NCAA Football

Stanford Cardinal vs. Oregon Ducks Betting Odds, Analysis, College Football Pick

Oregon is once again favored for its big Pac -12 North battle with Stanford, but that doesn't mean anything to the Cardinal, who have upset the Ducks each of the past two seasons on their way to back-to-back conference championships...

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Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Kansas State Wildcats Betting Odds and Pick

Oklahoma State is 4-1 straight up in its last five meetings with Kansas State, but the Wildcats are 4-1 against the spread over that span. K-State also leads the Big 12 at the moment at 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in conference play, while the Cowboys cling to life at 3-2 SU, 1-4 ATS. Border rivals clash when Kansas State and Oklahoma State meet Saturday night in Manhattan.


Point spread: Wildcats opened as 12.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (line updates and matchup report).


College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 28.7-23.4 Wildcats


Why the Oklahoma State Cowboys can cover the spread

The Cowboys had won five in a row following their season-opening loss to Florida State, but they have found the going tougher the last two weeks, losing at TCU 42-9 and at home to West Virginia 34-10. Oklahoma State only trailed the Mountaineers by a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter but came up empty from there. For the game the Cowboys only got outgained by 12 yards.

Oklahoma State knew it might go through a rebuilding process this season, with just eight starters back from last year, and lost its starting quarterback for the season to injury back in Week 2. But if they could just get a little better play at quarterback, the Cowboys could stay in this one.


Why the Kansas State Wildcats can cover the spread

The Wildcats have won four games in a row SU and five in a row ATS after shutting out Texas last week 23-0. Kansas State nearly doubled up the Longhorns in total yardage, ran the ball 43 times for 143 yards and won time of possession by a lopsided 39-21 margin, covering the spread as a nine-point favorite to improve its ATS mark to 5-2. Senior quarterback Jake Waters has now gone four games without throwing a pick.

The Wildcats have outgained five of seven opponents this season and outrushed five of seven foes by an average of 79 yards per game. And that's a figure usually conducive to covering spreads.


Smart pick

Bill Snyder's teams are almost always good bets because of his style and generalship. His teams are always ready to play. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State might be going through a down season. So while the spread on this game is rather large for this series, the smart money should go with the better team in this spot, giving the points.


Betting trends

  • Oklahoma State is 4-1 SU in its last five games when playing Kansas State
  • Kansas State is 5-0 ATS in its last five games


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Navy Midshipmen Betting Odds and Pick

Notre Dame once beat Navy 43 times in a row, but the Midshipmen have won three of the last seven meetings in this rivalry outright, going 4-3 against the spread in the process. The 6-1 Irish and 4-4 Mids square off for the 87th consecutive season, this time at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland Saturday night.


Point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 13.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report.)


College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 33.2-19.0 Fighting Irish


Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread

The Irish started 6-0 straight up and 4-2 against the spread this season, but two weeks ago suffered their first outright loss in a 31-27 decision at defending national champion Florida State. Notre Dame outgained the Seminoles 470-323 and outrushed them 157-50, but had a game-winning Everett Golson touchdown pass in the waning seconds nullified by an offensive pass interference call.

The Irish have outgained five of seven opponents this year, and outrushed six of seven foes, by an average of 60 yards per game. Meanwhile, Golson, after sitting out all last season, has improved his completion percentage from 59 two years ago to 62 this season.


Why the Navy Midshipmen can cover the spread

The Mids had lost three games in a row, but have won their last two after beating San Jose State last week 41-31, covering as eight-point favorites. Navy ran the ball 68 times for 423 yards against the Spartans, 251 of those yards by junior quarterback Keenan Reynolds. So the Mids have outgained and outrushed their last three opponents.

In fact, they rank second in the country in rushing at 352 yards per game, outrushing foes by an average of 181 yards. As mentioned above, Navy has beaten Notre Dame in three of the last seven meetings, and almost did it again last year, giving up an Irish score with three minutes to go to lose 38-34.


Smart Pick

Notre Dame is the better team, but Navy is a pain in the butt to play. The Irish may put up 40 points on the smallish Mids defense, but Navy's option might be good for 30 points itself. So the smart money for this rivalry resides with the underdog Middies.


Betting Trends

  • Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in its last five games on the road.
  • The total has gone OVER in four of Navy's last five games when playing Notre Dame.


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Florida State Seminoles vs. Louisville Cardinals Betting Odds and Pick

Florida State might be undefeated and headed for the College Football Playoff, but as heavy betting favorites almost every time out, the Seminoles are also only 1-8 against the spread in their last nine games. Florida State will be a solid favorite again when it takes on Louisville in the teams' first meeting as ACC foes Thursday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.


Point spread: Seminoles opened as 8.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).


