSports.com and WVUPros.com predict where WVU players will go in this years NFL Draft.
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 13:00
Path: /nba/how-celtics-raptors-and-pelicans-should-approach-offseason
Body:

The NBA saw its field of fighters lose three more squads this weekend, with the playoffs party whittling down to 13 as the New Orleans Pelicans, Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors said their goodbyes to the season after being swept.

 

Here’s how each of them should look to change for their 2015-16 campaigns.

 

Boston Celtics

The Celtics, from a standpoint of culture, are the shining standouts of these playoff sweep victims. Coach Brad Stevens has turned a glut of so-so role players into all that they could be behind the promising guard trio of Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley. Boston’s rebuild has been accelerated after a second half that saw them competing with the best of the Eastern Conference, and there’s only one thing clearly missing from their equation: a superstar. Expect them to do everything they can to get meetings with free agents Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard, Marc Gasol and Khris Middleton this summer — as they should.

 

New Orleans Pelicans

Unlike the Celtics, the Pels already have the centerpiece to their future in Anthony Davis. Any wise NBA team starting fresh today would take the 21-year-old as their first building block, if they could, so with Davis on board there’s a natural trend towards optimism in New Orleans. Simply keeping this team together wouldn’t be a terrible strategy, as a healthier Jrue Holiday could be the answer to many of their needs; the Pelicans struggled at point guard without his full services through most of the year. In all likelihood, their summer mission will include crossing their fingers for better health, plus “still having the best young player alive.”

 

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors were a mess after a promising start to the season, sputtering after the All-Star break and showing surprisingly little fight against the Washington Wizards. This motley collection of so-so players misses, like the Celtics do, a true superstar. But their variously talented pieces also haven’t been maximized by coach Dwane Casey, who looks to be on the hot seat after an ugly postseason showing. General manager Masai Ujiri is not known for standing pat by any means, so no move this summer would come as a shock. Who knows how the Raptors will look next autumn?

 

— John Wilmes

@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 12:12
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big Ten, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-ten-teams-nfl-draft-2005
Body:

If the national championship and potential preseason No. 1 ranking weren’t enough of a sign, Ohio State football is back on draft day, too.

 

Hard to believe, but the Buckeyes produced only one first-round pick (defensive end Cameron Heyward, selected 31st in 2011) in the draft between 2010 and 2013.

 

The Buckeyes had two first-round picks last season, the first time they had multiple first rounders since 2009. This year’s draft might not add too much to Ohio State’s first-round tally, but the wave is coming in 2016.

 

The question is how the rest of the Big Ten will be able to keep up.

 

Related: Which College Coach Has Produced the Most NFL Draft Picks?

 

For fans who are college football-centric, NFL Draft day is a chance for bragging rights and a sort of referendum on the relative talent levels for teams and conferences. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.

 

Here’s how teams in the Big Ten fared in the last 10 drafts, followed by a few observations.

 

*Data derived from Pro Football Reference

 

Big Ten NFL Draft Picks

2005-2014

 

 SchoolTotal PicksFirst Round2004-13 Record
1.521392-24 (.793)
2.42696-35 (.733)
3.39476-50 (.603)
T4.36484-46 (.646)
T4.36484-39 (.683)
6.34677-49 (.611)
7.27178-50 (.609)
8.22544-77 (.369)
9.21375-51 (.595)
10.20255-69 (.444)
11.19357-66 (.463)
12.12041-78 (.345)
T13.11154-71 (.432)
T13.11168-57 (.544)

 

• Another sign that the Big Ten is dominated by Ohio State — the Buckeyes have 10 more draft picks and seven more first-rounders than anyone else in the league the last decade. That’s probably as much a function of Ohio State being Ohio State and traditional powers (Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska) riding a roller coaster in recent years.

 

• Let’s continue to heap praise on Mark Dantonio at Michigan State. The Spartans won the Big Ten two years ago and played in a major bowl game last season, yet the Spartans have had only one first-round draft pick (cornerback Darqueze Dennard in 2014) under Dantonio.

 

• No surprise here: Four of Wisconsin’s last five first-round draft picks were offensive linemen (center Travis Frederick, guard Kevin Zeitler and tackles Gabe Carimi and Joe Thomas). The other was defensive end J.J. Watt.

 

• More fodder for Kirk Ferentz detractors: Iowa trails only Ohio State and Wisconsin in draft picks in the last decade. Outright Big Ten titles in that draft time frame: Ohio State (four), Wisconsin (two), Iowa (none).

 

• The floor in this league is actually pretty good. Minnesota and Northwestern have produced only 11 draft picks each in the last decade, but the Gophers and Wildcats have played in 13 combined bowl games for those draft classes. 

 

• Indiana is the only team in the Big Ten without a first-round pick in the last 10 drafts. The Hoosiers’ last first-rounder was wide receiver Thomas Lewis in 1994.

