NCAA Football

Frank Clark Dismissed from Michigan After Arrest: Latest Details and Reaction

Michigan Wolverines defensive end Frank Clark was dismissed from the program Monday after being arrested Sunday for an alleged case of domestic violence, according to Bryan Fischer of

ESPN's Brett McMurphy originally reported the arrest, which involved an incident between Clark and his girlfriend at a hotel in Sandusky, Ohio.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke spoke to Angelique Chengelis of The Detroit News about the situation:

Andy Ouriel of The Sandusky Register provided a look at Clark in court Monday and provided further details on his case:

In 10 games this season, Clark amassed 42 combined tackles and five sacks. The Wolverines are 5-5 with Clark on the field and have two games remaining (vs. Maryland and at Ohio State) on the schedule.   

The Wolverines will lean heavily on senior defensive end Brennen Beyer to pick up Clark’s weight on the field. Backup defensive ends Mario Ojemudia and Taco Charlton will get the opportunity to shine as their playing time increases.


*Stats via


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Bowl Projections 2014: Playoff Predictions After Important Week 12 Results

Technically, the College Football Playoff doesn’t start until Jan. 1, but every week is a playoff in this sport. 

From the moment Lee Corso puts on the headgear in the morning on College GameDay until the final seconds tick off the clock in the late-night Pac-12 thrillers, few things in all of sports can match the drama of a college football Saturday in November.

We saw more of the same in Week 12 when 10 ranked teams lost and TCU and Florida State survived major scares from unranked foes. What’s more, Arizona State saw its championship hopes go up in flames in a trip to Oregon State.

The playoff picture was once again flipped on its head. With that in mind, here is a look at some updated playoff projections.


Bowl Predictions

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Baylor

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Oregon   

Championship Bowl (in Arlington, Texas): TBD (semifinal winners)


Week 13 Playoff Game to Watch: Oklahoma State at Baylor

It is a testament to the lackluster Week 13 slate of games that Oklahoma State against Baylor is the matchup to watch. Sure, games between UCLA and USC, Minnesota and Nebraska and Arizona and Utah may be solid contests on paper, but none of those teams have a realistic chance to reach the playoffs.

Of the postseason contenders, Oregon plays Colorado, Florida State battles Boston College, Alabama takes on Western Carolina and Ohio State welcomes Indiana. That doesn’t exactly scream must-watch television, even if playoff spots will be hanging in the balance.

Oklahoma State turned some heads in the season opener when it nearly upset the defending champion Florida State Seminoles in a 37-31 loss.

After that, the Cowboys won five in a row and appeared to be a Big 12 contender heading into the meat of their schedule. Instead, they were crushed by TCU, West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas and have to win either at Baylor or at Oklahoma just to make a bowl game.

That is probably asking too much.

Baylor notched one of the most impressive and important wins of the entire college football season when it beat TCU 61-58. It followed that emotional win with a loss at West Virginia but bounced back two weeks later with a blowout victory over Oklahoma.

The biggest problem in this upcoming game for Oklahoma State will be Baylor’s powerful offense. 

The Bears boast the No. 1 scoring offense in the country at 50.1 points a game and feature an incredibly balanced attack that forces the opposition to pick its poison. Baylor is No. 3 in passing yards per game and No. 24 in rushing yards per game.

Oklahoma State will counter that with a defense that is allowing an abysmal 30 points a game. The Cowboys haven’t even been close in any game since an Oct. 11 win over Kansas. This is just an uneven matchup any way you look at it.

On the other side, Baylor’s defense should be able to contain Oklahoma State’s offense.

It is a common assumption that the Bears cannot play defense because all they do is score, but they are actually 19th in the country in points allowed per game. That is even more impressive when you consider how quickly and often the offense scores, which forces the defense to be on the field for a large portion of the game.

Rather than wearing out and allowing significant chunks of points, Baylor’s defense has more than held its own every time out except in its 61-58 win over TCU.

The Oklahoma State offense it will face has been a train wreck in the last four games, which were all blowout losses. The Cowboys have not scored more than 14 points since that Oct. 11 game against Kansas and are 83rd in the nation in scoring offense.

Oklahoma State may garner more respect based on name recognition than some of the other opponents that playoff contenders are facing in Week 13, but this one will be over rather quickly. 

The most important thing from this game will be the resultant playoff fallout, especially in the race between TCU and Baylor for positioning. Jonathan Smith of 97.1 The Fan and Jake Trotter of ESPN both had interesting perspectives on that, while Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports passed along a quote from selection committee member Jeff Long:

Get ready for more arguing because Baylor is not going to lose to Oklahoma State. 