College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 37.3-25.2 Seminoles


Why the Florida State Seminoles can cover the spread

Following the victory over Notre Dame two weeks ago, the Seminoles have now won 23 games in a row, going 13-9-1 ATS. Florida State didn't have its top game against the Irish, but it made the plays when it needed to, getting two Jameis Winston touchdown passes and two Karlos Williams touchdown runs.

The phantom offensive pass interference call against Notre Dame at the end of the game didn't hurt, either. Florida State only ranks 47th in the country in total offense and 53rd in total defense but 19th in scoring at 38 points per game and 29th in points allowed at 22 per game.


Why the Louisville Cardinals can cover the spread

The Cardinals have won three of their last four games, and covered three of their last five, after beating North Carolina State two weeks ago 30-18. Louisville got 173 yards on the ground from running back Michael Dyer and two touchdown passes from quarterback Will Gardner, who now owns an 11-2 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season.

And the Cardinals defense held the Wolf Pack to just 128 yards rushing. Louisville ranks 94th in total offense but leads the nation in both total defense, allowing 245 yards per game, and against the run, giving up 69 yards per game. The most points the Cardinals have allowed this season was the 23 both Virginia and Clemson scored.


Smart pick

Florida State has not looked like the team it was last year, but the 'Noles are still a dangerous bunch. If this game were being played in Tallahassee, the Seminoles might be favored by as much as two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Louisville is only 1-7 ATS the last eight times it's been lined as a home dog. So the smart choice here is with the visiting Seminoles, minus the points.


Betting Trends

  • Florida State is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games on the road.
  • The total has gone under in five of Louisville's last seven games at home.


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds-tracker app.

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Florida Gators vs. Georgia Bulldogs: Betting Odds, Analysis and Pick

Not too long ago, Florida owned the rivalry with Georgia, winning five of six meetings. But the Bulldogs have turned the tables on the Gators, winning the last three meetings, going 2-0-1 against the spread. The 6-1 'Dawgs will try to beat 3-3 Florida for a fourth straight time when the teams meet for the big cocktail party in Jacksonville Saturday afternoon.


Point spread: Bulldogs opened as 10-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)


College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 38.5-30.7 Bulldogs


Why the Florida Gators can cover the spread

The Gators are coming off a disheartening 42-13 loss at home to Missouri in which they held the Tigers to just 119 yards of total offense but gave up four Mizzou touchdowns on returns. Florida allowed the Tigers to return the opening kickoff for a score and never recovered.

The Gators committed six turnovers, but the defense did its part, stuffing the Missouri offense to the tune of just over two yards per play. Two weeks ago, Florida put on a decent performance at LSU, losing 30-27 on a 50-yard field goal at the buzzer. The Gators rank just 99th in the country in total offense but 12th in total defense, holding foes to 313 yards per game.


Why the Georgia Bulldogs can cover the spread

Since losing at South Carolina back in September, the Bulldogs have won their last five games in a row, four in blowout fashion, going 3-2 ATS. Three weeks ago, Georgia, suddenly playing without Heisman candidate running back Todd Gurley, won at Missouri 34-0, and two weeks ago the 'Dawgs bolted out to a 38-6 halftime lead on their way to a 45-32 victory at Arkansas.

Toting the load in place of Gurley, freshman Nick Chubb chugged for 202 yards and two scores against the Razorbacks after going for 143 against Mizzou. And the Georgia defense, which ranks 13th in the nation against the run, held the ground-oriented Hogs to 126 yards on 37 carries.


Smart Pick

Georgia is rolling with or without Gurley, while Florida looks like a lost cause and is probably heading for a coaching change. So while this spread might seem a bit inflated, the smart choice is with the Bulldogs, minus the points.


Betting Trends

  • Florida is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games when playing on the road against Georgia
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of Georgia's last 13 games at home


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Auburn Tigers vs. Mississippi Rebels Betting Odds, Analysis and Pick

Ole Miss just suffered its first loss of this season but still ranks as one of the best teams in college football on which to wager with its 6-1-1 against the spread record. The Rebels will try to jump back on the winning track when they host defending SEC champion and West division rival Auburn Saturday night down in Oxford.


Point spread: Rebels opened as three-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).


College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 33.7-30.3 Rebels


Why the Auburn Tigers can cover the spread

The Tigers bounced back from their first loss of the season two weeks ago at Mississippi State to beat South Carolina 42-35, avoiding what might have been a season-killing second SEC loss. Auburn racked up 551 yards of offense against the Gamecocks, 395 on the ground, as three different Tigers–Cameron Artis-Payne, Ricardo Louis and Nick Marshall–ran for at least 89 yards.

Auburn ranks 20th in the nation in total offense, 46th in total defense and has out-rushed opponents this season by an average of 161 yards per game. The Tigers will be going up against a stout Ole Miss defense, but last year, in a 30-22 victory, Auburn ran for 282 yards against the Rebels.