Teaser:
Ranking Big Ten Teams in the NFL Draft since 2005
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 12:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, UCLA Bruins, Pac 12, News
Path: /college-football/ucla-student-willingly-gets-tackled-linebacker-myles-jack-good-reason
Body:

Danny Siegel is campaigning to be a student representative at UCLA, so he decided to take a hit from linebacker Myles Jack.

 

Yes, you read that correctly.

 

Jack is a likely All-American linebacker in 2015 and one of the Pac-12’s top returning players. Needless to say, Siegel probably felt this one the next morning.

 

Election commercials are usually must-skip television, but we give this one a thumbs up.

 

 

Teaser:
UCLA Student Willingly Takes a Hit From Linebacker Myles Jack
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 11:45
All taxonomy terms: College Football, Big 12, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-big-12-teams-nfl-draft-2005
Body:

If it seems the Big 12 is having a bit of an identity crises, that much is true in the NFL Draft, too.

 

Oklahoma and Texas are the powerhouses in the draft in the last decade. The Sooners and Longhorns have combined for 98 picks in the last 10 years. The other eight teams have combined for 135 during that span. 

 

OU and Texas have combined for nearly has many first-rounders (18) in the last 10 years as the rest of the league combined (19).

 

Yet Oklahoma and Texas are in trouble spots right now — Bob Stoops is coming off an eight-win season and cleaning house on his coaching staff; Texas is on Year Two of a new coaching staff.

 

Instead, TCU and Baylor are the top dogs in the league, and their draft day-performance is starting to show it, too.

 

Related: Which College Coach Has Produced the Most NFL Draft Picks?

 

For fans who are college football-centric, NFL Draft day is a chance for bragging rights and a sort of referendum on the relative talent levels for teams and conferences. Whether that’s fair or not is up for debate.

 

Here’s how teams in the Big 12 fared in the last 10 drafts, followed by a few observations.

 

*Data derived from Pro Football Reference

 

Big 12 NFL Draft Picks

2005-2014

 

 SchoolTotal PicksFirst Round2004-13 Record
1.579105-28 (.789)
2.41999-30 (.767)
3.24293-33 (.738)
4.23389-38 (.701)
5.22559-63 (.484)
6.17685-44 (.661)
7.15168-55 (.553)
8.15183-44 (.654)
9.10050-73 (.407)
10.9151-70 (.421)

 

• From the “that can’t be right” file: Oklahoma State has a mere 17 draft picks in the last 10 years? Maybe Mike Gundy and predecessor Les Miles deserve more credit in Stillwater.

 

• How about TCU at third in the league in draft picks in the last 10 years? It’s a distant third behind Oklahoma and Texas, but third nonetheless. West Virginia and Baylor are right behind.

 

• Of Baylor’s 22 draft picks in the last decade, 15 have come in since 2011, including four of the Bears’ five first-rounders.

 

• Kansas State’s more-with-less stereotype holds weight here. Kansas State’s first-round pick in the last 10 years wasn’t even recruited by Bill Snyder. No. 17 overall pick Josh Freeman played his entire college career for Ron Prince. Snyder’s last first-round pick was cornerback Terence Newman in 2003.

 

• Iowa State hasn’t had a first-round draft pick since running back George Amundson in 1973, the longest drought for a Power 5 conference team by 14 years.

Teaser:
Ranking the Big 12 Teams in the NFL Draft Since 2005
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 11:30
All taxonomy terms: ACC, College Football, News
Path: /college-football/ranking-accs-quarterbacks-2015
Body:

The ACC may not have a playoff contender with Florida State and Clemson each losing several key pieces off last season’s team, but this league will be intriguing with a solid group of quarterbacks returning to the conference in 2015. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson projects as the top passer in the ACC this season, as the talented sophomore is set to take control of a high-powered offense after shining in limited action last year.

 

Miami’s Brad Kaaya and Georgia Tech’s Justin Thomas take the next two spots after Watson, but North Carolina’s Marquise Williams and NC State’s Jacoby Brissett aren’t far behind. And there’s some intrigue with the other quarterbacks on this list, especially in Tallahassee as Everett Golson is expected to replace Jameis Winston, and Duke’s Thomas Sirk in David Cutcliffe's offense.

 

To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2015. This was not a ranking of quarterbacks only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors - pure talent, supporting cast, 2015 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) - were considered and projected to rank the quarterbacks in the ACC for 2015.

 

Ranking the ACC Quarterbacks for 2015

 

1. Deshaun Watson, Clemson

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Clemson will miss Chad Morris calling the plays, but the offense is in good hands with Watson and a deep group of skill players. Watson ranked as the No. 41 recruit in the 2014 247Sports Composite and threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns in eight appearances. Watson is recovering from a torn ACL but should be at full strength by this fall.

 

2. Brad Kaaya, Miami

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

There’s not much separating the No. 2 and No. 5 quarterbacks in the ACC this year. Based on pure talent, it’s hard to pick against Kaaya in this spot. He started all 13 games for Miami as a true freshman and threw for 3,198 yards and 26 scores. Kaaya’s supporting cast and offensive line is a question mark entering 2015, but he’s poised to take a step forward with another year to develop.