Prediction: Baylor 41, Oklahoma State 14


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Everyone Knows the Top 3, but Who Should Be No. 4 in the CFP Rankings?

With the top three teams all but locked up as Florida State, Alabama and Oregon, the final spot is up for grabs in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.  

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer discuss who they believe should round out the final four. 

Which team deserves to be fourth in the CFP rankings?

Check out the video, and let us know!

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Watch Incredible HS TD with a 1-Handed Spin Move, Truck Stick and Stiff Arm

Tristian Price of King High School (Corpus Christi, Texas) cannot be tackled in one of the most incredible runs you will see all season. Tristian uses nearly every move in the running back arsenal to score the touchdown.

Is this the best rushing touchdown you've ever seen?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Samford vs. Auburn: Complete Game Preview

AUBURN, Ala. — In the span of two weeks, Auburn has gone from No. 3 in the nation with SEC Championship hopes to a team eliminated from title contention and looking to avoid a complete disappointment of a season.

Next week, the Tigers will travel to face a rival Alabama squad that is focused on reclaiming the divisional crown and getting revenge from last year's memorable loss in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Good thing Auburn has this weekend's matchup, a home game against FCS opponent Samford.

Auburn is coming off its worst offensive performance of the Gus Malzahn era and another disappointing day for defense and special teams against Georgia, who won 34-7 in Athens.

The Tigers have plenty of issues to correct before they face a hot Alabama team, making Saturday night's home finale less about the result and more about how they improve on the field.

Before we break down the game, which is a return to the Plains for former Auburn Heisman-winning quarterback and current Samford head coach Pat Sullivan, here are the quick basics you need to know:

  • Date: Saturday, Nov. 22
  • Time: 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. local)
  • Place: Jordan-Hare Stadium; Auburn, Ala.
  • Radio: Auburn IMG Sports Network
  • Spread: N/A

Begin Slideshow

Why Alabama Is Built Best for the College Football Playoff

There is nothing novel or endearing about saying Alabama is the best-built team for the College Football Playoff, but that doesn't make it any less correct.

It has the best players, after all. It does. That's what four straight No. 1 recruiting classes will do for you.

"Arguably, they’ve got the greatest collection of football players ever assembled for a college team if the recruiting services are correct," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said at SEC media days this summer. "And they're pretty much correct."

It has the most experienced coaching staff, too. Or at least it does among the contenders.

TCU head coach Gary Patterson and defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas have been together longer than Nick Saban and Kirby Smart, and they have enjoyed great success in their own right. But they haven't done it on a CFP-sized stage the way Saban and Smart have.

They haven't won three national titles in a four-year stretch.

More than that, though, Alabama is the most complete team in the country. There is nothing that it struggles to do.

It doesn't throw as well it did in 2013, but it can still throw. It doesn't run as well as it did in 2012, but it can still run. It doesn't defend as well as it did in 201—actually, maybe it does.

Just go ask Mississippi State.

According to the F/+ ratings at Football Outsiders, Alabama has the No. 4 offense and the No. 2 defense in the country. No other team has two top-five units. Heck, no other team has two in the top 10. 

Oregon's pass defense (and the health of its offensive line) is still an issue. Florida State cannot stop the run. TCU has looked careless away from Fort Worth. Ditto Baylor away from Waco.

We can't know for sure what kind of team is best-equipped to handle the playoff, because it's never happened before. But it stands to reason that the team with the fewest weak areas would rank toward the top.

The addition of a semifinal means one more chance for a team to exploit you, one more opponent that might be your kryptonite. The teams that can beat you in multiple ways have the best chance of surviving two playoff games.

Alabama can beat you in any way it must.

In the words of Matt Brown of Sports on Earth:

Like any other team, Alabama has its flaws, and any team of college players is going to inject a degree of uncertainty into the proceedings. Still, like no other team, every aspect of a game in Tuscaloosa is a relentless physical test for opponents. Like the rest of the Saban era, Alabama is beatable—only once has it finished undefeated, after all—but it takes a lot for multiple teams to get the job done in the regular season. ...

There are ways to beat Alabama. There just aren't as many ways as the rest of college football, meaning Alabama is back to being the team anyone should least want to face in November and beyond.