Why the Mississippi Rebels can cover the spread

The Rebs just lost a tough game at LSU 10-7, allowing the game-winning score with five minutes to go, but there's no real shame in losing by a field goal in a place like Death Valley. Ole Miss hung onto a lead for as long as it could, but quarterback Bo Wallace had his toughest outing of the season, completing just 14 of 33 passes. Going into that game, the senior quarterback had hit on 64 percent of his throws, with 17 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Offensively the Rebs only rank 64th overall, but the Ole Miss defense ranks ninth overall and first in points allowed, at just 11 per game.


Smart pick

Auburn has won four of the last five meetings in this series, going 4-1 ATS in the process. The Tigers have also outgained every opponent this year but one and out-rushed them all. Meanwhile, Ole Miss has been outgained in three of its last four games. So the smart money here goes with Auburn, plus the points.


Betting trends

  • Auburn is 4-1 ATS in its last five games when playing Mississippi
  • Mississippi is 3-6 ATS in its last nine games when playing at home against Auburn


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Arkansas Razorbacks vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs: Odds, College Football Pick

Arkansas is still winless in SEC play under head coach Bret Bielema and has lost 16 straight conference games overall, going 6-10 against the spread. However, the Razorbacks have shown some money-making ability this season, going 6-2 ATS.

The Hogs will try again to break that SEC losing streak this weekend, but it won't be easy, taking on the top-ranked Bulldogs of Mississippi State in Starkville Saturday night.


Point Spread: The Bulldogs opened as 14-point favorites.

Odds Shark Computer Pick: Bulldogs 40.5, Razorbacks 25.8


Why the Arkansas Razorbacks Can Cover the Spread

The Razorbacks just bombed Alabama-Birmingham 45-17, covering the spread as 24-point favorites. Arkansas gained 484 yards to the Blazers' 195, racked up 273 rushing yards and held the ball for almost 35 minutes.

Two weeks ago, the Hogs thought they had a chance to snap that SEC losing streak but got slapped down by Georgia. Just before that, Arkansas gave Alabama all it could handle, losing 14-13 but out-gaining the Tide by over 100 yards.

In a tough game earlier this year, the Razorbacks played Auburn to a 21-21 halftime tie before fading down the stretch.

So they can play with quality opponents.


Why the Mississippi State Bulldogs Can Cover the Spread

The Bulldogs are 7-0 for the second time in the last two seasons after winning at Kentucky last week 45-31. Mississippi State piled up 542 yards on offense, 326 on the ground, held the ball for almost 35 minutes and limited the Wildcats to 103 yards on 32 carries.

Near the end, the Bulldogs returned a kickoff for a score that garnered them a push as 14.5-point favorites.

For the season, Mississippi State is out-rushing opponents by 155 yards per game, which is a big reason why the Bulldogs are 5-2 ATS.


Smart Pick

One of these days, Arkansas is going to put it all together and break that SEC losing streak. Can the Hogs do it in this spot, playing at the top-ranked team in the land? Unlikely.

But to keep a game like this close, the underdog has to run the ball, work the clock and limit the turnovers, and Arkansas might be able to pull that off.

The smart choice here is with the Hogs, plus the points.


Betting Trends

  • Arkansas is 4-13 straight up in its last 17 games.
  • Mississippi State is 5-0 SU in its last five games.


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Arizona Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds, Analysis, College Football Pick

The UCLA Bruins are 2-0 both straight up and against the spread versus the Arizona Wildcats the last two years. But after beginning this season as the favorite to win the Pac-12 South, UCLA has already lost twice in conference play and can ill afford another defeat. The 6-2 Bruins host the 6-1 Wildcats for homecoming at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.


Point spread: The Bruins opened as 4.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).


College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 39.4-34.7 Bruins


Why the Arizona Wildcats can cover the spread

The Wildcats bounced back from their first loss of the season, that heartbreaker to USC, to win 59-37 at Washington State last week.

Arizona returned a punt for a touchdown two minutes into the game, led 24-0 after one quarter, and cruised to the victory and the cover as a field-goal favorite.

The 'Cats ran for 157 yards, got five touchdown passes from redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon and held the supposedly high-powered Cougars passing attack to just two touchdowns through the first three quarters.

Arizona ranks sixth in the nation in total offense and 13th in scoring at 41 points per game.


Why the UCLA Bruins can cover the spread

The Bruins avoided disaster with a 40-37 overtime victory at Colorado last week.

UCLA jumped out to a 24-7 lead, allowed the Buffaloes to come back and tie the score at 31 late, and then won it on a Brett Hundley scoring run in the second OT. The Bruins racked up 509 yards of offense, 309 on the ground.

UCLA ranks 21st in the nation in total offense and is averaging 214 yards per game rushing.

Two years ago, the Bruins thrashed Arizona 66-10. Last year, they beat the 'Cats 31-26. In those two games combined, UCLA amassed nearly 1,100 yards of offense, 550 on the ground.