 

3. Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Thomas is the perfect fit in Georgia Tech’s option offense. In his first year as the starter, Thomas led the team with 1,086 rushing yards and eight scores. In guiding the Yellow Jackets to a Coastal Division title, he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and finished the season with back-to-back 100-yard efforts. Thomas wasn’t asked to throw much, but he tossed 18 touchdowns to just six scores and connected on nine passing plays of at least 40 yards.

 

4. Marquise Williams, North Carolina

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Hip surgery sidelined Williams this spring, but if he’s 100 percent healthy by this fall, don’t be surprised if the senior ranks as high as No. 2 on this list. In eight ACC games last year, Williams passed for 2,021 yards and 14 scores to just five interceptions. Williams also led North Carolina with 783 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns last season. 

 

5. Jacoby Brissett, NC State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Brissett is another quarterback that could easily rank higher on this list by the end of the 2015 season. In his first year as the starter at NC State, Brissett threw for 2,606 yards and 23 scores and rushed for 529 yards and three touchdowns. The Florida transfer will have a rebuilt receiving corps to work with in 2015 but is poised to improve off his solid 2014 campaign.

 

6. Everett Golson, Florida State

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

The outlook for Florida State’s 2015 quarterback situation changed when Golson decided to transfer to Tallahassee. As a graduate transfer, Golson is eligible immediately and will push Sean Maguire for the starting job. In two years of playing time with the Fighting Irish, Golson threw for 5,850 yards and 41 scores and added 581 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Picking up Florida State’s challenging offense will be Golson’s toughest task. Can he learn the complex Seminoles’ attack by September?

 

7. Chad Voytik, Pittsburgh

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Voytik was steady in his first year as Pittsburgh starter, throwing for 2,233 yards and 16 touchdowns. The Tennessee native played better as the season progressed and threw only one interception over the final six games. Voytik has two of the ACC’s top skill players at his disposal in running back James Conner and receiver Tyler Boyd and one of the league’s best offensive lines. Voytik should take another step forward in his development under new coordinator Jim Chaney.

 

8. Reggie Bonnafon, Louisville

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Three quarterbacks received starts for Louisville last season, and the Cardinals will open the fall with four players vying for the top spot. Penn State transfer Tyler Ferguson is a name to watch, and Will Gardner is returning from a knee injury this fall, but all signs point to Bonnafon taking the first snap for Louisville in 2015. As a true freshman last year, Bonnafon completed 61 of 120 passes for 864 yards and five scores. The Kentucky native’s athleticism could be a huge asset for a Louisville offense replacing three starters on the line. With Bobby Petrino calling the plays and tutoring the quarterbacks, whether it's Bonnafon, Ferguson, Gardner or Will Bonnafon, Louisville's offense should be fine at quarterback in 2015.

 

9. Michael Brewer, Virginia Tech

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Brewer experienced his share of ups and downs in 2014. After leading Virginia Tech to an upset win over Ohio State with 199 passing yards and two scores, Brewer tossed seven picks in the next three games and threw for less than 200 yards in four out of his last six contests. Quarterback play isn’t solely to blame for the Hokies’ offensive woes, as the offensive line has struggled, and young skill players were thrown into the mix last year. Brewer should benefit from another offseason to learn coordinator Scot Loeffler’s offense. But can the senior cut down on the interceptions and add more big plays (only nine completions of 30 yards or more)? If he can, Brewer will move up this list in 2015.

 

10. Thomas Sirk, Duke

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

Intriguing. That’s the first word that comes to mind when examining Sirk’s potential in 2015. Coach David Cutcliffe is a noted quarterback guru, and Sirk played well in limited action last year. In 12 appearances, Sirk showed no ill-effects from an Achilles injury that ended his 2013 season, rushing for 238 yards and eight scores. He also completed 10 of 14 passes for 67 yards and three touchdowns. Considering Cutcliffe’s history and Sirk’s promising performance so far, he’s a quarterback to watch closely in 2015.

 

11. Terrel Hunt, Syracuse

2015 Year of Eligibility: Senior

 

Hunt’s 2014 season was cut short by a leg injury in Syracuse’s 28-6 loss to Louisville in early October. Prior to the leg injury, Hunt was off to a slow start and only had one touchdown pass on 83 completions. He also completed 57.2 percent of his passes and finished with 983 yards. Hunt’s mobility is a good asset for Syracuse’s offense, and the senior has 792 yards on the ground over the last two years. The Orange has to find a spark on offense, and Hunt’s return could be what this unit needs after averaging just 17.1 points per game in 2014.

 

12. Matt Johns, Virginia

2015 Year of Eligibility: Junior

 

In a bit of a surprise, Johns edged ahead of Greyson Lambert for Virginia’s starting quarterback spot this spring. Johns played in all 12 games and recorded three starts in 2014 and finished with 1,109 passing yards and eight scores. It’s a limited sample size, but Johns added some punch to the passing attack last year by connecting on seven plays – one more than Lambert had in nine starts – of 30 yards or more.