The Crimson Tide are peaking at the end of the season for the umpteenth time under Saban, and they're doing it with a redshirt senior quarterback in Blake Sims. They're doing it with a Heisman candidate skill player in Amari Cooper. They're doing it with a one-time national champion offensive coordinator in Lane Kiffin.

Florida State fans would argue (and would not be entirely wrong to argue) that the 'Noles are best-equipped to handle the playoff because they are the only power-conference team with an undefeated record. Plus, you know, they won the national championship with the same head coach and quarterback last year.

But the way Florida State has dug itself into holes—even if it's just to pull a Houdini at the last possible second—does not make it a comfortable horse to back.

Louisville and Miami are good teams, but they aren't very good teams. Whichever team the Seminoles play in the playoff will by definition be very good. And very good teams are by definition able to hold a lead.

That's ostensibly how they'll have made the CFP in the first place.

But Jameis Winston is the best clutch quarterback in football. Yes. Yes he is. There's a reason he has never lost a game.

Sims, however, is starting to close the gap.

He led a nine-play, 50-second, 55-yard field-goal drive to force overtime against LSU in Tiger Stadium. He led a 15-play, six-plus-minute, 76-yard touchdown drive to ice the game against Mississippi State. The latter prompted Saban to tell reporters, "That was probably one of the greatest drives in Alabama history."

Saban. Who literally never uses hyperbole.

He knows a special something when he sees it.

That is slowly what this team has become.


Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT

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Florida Head Coach Search: Latest News and Rumors on Position

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp announced Sunday that he will be stepping down at the conclusion of the season, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy.    

The process of finding Muschamp’s replacement has already reportedly started, and McMurphy has revealed that two of the biggest names in the sport are not on Florida’s radar:

Athletics Director Jeremy Foley also spoke about the open position, via Robbie Andreu of The Gainesville Sun:

ESPN's Jake Trotter provided comments from Bob Stoops regarding the Florida position:

In Muschamp’s four seasons with the Gators, he has amassed a 27-20 overall record (17-15 against the SEC). Florida is coming off a heartbreaking loss to South Carolina on Saturday and is now 5-4 this season.

While a win over the Georgia Bulldogs was impressive earlier this month, losses to Alabama, LSU, Missouri and the Gamecocks have exposed the team’s weaknesses. Florida is currently ranked 66th in points per game (29.3) and 34th in points allowed (22.9).

Muschamp will coach the team’s final two games of the season before being bought out of his contract. The Gators face Eastern Kentucky on Saturday before finishing the season against Florida State on Nov. 29.


*Stats via


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5 Most Likely Landing Spots for Ousted Florida Coach Will Muschamp

The inevitable became reality on Sunday, when Florida announced via a press release that head coach Will Muschamp will step down at the end of the season.

"I was given every opportunity to get it done here and I simply didn’t win enough games—that is the bottom line," Muschamp said in the release. "I’m disappointed that I didn’t get it done and it is my responsibility to get it done."

We've already tossed out five options for the next Gators' head coach, but what does the future hold for Muschamp? The Gators have finished in the top 10 nationally in total defense in each of Muschamp's first three seasons in Gainesville, and are ranked 20th this season (330.3 YPG). He can still coach defense, and he will be sought after during the coaching silly season.

Where will Muschamp land? Our top five options are in this slideshow.

Begin Slideshow

Did Ohio State Blow Opportunity to Improve Playoff Standing Against Minnesota?

Ohio State battled the frigid conditions and a tough Minnesota team last Saturday, overcoming three uncharacteristic turnovers in a 31-24 victory. And while Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes were happy to come out with a win, they may have missed a golden opportunity to improve their standing with the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Ranked No. 8 after a 49-37 victory on the road against Michigan State two weeks ago, the Buckeyes suddenly found themselves on the national stage once again when they took the field in Minneapolis. Their challenge came in the form of No. 25 Minnesota, who had thrashed a surging Iowa team 51-14 the previous week.

It was another chance for Ohio State to show its strength, but a sloppy performance turned what could have been an impressive showing into a close (but respectable) win. 

The Buckeyes looked to be rolling in the first quarter—up 14 with possession after forcing Minnesota's offense into its third consecutive three-and-out. That's when J.T. Barrett went for the kill with an ill-advised deep pass that was intercepted. Five plays later, Gophers running back David Cobb was racing into the end zone to make it a one-score game. 

Later in the second quarter, H-back Jalin Marshall was diving for a seven-yard touchdown when he fumbled the ball into the end zone. The Gophers recovered and then marched 80 yards in 11 plays, turning what should have been a 14-point Buckeyes lead into a tie game.