Smart Pick

UCLA has been one of the worst teams in college football to bet on this season, going just 1-7 ATS. But a trend like that, involving a team like this, should begin reverting back toward the .500 mark sometime soon. If the Bruins can put on a full four-quarter performance, they should win and cover this contest.


Betting Trends

  • Arizona is 2-4 ATS in its last six games.
  • UCLA is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games.


All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates, and get the free odds tracker app.

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Arizona Wildcats vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds, Analysis, College Football Pick

The UCLA Bruins are 2-0 both straight up and against the spread versus the Arizona Wildcats the last two years...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

SEC Football Q&A: Is Georgia a Legit College Football Playoff Contender?

As we turn the calendar from October to November, it's now the home stretch for many teams in the playoff hunt, players in the Heisman Trophy race and coaches looking to save their jobs.

Georgia will play Florida this weekend in a game that could boost the Bulldogs' playoff hopes and simultaneously send Gators head coach Will Muschamp to the unemployment line.

Meanwhile, LSU and Alabama have two weeks to prepare for their showdown in Baton Rouge, after both looked fantastic in wins last weekend. In Columbia, Steve Spurrier's South Carolina Gamecocks already have dropped four games with several more nail-biters left on the schedule.

Let's get you prepared for the final month of the season with a little SEC Q&A:


Oh, without a doubt. In fact, Georgia is one of only a few teams that controls its playoff destiny heading into the final month of the season.

If Georgia wins out, not only will head coach Mark Richt's crew make the College Football Playoff, it will likely either be a No. 2 seed or a No. 1 seed if Florida State goes down. The Bulldogs would have a win over Auburn (Nov. 15) and whoever wins the SEC West in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

That's not as far-fetched as it may seem. With Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech remaining, the Bulldogs will likely be underdogs in just one of those games—Auburn—which will be played in Athens. The path sets up well, and is syncing up nicely with Georgia finding its groove.

Nick Chubb filled in wonderfully for suspended running back Todd Gurley in road games at Missouri and Arkansas, rushing for 345 yards and three touchdowns in those two games. At the same time, the much-maligned defense was busy picking off six passes—one shy of their total for the entire 2013 season.

Yes, Georgia is very much a playoff contender—especially if Gurley comes back soon, which is something that is expected. Even if the Bulldogs lose to Auburn, they still might make it to Atlanta and make life miserable for whoever emerges from the SEC West.

Would a two-loss Georgia team with an SEC title make the playoff? At that point, it'd be hard to keep out.


Certainly more of a shot now than it did two weeks ago, when the offense looked lost and the defense still had issues.

Since the Florida game, though, LSU has found its identity.

The offense found a groove with a bruising rushing attack and a punishing offensive line that creates holes the size of the Grand Canyon for running backs Leonard Fournette, Terrence Magee and Kenny Hilliard. Fournette rushed for 140 yards against the tough Gators defense and then 113 against the Rebels last weekend in two big wins for the Tigers.

The Tigers have also been better stopping the run, and Kendell Beckwith's emergence at middle linebacker is a big reason for that. Beckwith took over for D.J. Welter following the Auburn game, and he has responded with 26 tackles over the last three games.

They've got a shot, but I wouldn't pick the Tigers to win if I had to make a pick right now.

LSU's pass defense is great, but there's nobody on LSU's roster—or, really, anybody's roster—who can cover Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper.

On the flip side, Alabama's front seven is fast and physical, and it will present a tremendous challenge to the Tigers offensive line and running backs. The Tide's defense will put the game in the hands of Tigers quarterback Anthony Jennings, who has completed just 50 percent of his passes, tossing eight touchdowns and five picks this season. 

Not exactly the most reassuring thing in the world.


After Steve Spurrier's performance last week in the 42-35 loss to Auburn, not a chance.

The Head Ball Coach had those ball plays workin' on the Plains, racking up 535 total yards, converting 5-of-6 fourth downs and recovering a third-quarter surprise onside kick in what was a wildly entertaining game between the Gamecocks and the Tigers.

According to, Spurrier got a raise during the offseason that pays him $4 million per year through the 2018 season. Unless Spurrier wins the SEC title before 2018, I would expect him to stick around through the entire contract.

It's no secret, though, that he wants another SEC title. If that happens before his contract runs out, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Spurrier rides off into the sunset and chases a little white ball around a large lawn in Crescent Beach, Florida every day for the rest of his life.

As far as who replaces Spurrier, it's hard to know what the market will look like when the Head Ball Coach hangs up the visor. If Chad Morris is still Clemson's offensive coordinator, though, it would be wise for the Gamecocks to raid enemy territory and get him before somebody else does.


Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Watch High School Linebacker Snag 1-Handed Pick-6

One-handed interceptions are impressive. One-handed interceptions that result in six points are even more noteworthy.

Tristian Pipp, an inside linebacker out of Greendale, Wisconsin, read the quarterback perfectly, timed his jump, snatched the intended pass with one hand and returned it for the score. 