 

13. John Wolford, Wake Forest

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

Wolford was thrown into the fire as a true freshman last season. And all things considered, it wasn’t a bad debut for Wolford. The supporting cast was a huge question mark for the Demon Deacons last year, as the rushing attack averaged just 1.3 yards per carry, while the line allowed 48 sacks (the most in the nation). Wolford finished 2014 with 2,037 yards and 12 touchdowns and completed 58.3 percent of his passes. The supporting cast remains a question mark, but the sophomore should be better in his second as a starter.

 

14. Darius Wade, Boston College

2015 Year of Eligibility: Sophomore

 

With only eight career pass attempts and experience in three games, Wade enters 2015 at the bottom of the ACC quarterback rankings. However, there’s plenty of promise with the sophomore in his first year as Boston College’s starter. Wade earned Delaware’s 2013 Gatorade Player of the Year honors and was a three-star recruit in the 2014 247Sports Composite. Wade is a good fit in Boston College’s offense, but he is also working behind a line that lost all five starters and throwing to a receiving corps that needs more playmakers to emerge.  

Teaser:
Ranking the ACC's Quarterbacks for 2015
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 11:00
All taxonomy terms: NFL, News
Path: /nfl/nfl-draft-2015-ranking-quarterbacks
Body:

It's the most important position on the field and Super Bowls aren't won without them.

 

The quarterback has become the star of the biggest sport in American culture. It's why 12 of the last 16 NFL Drafts have started with a signal-caller. 

 

Yet, the two starting quarterbacks in last year's Super Bowl weren't highly touted NFL Draft prospects, as Tom Brady was a sixth-round pick and Russell Wilson was a third-round selection.

 

So while most of the draft talk this month has centered on Florida State's Jameis Winston and Oregon's Marcus Mariota, that doesn't mean there isn't talent elsewhere in this quarterback class.

 

Can Brett Hundley develop a down-the-field arm? Can Bryce Petty overcome his system moniker? Is Sean Mannion going to be the steal of this draft? Here is what you need to know about the 2015 QB class and how they stack up against one another.

 

1. Jameis Winston, Florida State (6-4, 232)

Stats: 26-1, 7,964 yds, 65 TDs, 28 INTs, 284 rush yds., 7 TDs

 

There isn't much to add to Winston's already over-covered career. He is the most pro-ready pocket passer an NFL Draft has seen since Andrew Luck. He flat out wins games (26-1 is pretty good) and delivered in the fourth quarter time and time again. His numbers dipped his senior season, but that is easily explained by a much tougher schedule, a much less talented supporting cast and a much brighter spotlight. His off-the-field maturity and decision-making are the only real reasons for concern. He was the best player coming out of high school at his position and all he did was win a Heisman Trophy, BCS title and two ACC championships.

 

Comp: Less mature, slower Andrew Luck

 

2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon (6-4, 215)

Stats: 36-5, 10,796 yds, 105 TDs, 14 INTs, 2,237 rush yds., 29 TDs

 

He wins big and he does it with class and efficiency. His numbers in just three seasons as a starter are freakish and his athletic ability is second to none in this QB class. He rarely turned the ball over and led his team to within one win of a national title. Is he a strong enough personality? Can he read NFL defenses pre-snap and adjust on the fly on his own? The first question may not be fair (or matter) but the second one is extremely important and justified.

 

Comp: Disciplined, mature Colin Kaepernick

 

3. Brett Hundley, UCLA (6-3, 227)

Stats: 29-11, 9,966 yds, 75 TDs, 25 INTs, 1,747 rush yds, 30 TDs

 

The record book at UCLA was completely rewritten by Hundley in three years as a starter. His production in both the passing and running game was obvious, but his 29 wins are No. 2 all-time in school history and that might be more important. UCLA had never won at least nine games in three straight seasons until Hundley and only twice before in school history had the Bruins won 10 games in back-to-back seasons. He has great size, great athleticism and played with a relatively mediocre supporting cast on offense. He will need to develop his downfield accuracy but he has all the tools to be a starting QB in the NFL.

 

Comp: Smaller Blake Bortles

 

Related: Top 10 Must-See NFL Games of 2015

 

4. Sean Mannion, Oregon State (6-5, 220)

Stats: 21-22, 13,600 yds, 83 TDs, 54 INTs, -806 rush yds, 2 TDs

 

One look at the stats and fans should understand what type of player Mannion is. He's a statuesque pocket passer with a huge frame and big arm. His 13,600 yards and 83 touchdowns are impressive but the 21-22 starting record (albeit at a tough place to win) and 54 interceptions can't be ignored either. Mannion could be a starter should he land in the right system, like say, under Bill O'Brien.