Ohio State seized control, though, scoring the game's next 17 points to gain a 31-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter. But another gaffe from Marshall—who muffed a punt inside the Buckeyes' 15-yard line—helped Minnesota tack on another score. A garbage-time Gophers field goal provided a seven-point difference that is now serving as a mirage that the game was closer than it really was. 

On Saturday, Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman defended his team, saying that it performed well given the conditions and opponent, according to Doug Lesmerises of The Plain DealerBut he also admitted that the turnovers were costly.

"Obviously, we're not gonna be able to go where we want to go turning the ball over like that," Herman said, via Lesmerises.

The Buckeyes are in line to move up at least one spot thanks to Oregon State's 35-27 upset win over No. 6 Arizona State. But poor performances from other higher-ranked teams opened the door even further for the Buckeyes.

No. 4 TCU was coming off a big win over seventh-ranked Kansas State when it traveled to play a dreadful 3-6 Kansas team. The Horned Frogs looked a step slow, however, trailing by 10 midway through the third quarter before rallying for an uninspired 34-30 victory.

Top-ranked Mississippi State looked completely overmatched on the road against Alabama, falling behind 19-0 before settling in. The Bulldogs surged in the second half before eventually losing 25-20.

The Buckeyes will have to wait until Tuesday night to see how far they move up, but it's safe to assume they'd be much more confident if they had taken care of the ball against the Gophers. Because the selection committee now has a measuring stick between Ohio State and TCU—both have beaten a strong Minnesota team this season.

The difference, though, is that the Horned Frogs dominated in a 30-7 rout. 

Will the selection committee keep TCU ahead of Ohio State because it beat Minnesota in a more convincing fashion? Does a 23-point victory prove that the Horned Frogs are superior to the Buckeyes, who could only manage a seven-point win over the same team?

Minnesota linebacker De’Vondre Campbell offered his opinion on Saturday.

“Ohio State was probably the second-best team we’ve played this year, behind TCU,” Campbell said, according to Ryan Gerbosi of The Dallas Morning News. “I think TCU was a lot better."

Asked of his opinion about Minnesota and the Buckeyes performance in the driving snow and 20 degree weather, Meyer kept it simple.

“I’d like to see anybody in the country come up here and do this, come up here in November on Nov. 15," Meyer said, according to Patrick Maks of Eleven Warriors. "I challenge any team in the country that wants to go ahead and schedule this one in November against a very good team. Have at it. That’s our message.”

He's hoping the selection committee gets that message before it releases its rankings this Tuesday.


David Regimbal covers Ohio State football for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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Samuel Chi's Mock College Football Playoff Standings: Week 13

With three weeks left on the season, there are just seven FBS teams with no more than one loss. It's possible for all seven to win out, but only six will be able to claim (or share) their respective conference championships.

The selection committee's most difficult task now is to determine which three teams to leave out of the four-team playoff field if each wins its remaining games. Keep in mind that because the members pledged to look at the teams based on their entire body of work, the rankings may shift each week even without any of the teams losing.

So chances are the Top Four teams you see this week won't be exactly the same next week or the week after that. But the bottom line is that the current Top Three teams are in the playoff if they avoid losing, and the rest will have to fight it out for the final spot.


The Rankings


The Playoff Teams

1. Oregon

The top spot is a toss-up between Oregon and Alabama, but we think the Ducks will get the edge because of their superior record against current Top 25 teams. They have beaten three ranked teams—UCLA, Michigan State and Utah—whereas the Tide have defeated just one (over Mississippi State on Saturday).

Projected bowl: Playoff at Rose Bowl


2. Alabama

Their win over the Bulldogs put the Tide back in the driver's seat in the SEC West race, but their work is far from done. A loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl will keep them out of the SEC title game and almost certainly the inaugural playoff. As things stand now, Alabama can't afford a second loss.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Sugar Bowl


3. Florida State

The Seminoles will make the playoff if they win out, but they have no margin for error. FSU does not own a single victory over a ranked team, so a first loss will prove fatal for its quest to repeat as the national champion. But with two home games plus the ACC title game—where it will be double-digit favorites in all—the 'Noles have the easiest path to a playoff spot.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Sugar Bowl


4. TCU

The Horned Frogs probably will still hold on to this spot despite a lackluster win over Kansas. Keep in mind that since the committee isn't supposed to act like pollsters, weekly results shouldn't change the narrative too much as TCU has a better overall resume than Baylor and Ohio State. But by no means that the Frogs should feel comfortable—they've got nothing locked up even if they win out.