Was this the best interception of the high school season?

Watch the video and let us know! 

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Michigan Football: Wolverines Need More Players Like Joe Bolden

Don’t knock Michigan linebacker Joe Bolden for showing heart during a heated moment—the “classless” and “unsportsmanlike” arguments won’t hold a drop of water.

Granted, his tent-spike-driving tirade near midfield prior to Michigan’s 35-11 loss to Michigan State was a bit misdirected—not to mention a tad overdramatic—but the 6'3", 231-pound junior didn’t overstep boundaries or taint the legend of the Big Ten’s iconic in-state rivalry.

There is no need for a judge and jury, as there was no crime or violation committed.

In fact, by lighting an emotional fire underneath his teammates, the defensive cornerstone and team captain was simply carrying out orders—plain and simple.

However, on Sunday, Brady Hoke felt the need to apologize for Bolden, placing a phone call to Spartans coach Mark Dantonio to clear the air. In an effort to further clarify the scenario, Hoke followed by releasing a public statement—you know, just for the sake of being thorough and transparent.

It was thoughtful but entirely unnecessary.

Apologize? For what? So the guy got wild by performing a team-wide gut check in front of a packed Spartan Stadium. So he challenged his own team to tilt the balance of the recently lopsided annual affair.

Good for him.

By doing that, he proved that some members of Team 135 still have a pulse—the intent was there and duly noted by defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.

“I love Joe Bolden! Are you kidding me?” he exclaimed when asked about the pregame outburst. “Joe Bolden...[satisfied laughter]...Man, I’ll tell you what: Give me a room of him. Give me a room of Joe Boldens. Give me 11 of them. Just line them up—put them at any position you want—and I’m going to tell you what: There will be a lot of happy people, and me being the happiest.

“When you say ‘Joe Bolden’ to me, you’ve got a guy—that’s a football player. That’s a guy who’s a leader, who gives everything that he can give. And you know what? We’ve got a bunch of them like that too, which is really neat.”

Mattison got quite emotional in response to the question about Bolden. See it here on MGoBlue (5:30).

It’s taken Bolden less than two full seasons to solidify himself as a leading producer. His 63 tackles (32 solo, 31 assists) are second to fellow linebacker Jake Ryan’s 68 (40, 28) and, since his sophomore year, he’s been frequently mentioned as one of Team 135’s most dedicated members.

When Hoke and Mattison discuss players who get it, they’re referencing the Boldens of the world.

Following the Wolverines’ 30-14 loss to the Gophers, Bolden, in essence, took full blame for his defense’s lapses and transgressions; it surrendered a season-high 183 yards to running back David Cobb and missed several tackles during the Wolverines' first home loss to Minnesota since 2005.

He had a decent game, though the same can’t be said for the rest of his teammates. However, instead of placing blame, he chose to shoulder the burden while facing an army of glaring TV cameras that was posted behind a flock of reporters with recorders.

"You know, you're never happy with a loss,” he said, visibly tense. “If you love to compete, you're never happy unless you win. And when you win, you want to still compete and you want to keep on it."

Rather than complaining about the defense being on the field for 34 minutes, 40 seconds, he flipped the script when asked if he was irritated by the lack of rest between series.

"Not at all,” Bolden replied. “From a defensive perspective, you have the opportunity to go out and play more snaps. If you love the game, if you love Michigan, you love putting the winged helmet on, you love the opportunity to go out and play Michigan defense."

Mattison’s correct: The Wolverines need more Boldens. Sure, they all "compete" and "work hard," as the staff says each week. But if they don't feel differently while playing—and ultimately losing to—the Spartans, and if they seem content after bowing to teams Michigan's owned in the past, then they’re playing for the wrong school.

Bolden seems to be one of a select few who are capable of making those distinctions.


Follow Bleacher Report’s Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter: @AdamBiggers81

Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and references to were obtained firsthand by the writer.

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College Football Rankings 2014: Week 10 Standings and Top 25 Team Records

If you look at the college football rankings heading into Week 10, there is a feeling of inevitable controversy that creeps in.

After all, there are 16 power-five conference teams (including Notre Dame) that are ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 with a single loss. Even if you work under the assumption that the undefeated Florida State Seminoles and Mississippi State Bulldogs will be in the College Football Playoff field, the selection committee still has to pick two more squads.

Then there is undefeated Marshall, who won’t get in the playoffs but is still racking together win after win.

With that in mind, here is a look at the Week 10 rankings. The official Bleacher Report poll can be found here.


Week 10 Under-the-Radar Game to Watch: Florida State at Louisville

The Thursday night showdown between Florida State and Louisville may not be the marquee matchup on paper that the games featuring Ole Miss against Auburn, TCU against West Virginia, Utah against Arizona State and Arizona against UCLA are in Week 10, but don’t be surprised when the Cardinals keep it close.