 

Comp: Less efficient Derek Carr

 

5. Bryce Petty, Baylor (6-3, 230)

Stats: 21-4, 8,195 yds, 62 TDs, 10 INTs, 338 rush yds, 21 TDs

 

He won a ton of games and delivered Baylor their only two Big 12 championships in school history. He's also a much better athlete than given credit for, and is tough as nails when it comes to taking hits and leading his team. Petty will get knocked for playing in Art Briles' system and he will need to be more accurate down the field to earn a starting spot on an NFL roster.

 

Comp: Less polished Teddy Bridgewater

 

6. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State (6-2, 220)

Stats: 19-16, 9,190 yds, 64 TDs, 27 INTs, 283 rush yds, 4 TDs

 

Grayson has a lot going for him. He won at a good clip under an pro-style offensive guru in Jim McElwain and was a major part of a program-changing turnaround. He posted big numbers, has a good frame and strong arm but will need to refine his delivery to become a starter on the next level. His level of competition is also questionable, however, his teams did upset Power 5 programs each year he started. Otherwise, Grayson could become a very capable NFL backup.

 

Comp: Less athletic Andy Dalton

 

7. Shane Carden, East Carolina (6-2, 221)

Stats: 25-12, 11,991 yds, 86 TDs, 30 INTs, 253 rush yds, 24 TDs

 

He throws a nice ball and posted big numbers and tons of wins for East Carolina — try 110 total touchdowns and 25 wins. Does he have an elite arm? Should his level of competition be a major concern? Was his offense a pass-happy, QB-friendly system? These are all fair questions, but he is a quality leader who should stick around in the NFL as a backup signal-caller.

 

Comp: Taller Chase Daniel

 

8. Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion (6-1, 213)

Stats: 31-13, 14,959 yds, 132 TDs, 37 INTs, 1,320 rush yds, 22 TDs

 

Talk about production. Few can match Heinicke's college stats but few played against more questionable competition than the ODU quarterback. The three-time captain is well-built but undersized and has little experience under center in a pro-style offense. Learning that style of offense and all of its intricacies is a major limitation on his upside. That said, he is accurate and makes good decisions and that might give him a chance to stick around.

 

Comp: Matt Barkley

 

9. Connor Halliday, Washington State (6-4, 198)

Stats: 10-18, 11,304 yds, 90 TDs, 50 INTs, -477 rush yds

 

Few players in history have posted the passing numbers that Halliday did under Mike Leach at Washington State. He isn't a great athlete, has been hurt periodically, didn't take snaps under center much and took way too many chances. However, he's got good feet and really understands the nuances of throwing the football. Should he land in a pocket-passing offense, he has a chance to stick.

 

Comp: Thinner Zach Mettenberger

 

10. Hutson Mason, Georgia (6-2, 207)

Stats: 11-4, 3,492 yds, 29 TDs, 7 INTs, -5 rush yds, 6 TDs

 

The deep sleeper of the group is a guy who only got one year of starting experience. However, Mason was extremely efficient with 21 touchdown passes and just four interceptions in his only year under center and he did it against the best conference in the nation. His overall lack of experience and arm strength are big concerns, but he has the size, is accurate, faced the best in college football and played in a pro-style offense. Watch out for Mason.

 

Comp: Matt Flynn

Teaser:
NFL Draft 2015: Ranking the Quarterbacks
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 10:00
All taxonomy terms: College Football, NFL, News
Path: /nfl/how-did-nfl-drafts-top-50-prospects-rank-recruits
Body:

Years before the top picks were eligible for the draft, they were top recruits — or at least most of them — entering the collegiate ranks.

 

Below is a list of the star rankings, national rankings and position rankings of the top 50 prospects from the Athlon Sports 2015 NFL Draft preview magazine. Many like to argue that recruiting rankings don't matter, however, the data below further proves that rankings are an accurate indicator of future NFL success.

 

All rankings according to 247Sports.com. Nat'l = national ranking regardless of position, Pos. = national ranking by position. * - junior college prospect

 

Buy your 2015 NFL Draft magazine here

 