Projected bowl: Playoff at Rose Bowl


The First Four Out

5. Mississippi State

The Bulldogs need help (i.e. an Auburn upset in the Iron Bowl) to win the SEC West. They need a lot more help to get into the playoff as an at-large team. Because of Miss State's weak nonconference schedule, there is little chance for it to be selected for the four-team field if there are enough one-loss conference champions available.

Projected bowl: Cotton Bowl


6. Baylor

The Bears were idle this week but got some good news with TCU's struggles with Kansas and also Arizona State's loss. At the end of the season, the committee will compare TCU and Baylor's resume side-by-side with close scrutiny because the two schools share 10 common opponents. The margin of victories will matter if both teams finish 11-1 and share the Big 12 title.

Projected bowl: Cotton Bowl


7. Ohio State

The Buckeyes remain on the outside looking in (don't let Kirk Herbstreit's bracket fool you). Their close win over Minnesota won't help their cause as TCU blew out the Gophers early in the season. And that the fact a two-loss Wisconsin (at best) will be the best game left on their schedule won't provide them much of a boost. Ohio State needs lots of things to break its way.

Projected bowl: Fiesta Bowl



A handful of two-loss teams are still clinging to hopes of crashing the playoff field, and out of this group, UCLA might have the best shot. The Bruins control the tough Pac-12 South race, and if they beat Oregon in a rematch in the conference title game, they might have a chance to steal a berth—but they'll need a ton of help.

Projected bowl: Fiesta Bowl


Other Fun Facts

* The group-of-five race likely is coming down to three teams, and you have to like Marshall's chances at this point despite its less-than-rigorous schedule. Colorado State's path to the Mountain West championship is blocked by Boise State, which is also a contender but has two losses. Since seven of the committee's bottom 10 teams (Nos. 16-25) from last week lost, we expect to see at least one, if not two, non-power-five teams in the next rankings.

* There are 27 power-five teams with three or fewer losses, and all but three or four of these teams will make the next rankings. The teams about certain to be excluded are Iowa, Minnesota and Louisville, with Oklahoma and Clemson expected to fight for the last one or two spots.

* The Orange Bowl picture—a berth is guaranteed to an ACC team even if Florida State makes the playoff—got a lot murkier after both Clemson and Duke lost on Saturday. The Blue Devils will repeat as the Coastal winner if they win their remaining two games. But there's a good chance that Georgia Tech might snag this bid even if it doesn't win its division but finishes the regular season with a victory in the Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.


Follow on Twitter @ThePlayoffGuru

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Which Monster TE Does 4-Star Michigan Commit Chris Clark Play Like?

Michigan fans will be glad to hear that help is right around the corner in the form of Chris Clark—a 2015 4-star tight end, per 247Sports. Clark will bring a much-needed edge to the struggling Wolverines.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Michael Felder explains how Clark can impact the Wolverines and compares him to a current Michigan playmaker. 

How do you think Clark can impact Michigan next season?

Watch the video and let us know!

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AP College Football Poll 2014: Official Top 25 Rankings and Week 13 Projections

There is no debate—college football pollsters have the toughest job in sports.

Little in the way of rest has been presented to those in charge of the weekly polls. The whole theory about the inaugural College Football Playoff dampening the importance of the regular season went up in flames months ago, but was violently reinforced last week.

There, Mississippi State went down and two more of the Top Five teams in the nation heavily flirted with joining the Bulldogs.

The Week 13 Associated Press poll is notable for the simple fact it made it out on time. Enjoy it, as it might not last long.


Week 13 AP Poll


Week 13 Top 25 Point Spreads and Predictions

Note: All odds, updated as of 8 p.m. ET on Nov. 16, are courtesy of Odds Shark.


Early Upset to Bet: North Carolina Over No. 25 Duke

They can play football at a high level, too. 

North Carolina would love nothing more than to play spoiler at this point of the season as the Duke Blue Devils look to stay in the hunt in the ACC.

The Tar Heels are just 5-5, true, but Larry Fedora's team has won three of the last four, a positive trend that started back in mid-October with a near-upset of then-No. 6 Notre Dame. There, the Tar Heels played stingy defense that forced three turnovers and got an inspiring performance from quarterback Marquise Williams.

Speaking of Williams, he is the man who makes the Tar Heels click this season. He has completed 63.2 percent of his passes for 2,502 yards and 18 touchdowns to eight interceptions. As one of the nation's premier players, he also leads the team in rushing with 623 yards and 10 scores.