Stranger things have happened on Thursday nights in college football, and the home crowd will be absolutely rocking throughout the game.

This is about more than just the home-field advantage, though. The Louisville defense is fourth in the nation in scoring at 14.6 points allowed per game, No. 1 nationally in total defense, No. 1 against the run and No. 10 against the pass. Louisville has won four of its last five games and has not given up more than 23 points in a single contest all year.

In fact, the Cardinals have held their six ACC opponents below their scoring average every time out.

The Florida State offense is going to have its hands full trying to reach the end zone.

Louisville is so efficient defensively because it has so many impressive individual talents. Gerod Holliman, James Sample and Charles Gaines are all in the top 11 in the ACC in passes defended, and Lorenzo Mauldin, Sheldon Rankins and Keith Kelsey are all in the top 11 in the ACC in sacks.

That combination of ruthless pass-rushers and talented secondary members allows Louisville to get pressure when it only rushes four. That makes life particularly difficult on the wide receivers trying to get open when there is safety help and only a couple of seconds until the quarterback gets hit.

Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham discussed his unit, via Andrea Adelson of

I felt we had individuals who could be really good at their positions, so we talk about that as winning your one-on-one matchups. As you go through the day and you work, try to be the best at your position and if you’re the best at your position, and we can get you in one-on-one situations, you’re going to affect the game, which is good for our team. We’ve been able to get some matchups that are positive for us and those guys have made some plays.

The Cardinals are fresh off a 30-18 win over North Carolina State. The transitive property is too simple to apply to college football, but it still has to be mentioned that it was the same Wolfpack team that dropped 41 points on Florida State.

Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel shared his thoughts on the defense Florida State will face on Thursday, as well as a quote from head coach Jimbo Fisher:

Considering Florida State has not scored less than 30 points this year with Winston under center and Louisville has not given up 30, something has to give.

This is also Florida State’s first game since the Notre Dame nail-biter, and clashes with Miami and Florida are waiting down the road. Between any lingering sense of relief from the Seminoles after the offensive pass interference call against the Fighting Irish and the anticipation of those upcoming rivalry games, Florida State could overlook this one.

While the majority of the focus heading into the showdown will be on the Louisville defense against the defending Heisman Trophy winner Winston and the Florida State offense, the difference in this game may be the Cardinals’ ability (or inability) to score against the Seminoles.

Louisville ranks 72nd nationally in passing yards per game and 90th in rushing yards per game, and Florida State is 29th in the country in scoring defense and has plenty of potential NFL talent on that side of the ball. Yes, the Seminoles have struggled at times defensively, but they will find a way to keep the Cardinals from scoring too often on Thursday night.

Winston will have a difficult test against the Louisville defense, but if he finds the end zone three times, that will be enough because his defense will thrive in this matchup against a middle-of-the-road Louisville offense.

Winston will do just enough to get his team yet another victory. 

Prediction: Florida State 27, Louisville 20


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Michigan Wolverines vs. Indiana Hoosiers Complete Game Preview

Michigan (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) continued its free fall last week losing 35-11 to in-state rival Michigan State. Michigan was not only dominated on the field but found itself embarrassed by a motivational ploy gone wrong that further angered the Spartans. Michigan State hammered the Wolverines, tacking on a late touchdown after which its fans chanted “Keep Brady Hoke” as the game clock expired.

The Wolverines return to Michigan Stadium for a homecoming game versus Indiana with a razor-thin margin for error left to make a bowl game, needing to win of three of four remaining games to be postseason eligible. Indiana (3-4, 0-3 Big Ten) is also struggling, and Michigan needs to take advantage of this opportunity to get back on track.

A loss to Indiana would accelerate calls for Brady Hoke’s dismissal.

This homecoming will be a time for Michigan fans to revel in memories of the past while wondering how long it will be before gridiron glory again returns to Ann Arbor.


Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014

Time: 3:30 p.m. EDT

Place: Michigan Stadium (109,901), Ann Arbor, Mich.

Series vs. Indiana: Michigan leads 53-9

Television: BTN

Radio: Michigan Sports Network, Sirius (113), XM (195)

Spread: Michigan by 9.5 via Odds Shark

Live Stats: GameTracker


Last Meeting vs. Indiana

Michigan won a 63-47 shootout over Indiana for its final home win of the season. The Wolverines pulled away with three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Michigan would only win one more game (an overtime thriller versus Northwestern) for the rest of the 2013 season.

*Information according to University of Michigan Wolverine Football game notes.

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10 College Football Players Who Are Much Better Than Their Statistics Show

With 479 passing yards per game—the most in the FBS—is Washington State’s Connor Halliday really the best quarterback in the nation?

And with 170 rushing yards per game—also No. 1 in the nation—is Indiana’s Tevin Coleman the best running back?

You have to wonder if quantity really does equal quality and if the numbers that underscore our understanding of college football really tell us which players are the best.