 NamePosTeamClassStarsNat'lPos.HS POS
1Jameis WinstonQB20125151D-QB
2Leonard WilliamsDT20124503SDE
3Marcus MariotaQB2011351322D-QB
4Amari CooperWR20124466WR
5Shane RayDE2011338515WDE
6Randy GregoryDE201131,18055WDE
7Andrus PeatOT20125304OT
8La'El CollinsOT2011532OT
9Ereck FlowersOT2012415717OT
10Mario Edwards Jr.DE2012521SDE
11Melvin GordonRB2012425822RB
12Kevin White*WR20133*13623WR
13Danny SheltonDT2011333123DT
14Trae WaynesCB201131,14388S
15Malcom BrownDT2012592DT
16Landon CollinsS2012572RB
17Brandon ScherffOT2010357940OT
18Dante FowlerOLB20124366WDE
19Eddie GoldmanDT20125103DT
20DeVante ParkerWR2011331147WR
21Jaelen Strong*WR20133*329WR
22Cameron ErvingOT2010380468DT
23Jake FisherOT2011335441OT
24Shaq ThompsonLB2012541S
25Alvin DupreeDE2011380646TE
26Arik ArmsteadDE20125141SDE
27Maxx WilliamsTE201231,03852TE
28Eli HaroldDE20124447WDE
29P.J. WilliamsCB201241188S
30Vic BeasleyOLB2010348322TE
31Carl DavisDT2010383870DT
32Benardrick McKinneyLB2011391249ATH
33Marcus PetersCB2011350937CB
34Sammie CoatesWR2011335251WR
35Nate OrchardDE20113832104WR
36Todd GurleyRB20124747S
37Tevin ColemanRB2012373042RB
38A.J. CannOG201041343C
39Rob HavensteinOT2010366733OG
40Hau'oli KikahaLB2010388042SDE
41Max VallesOLB2012399773ATH
42T.J. ClemmingsOT2010417715SDE
43Devin SmithWR2011332749WR
44Tre' JacksonOG201131,22383DT
45Markus Golden*DE20123*695ILB
46Grady JarrettDT201131,13176DT
47Lorenzo MauldinLB2011392658SDE
48Quinten Rollins**CB2010332462PG
49Cody PrewittS2011340320ATH
50Cedric OgbuehiOT2010411915OT

** - Quinten Rollins' rankings are actually basketball rankings as he wasn't a football player coming into college.

 

What we learned:

 

* Nine of the top 30 prospects were five-star recruits. In any one given class, there are roughly 30 five-stars. Basically, you have a 1-in-3 chance of becoming a top-30 prospect if you are a five-star recruit.

 

* 15 of the top 30 prospects were ranked in the top 10 nationally at their position coming out of high school.

 

* 20 of the top 50 prospects were four- or five-star recruits and ranked in the top 300 nationally. This group makes up roughly the top 10 percent (roughly 400 of 4,000) of any given recruiting class, but comprises almost 40 percent of the top 50 NFL prospects.

 

* Three players were junior college transfers and not a single two-star prospect was ranked as a top 50 NFL prospect.

Teaser:
How did the NFL Draft's Top 50 Prospects Rank as Recruits?
Post date: Monday, April 27, 2015 - 09:00
Path: /college-football/virginia-tech-unveils-new-alternate-helmets-2015-game-against-furman
Body:

Virginia Tech doesn’t deviate from its usual uniform combinations much, but the Hokies plan on wearing an alternate helmet for their 2015 matchup against Furman on Sept. 12.

 

The helmet was unveiled during Saturday’s spring game in Blacksburg.

 

Check out Virginia Tech’s new helmet for Military Appreciation Day on Sept. 12:

 

 

Teaser:
Virginia Tech Unveils New Alternate Helmets for 2015 Game Against Furman
Post date: Saturday, April 25, 2015 - 16:37
All taxonomy terms: NBA
Path: /nba/spurs-kawhi-leonard-named-nbas-defensive-player-year
Body:

The third-youngest Defensive Player of the Year in the history of the NBA has been named, and he is Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.

 

Leonard, of course, won NBA Finals MVP honors less than a year ago, last June. He’s also a restricted free agent this summer, and the 23-year-old has built himself more than enough of a resume to prove that he’s worthy of a maximum contract from San Antonio.

 

Terrifying, amazing, relentless—choose your superlative. The lengthy wingman is a storm of judicial limbs and hyperkinetic full-court coverage who evokes Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen. Runner-up Draymond Green, of the Golden State Warriors, was hardly even upset by who he lost out to.

 

“Al Gore won the popular vote and didn’t get elected president, so I’m not gonna sit here and kill myself over not winning Defensive Player of the Year. We’ve got a bigger goal. That’s to win a championship,” Green said. “[Leonard is] a great defender. Phenomenal defender. He impacts the defensive end just as good as anybody in the league. So congratulations to him.”

The Spurs and Warriors, of course, could be on the league’s most compelling collision course, fated for a showdown in the Western Conference Finals.

 

But first Kawhi and Co. need to dispatch the Los Angeles Clippers in their first-round series, which the Spurs tied at 1-1 Wednesday night after an overtime victory in L.A. Game 3 is tonight in Texas, at 9:30 PM ET on ESPN, and could very well decide the momentum in the most interesting initial matchup of this season’s bracket.

 

Look for Leonard to continue proving his case as the game’s best defender tonight. Against the Clippers, he’s liable to stick Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, or just about anyone else if the situation calls for it—much to Lob City’s chagrin.

 

— John Wilmes
@johnwilmesNBA

Teaser:
Post date: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 12:16
Path: /college-football/ranking-pac-12-college-towns-expert-poll
Body:

The old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” couldn’t be more true when it comes to ranking college towns.

 

Do you prefer larger metropolitan areas? Do you enjoy the isolated peace and quiet of a quaint small town? Cost of living, nightlife, food, culture, weather, surrounding geography and more go into evaluating a city.