Here are 10 guys who may not be all-world in the major statistical categories we hold so dear, but who are proving themselves to be elite players outside of the box.

Since the possibilities are endless, we’ll limit the discussion to just a handful of athletes from each side of the ball.

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FSU vs. Louisville: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

The Florida State Seminoles were fortunate enough to have a bye week directly after their Week 8 contest against Notre Dame came down to the wire. The nation's No. 2 team is back in action on Thursday, but winning on the road against a strong Louisville team will be no easy task.

While the Cardinals may not have the poise of Teddy Bridgewater at the quarterback position again this season, the team's defense has stepped up in a big way, allowing just 14.6 points per game. In fact, Louisville hasn't given up more than 23 points in a single contest this season.

This clash of ACC foes pits strength against strength. Can Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston lead the Seminoles to an 8-0 record, or will a sound Cardinals defense play spoiler to Florida State's College Football Playoff bid?

Both of these teams are already bowl-eligible, but that's only half of the story. This game is just as much about pride within the conference.


Battle of Strengths

There's no question the Seminoles have one of the most explosive offenses in the nation. This team has scored over 30 points in six of its seven contests this season—including a 31-point performance against a very stout Fighting Irish defense.

While Winston may not be quite up to Heisman form in 2014, he's remained very efficient. Against Notre Dame, he completed 23 of his 31 passing attempts for 273 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Winston's interception rate may be up this season, but so is his resilience.

The Seminoles didn't hold a lead through three-and-a-half quarters against Notre Dame, yet Winston only appeared to get better as the game went on. He led a convincing 10-play, 75-yard drive in the fourth quarter resulting in a Karlos Williams touchdown run and a lead the team wouldn't relinquish.

Winston won't have it any easier on Thursday.

The Cardinals' fourth-ranked defense has been lights-out this season. Before the team's bye week, it faced a dangerous North Carolina State offense that gave the Seminoles fits earlier in the season. Well, that wasn't quite the case against Louisville.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett was held in check, completing 18 of his 32 passing attempts for 223 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He didn't do too much damage on the ground, either, as it took the Wolfpack a good chunk of carries to rack up any kind of yardage:

Florida State only averaged 1.9 yards per carry against Notre Dame, putting the game completely on the arm of Jameis Winston. Expect that to be the case once again on Thursday.


Aerial Prowess

This game could come down to one big play for either of these teams—and they both have wide receivers capable of hitting a home run whenever they touch the ball.

Rashad Greene is arguably the best wide receiver in the nation right now. He shows up each and every game, showcasing his route-running ability, soft hands, vision, elusiveness and speed. He's an all-around wide receiver and playmaker, and that showed up against Notre Dame.

Against the Fighting Irish, Greene racked up eight passes for 108 yards, averaging 13.5 yards per catch, one touchdown and a long reception of 33 yards. Those were all team highs, and that's nothing new for Greene.

Here's a look at the NFL prospect's numbers this season:

Louisville's DeVante Parker is just as dangerous. While he missed most of the season due to injury, he didn't take long to prove why he's one of the nation's best. North Carolina State didn't have an answer for Parker in his first game back in action. He caught nine receptions for 132 yards, averaging 14.7 yards per catch, and a long of 37 yards.

This 6'3" senior pass-catcher appears to have a very bright future in the NFL as well.

Expect both of these receivers to go head-to-head on Thursday, as one will likely be given a chance to make a big enough play to turn the tide of the game.


When: Thursday, October 30

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky

Channel: ESPN

Live Stream: WatchESPN

Betting Line (via Odds Shark): Florida State -5


Team Injury Reports

Injury reports per The Sports Network, via USA Today.



This one will be far closer than many would anticipate. While Florida State does boast a prolific offense, the Cardinals have the defensive personnel to match up nicely. Louisville's ability to take away the run will put a larger amount of pressure on Winston to perform on the road.

The Cardinals haven't had the most high-octane offense this season, but the return of Parker did wonders for the team's ability to move the ball down the field. The Seminoles defense has been gashed at times this year, and Parker has the vertical ability to exploit Florida State's secondary.

Expect this one to come down to the wire. While Louisville has home-field advantage, the Seminoles' resilient nature will once again help them emerge victorious thanks to another big scoring drive in the waning minutes of the contest.

Prediction: Florida State 24, Louisville 20

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College Football Playoff 2014: TV Schedule, Time and Live Stream for 1st Release

Months of human polls and wild speculation come to a halt Tuesday when the inaugural College Football Playoff Top 25 poll is released to the public.

The College Football Playoff selection committee, which consists of 12 members at the moment, has perhaps the most difficult task in the sporting world. Normally the decision process would still be quite difficult, but this chaotic season has ensured the inaugural poll is a major obstacle.

Keep in mind that the reveal will come in front of a national audience, too.

Fans can witness the action firsthand Tuesday night.


What: College Football Playoff Top 25 Poll First Release

When: Tuesday, October 28 at 7:30 p.m. ET


Live Stream: WatchESPN


How it Works

A total of 12 members, after Archie Manning stepped down, meet the Monday before Tuesday's release and attempt to sift through loads of information before coming up with a poll that reflects which teams are in and which are out should the playoff be next week.

As CFB Playoff captures, the committee has been hard at work on the inaugural batch of rankings:

The criteria is not so well-defined and may not be even after the release, should no leaks occur.

In theory, the committee will mostly focus on conference championships and strength of schedule, with the latter meaning those big schools that schedule a tough nonconference slate will be rewarded as opposed to those teams that book easily won matchups that amount to bye weeks.

Again, though, in theory.

Also of importance seems to be head-to-head competition and outcomes of common opponents. Not of importance? Other polls, such as the Associated Press Top 25 and coaches polls, as they do not take into account strength of schedule.

Many, such as Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, want to know if all this chatter of strength of schedule will actually come to fruition, as captured by Brandon Kiley of KTGR The Big Show:

Regardless, the 12 people on the committee will turn in votes over a series of weeks in what will ultimately form the 25-team list, although certain members paid by a school must recuse themselves from talking about said school.

Critics will point out that a weekly release may be an issue if a team gets hot near the end of the season but began ranked low and, as a result, winds up missing the CFP.

But really, does anyone expect there to not be controversy?


What to Expect


Well, as far as the overall Top 25 goes. Much debate has and will continue to be had in regards to how the conference beating up on itself will hurt each team's CFP chances, but it does not prohibit the conference from dominating the initial list.

As for an official CFP prediction? The top two are quite obvious. The bottom two, not so much: 

Mississippi State is the darling of the nation at the moment thanks to Heisman contender Dak Prescott, who reminds many of a guy by the name of Tim Tebow. The Bulldogs have wins over Texas A&M, LSU and Auburn, but upcoming battles with Alabama and Ole Miss might throw this initial poll for a loop.

Speaking of Alabama, Nick Saban's Crimson Tide figure to get a nod near the top of the polls and perhaps eventually enter the CFP—as long as the team can keep up with that encounter with the Bulldogs and take care of business against Auburn to close the season.

Florida State is the other obvious entrant and potential No. 1 in the first offering Tuesday. Jameis Winston is a Heisman winner, and a recent triumph over Notre Dame means the team has a cakewalk the rest of the way.

TCU is but one single-loss wild card, but it may prove to have a distinct advantage as the Big 12 does not hold a conference title game, meaning the Horned Frogs can run the table the rest of the way and likely secure a spot in the CFP.

Tuesday's release should reflect something similar to these thoughts unless all the talk about strength of schedule has been smoke. Regardless, hostility toward the initial release is a given considering this is new to everybody, and the difference between the No. 4 and No. 12 teams in the nation is miniscule at best.

Enjoy the show.


Note: All info courtesy of unless otherwise specified.


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Georgia Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for the Month of November

We are heading into the final month of the college football regular season, and the Georgia Bulldogs are trying to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.

As of right now, they are in good position. They lead the SEC East and have only one loss, which gives them the right to make a case for being one of the best one-loss teams.

But before the Bulldogs can think of the national title (or an SEC title for that matter), they will need to do well in their last five games, which are all played in the month of November. Will the Bulldogs keep the hot streak going? Will a team like Florida or Auburn cool them off?

Here are game-by-game predictions for the Bulldogs in the month of November.

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Pac-12 Football: Ranking the Job Security of Pac-12 Coaches

With the month of November still in front of us, the temperature of each Pac-12 coach's seat is liable to change at least a few degrees over the next five weeks. Whether that's a little bit cooler or a little bit warmer all depends on how the teams play, but it's safe to say not everyone has a deadbolt lock on their job.

Relative to other conferences, though, the Pac-12 has a bunch of coaches who have virtually zero chance of getting fired. Ranking those coaches isn't easy, so one way to look at it is by thinking about where they would stand if their teams lost every remaining game.

Over half of the coaches would still have a job, while some might be left updating a resume. While that might not be the fairest way to judge job security, temperatures heat up quicker in some towns than others. If Colorado loses the rest of its games, Mike MacIntyre will probably be okay. If Oregon does the same thing, Mark Helfrich might be in trouble, but that's the nature of college football, especially when your program has built such a strong reputation.

Also factored into the equation here is the remaining schedule. You have to take into account the road ahead and factor that into how secure jobs are for every coach.

We're ranking them from twelve on down to one in order of the most secure to the least secure. Will anyone be fired at the end of the season, or will this be the first year in recent memory with zero coaching changes?

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Pac-12 Football: Ranking the Job Security of Pac-12 Coaches

With the month of November still in front of us, the temperature of each Pac-12 coach's seat is liable to change at least a few degrees over the next five weeks...

Begin Slideshow