 

Every college campus is unique and each one brings something different to the table.

 

When evaluating a bigger city like Seattle or Los Angeles against small towns like Eugene or Corvallis, personal opinions will vary greatly. So we had some fun asking Pac-12 experts to rank their favorite Pac-12 locations and here is what we learned:

 

The Voting Panel:

 

Anthony Herron, ESPN/Pac-12 Network

Pat Forde, Yahoo!

Scott Wolf, LA Daily News

Dennis Dodd, CBSSports

Dan Rubenstein, SB Nation

Stewart Mandel, Fox Sports

George Schroeder, USA Today

Ryan Abraham, USCFootball.com

Bryan Fischer, NFL.com

Braden Gall, Athlon Sports/SiriusXM

 

The Results:

 

Voting: A first-place vote was worth one point and a last-place vote was worth 11 points.

 

RkJobVotes (1st)
1.15 (6)
Boulder, Colo. If you like the college town lifestyle, then there are few places in the world more perfectly suited for you than Boulder. Just north of Denver, the great outdoors offer more to do than nearly any place in the country. It got six of the possible 10 first-place votes. Craft brews are plentiful, the people are laid back and the scenery is second to none. When it comes to realignment, few towns fit in better with their new league than Boulder.
2.42
Seattle, Wash. Seattle, L.A., Tempe and Palo Alto all basically tied for second place behind Boulder. In Seattle's case, the weather can be drab but the landscapes are breathtaking and the fans are among the best in the conference when it comes to passion and support. The food scene is outstanding and the vibe is very laid back. Seattle is routinely voted one of the best places to live in this great nation. It got two second-place votes and three third-place nods. Where else can you tailgate on a lake?
3.43
Los Angeles, Calif. It's nowhere near what a true college town is and the difference even between the two campuses is vast. However, Los Angeles is the home for both the Bruins and Trojans and it offers things to fans and visitors that most college cities cannot. The glitz and glamour of the City of Lights is matched only by its beauty and phenomenal weather. Cost of living and traffic don't help, but the bucket list of things to do is literally endless. It got one second-place vote and three third-place votes.
4.44 (2)
Tempe, Ariz. The home of the Sun Devils might be the most polarizing campus town in the league. It got two first-place votes and two second-place votes, but also was ranked eighth by two panelists. The weather is great, the golfing is among the nation's best and the, uh, wildlife is eye-popping. Tempe is voted as one of the best party schools in the nation every year for a reason. And easy access to Phoenix is cool too.
5.47 (1)
Palo Alto, Calif. Just a few votes behind Tempe, Seattle and Los Angeles, Palo Alto offers a unique living experience. Silicon Valley grew up and around the campus on the south side of the Bay Area, as Stanford has become the central economic focus of the area. It's a rich area of forward-thinking, progressive individuals who also get to party in the big city. Where else could the genius of Erlich Bachman thrive?
6.59
Eugene, Ore. If you love the Oregon Ducks, doing things outside and NIKE gear, then Eugene is your spot. Six voters placed Eugene between fifth and seventh on the list, landing Oregon smack dab in the middle of the Pac-12 rankings. There is plenty of greenspace and the city is starting to develop.
7.65
Berkeley, Calif. This picturesque town isn't only home to the top public school in the nation, but also offers the lifestyle of a big city. It's the best of both worlds. The vibrancy of youth provides plenty of music, art entertainment and the Gourmet Ghetto comes highly recommended. If you don't like progressive thinking, it might not be your favorite place. Which is why it got a second-place vote and an 11th-place vote.
8.74
Tucson, Ariz. Just 60 miles from the Mexican border, Tucson is one of the bigger cities in the college world at over 500,000 people. It's also one of the more non-descript. There are plenty of outdoors, must-see spots and plenty of history/art museums, but there also is a reason it was ranked between seventh and 10th by seven of the 10 voters.
9.75
Salt Lake City, Utah This city has the lowest unemployment of any Pac-12 town. It's also cool enough to have hosted an Olympic Games (2002). The outdoor events are fantastic, the city has tons of history and the campus is surging into its Pac-12 chapter. It's also becoming more diverse with every passing year. This city might be more of an unknown for Pac-12 fans than the rest of the locales.
10.90 (1)
Corvallis, Ore. Certainly the most underrated town on this list, Corvallis got a first-place vote but still finished 10th. Known for outdoor activities surrounding the Cascade Mountains, the Beavers' home town is known for a high quality of living and (no joke) a high life expectancy. There isn't a ton going on within the downtown streets considering its small size (roughly 50,000), but it's very friendly.
11.106
Pullman, Wash. It's not easy to get to and there isn't much to do once you're there. At fewer than 30,000 people, it's one of the smallest college towns in the nation. It got eight last-place (11th) votes out of 10 with the other votes being for 10th and eighth.

 

Listen to the Cover 2 Podcast: Early 2015 Pac-12 Preview



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

Teaser:
Ranking the Pac-12 College Towns (Expert Poll)
Post date: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 11:00
Path: /college-football/mississippi-state-bulldogs-2015-football-schedule-and-analysis
Body:

After the best season in school history, many are asking one question: what sort of encore can be expected from Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs?

 

Mullen has recruited this roster into better shape than it’s been in decades and the return of Heisman candidate Dak Prescott cannot be overstated.

 

However, there are a lot of missing parts that need to be replaced and the schedule in the SEC West might be the biggest obstacle for Mullen and State to break through and reach Atlanta for the first time since 1998.

 

Related: Cover 2 College Football Podcast: Early SEC 2015 Preview

 

2015 Mississippi State Schedule

 

Bye: Week 9, * - Thurs.

 

WkOpp.DateLocation
1.Sept. 5Hattiesburg, MS
The gracious Mullen has played small teams on the road before and will do it again in the season opener (even if there is a heavy maroon tint to the crowd). The edge in this in-state rivalry actually belongs to Southern Miss (14-13), but it wasn't much of a game last fall with MSU winning 49-0. It marked the first time the two had played since 1990 and undoubtedly the fans in the state appreciate this matchup. 
2.Sept. 12Starkville, MS
This was an embarrassment in Death Valley last year, as Dak Prescott physically abused the Tigers. It was the first loss in the series for LSU since 1999 and the Bayou Bengals have won seven straight in Starkville.
3.Sept. 19Starkville, MS
A tune-up/breather game located between two SEC West Tigers is perfectly situated for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs beat Northwestern State in the only previous two meetings by a combined score of 81-0 in 1945-46.
4.Sept. 26Auburn, AL
In just the fourth week of the year, State fans will know a lot about their team with games against LSU and Auburn both taking place before October. The Tigers have won 11 of the last 14 meetings in a series traditionally dominated by Auburn. However, Dan Mullen has won two out of three by an average margin of 16.5 points. Dak Prescott vs. Jeremy Johnson? Yes, please.
5.Oct. 3College Station, TX
The all-time series is tied at four. These two met four times before World War II, have played three times in SEC play and met in the Independence Bowl in 2000. This has been a high-scoring affair over the last three seasons and the Aggies were embarrassed a year ago in Starkville. Texas A&M has never lost at home to MSU.
6.Oct. 10Starkville, MS
Troy once was a sneaky-good Sun Belt team but hasn't been the same in recent years. After facing three huge SEC West foes in the first month, back-to-back easy wins should be a welcome sign. State is 3-1 all-time against Troy with the lone loss coming back in 2001.
7.Oct. 17Starkville, MS
Manny Diaz Bowl A sneaky-good Bulldogs team last year put up big numbers on offense and created big plays on defense. Which is why Mullen re-hired Tech's defensive coordinator Manny Diaz this offseason. Technically, La-Tech has won two of the last three against Mississippi State — even if those games took place in 1996 and 2008 respectively. Still, this was a six-point MSU win in 2011 the last time they met. The Bulldogs are 8-3 all-time against, uh, the Bulldogs.
8.Oct. 24Starkville, MS
Last year's thrilling 45-31 win, due in large part to the efforts of now-departed running back Josh Robinson, evened the all-time series at 21 apiece. But it was also the sixth straight win by the Bulldogs over the Wildcats. Kentucky is improving but winning in Starkville will be a tall task and could give MSU three lop-sided wins in a row heading into the bye week and November.
10.Nov. 5*Columbia, MO
Mississippi State has yet to beat Missouri, but these two programs have only played each other twice. These games happened in 1981 and '84, so things are slightly different these days. A primetime Thursday night affair could feature the best two quarterbacks in the league in Maty Mauk and Prescott. This is a sneaky great late-season matchup.
11.Nov. 14Starkville, MS
Last fall, No. 1 Mississippi State entered Tuscaloosa and narrowly lost 25-20, eventually launching the Tide into the Playoffs. The roles could easily be reversed this season should the Tide get to this point unbeaten. Saban has won the last three trips to Starkville by a combined score of 75-17 with the last loss for the Tide in this series coming in 2007 in Davis Wade Stadium.
12.Nov. 21Fayetteville, AR
Arkansas owns a15-9-1 all-time series lead over the Bulldogs but Dan Mullen has reversed that trend of late. Mississippi State as won the past three matchups. The last two meetings have been physical, low-scoring brawls that were decided by one score each. Look for another huge late-season showdown between these two on Nov. 21.
13.Nov. 28Starkville, MS
Egg Bowl Dan Mullen has been solid against Ole Miss but the Rebels have won two of the last three against their archrival. The last four have gone the way of the home team so Ole Miss is looking to buck that trend in '15. The fate of the SEC West could be hanging in the balance in Dak Prescott's final regular season game.

 

Listen to the Cover 2 Podcast: Early 2015 SEC Preview



Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

Teaser:
Mississippi State Bulldogs 2015 Football Schedule and Analysis
Post date: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 10:00

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