Duke has a borderline top-10 defense, but asking David Cutcliffe's team to contain one of the best quarterbacks in the conference on a short turnaround after an upset is a lot.

The Blue Devils went out last week and suffered a letdown against Virginia Tech. Quarterback Anthony Boone posted an 18-of-40 line with a pair of turnovers and the offense was unable to counter an attack led by dual-threat quarterback Michael Brewer.

It has been a brutal month for the Blue Devils, which started off on the wrong foot by needing two overtimes to take down 4-6 Pittsburgh. Really, ACC play has been unkind overall to Cutcliffe and Co., a team that appears to be heading in the opposition direction when compared to North Carolina's current upswing.

Look for Williams to have a huge game on short notice.


Early Lock: No. 14 Wisconsin Over Iowa

There are plenty of locks on the Week 13 schedule, especially for those games that Las Vegas refuses to touch.

To keep things interesting, though, look at the impending Big Ten showdown between Wisconsin and Iowa. It is easy to shrug the game off as another episode of Melvin Gordon's dominance and be done with it, but try not to take that approach.

The Hawkeyes are very quietly 7-3 this season. The team has some very strange losses, especially those defeats against Iowa State and Maryland, but the team plays great defense by allowing just 22.5 points per game.

"It's a huge challenge," safety John Lowdermilk said, per Rick Brown of The Des Moines Register. "They're a very physical team. We didn't play the way we wanted to against Minnesota, another physical team. This is an opportunity to showcase our ability."

Of course, Gordon is a different test entirely.

Gordon just shattered the record books, as illustrated by ESPN CollegeFootball:

Wisconsin ranks third in the nation in rushing and 11th in scoring, mostly thanks to Gordon's 1,909 yards and 23 scores. It also very quietly ranks No. 3 overall in terms of points allowed, allowing just 15.3 points per game on average.

The only eyebrow-raising blemish comes by way of a loss at Northwestern, a team Iowa beat 48-7. Still, Wisconsin is a much different team now. They can quite literally run away from the Hawkeyes thanks to Gordon and a defense that can exploit a sluggish offense that hardly ranks among the top 75 in the nation.


Stats and information via unless otherwise specified.


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Tennessee Volunteers vs. Missouri Tigers Complete Game Preview

By the time the Tennessee Volunteers traveled to Missouri to take on the eventual SEC East champions last year, most around the league knew Maty Mauk's name.

After his 277-yard, three-touchdown performance in a 31-3 rout of the Vols, they found out what the then-freshman signal-caller could do.

Whether with his arm or on his feet, Mauk was extremely difficult to stop.

This is a new season. Some things remain the same, such as the Tigers being right in the thick of the division race and the Vols needing wins (in this case one) to become bowl-eligible. 

But some are vastly different. The defensive speed that had been a major issue with UT last year has gotten significantly better in 2014. The Vols couldn't pressure the quarterback last season, and now, they'll be on the same field with the only team that has done it as well as them.

Mauk proved against Texas A&M he is still tough to stop, but his sophomore season hasn't gone as smoothly without the weapons. The Joshua Dobbs who is playing this season isn't the same turnover-prone freshman Mizzou confused last year. 

This is going to be a battle, and it has major SEC East ramifications and big bowl factors, too. Let's take a look at everything you need to know about this pivotal matchup.


Date: Saturday, Nov. 22

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Place: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tennessee

TV: SEC Network

Radio: Vol Network, Tiger Network

Spread: Tennessee by 3.5 points, according to

Begin Slideshow

Charleston Southern vs. Georgia: Complete Game Preview

The Georgia Bulldogs may be patiently waiting for Missouri to lose a game and open up the SEC East, but they can't take this weekend's matchup with Charleston Southern too lightly.

On paper, the Buccaneers, an FCS program in the Big South Conference, should present an easy win for the Dawgs, but Charleston Southern boasts a formidable record and a history of strong performance against SEC opposition.

Here's what you need to know about this weekend's game:

  • Date: Saturday, November 22
  • Time: Noon ET
  • Place: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Radio: Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network

Begin Slideshow

College Football Fact or Fiction After Week 12

Now that Week 12 of the 2014 college football season is in the books, it's time to play a little "Fact or Fiction."

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer answer some burning questions that were raised in Week 12.

Is Melvin Gordon the No. 1 running back in the country?

Watch the video and let us know. 

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Heisman Watch 2014: Grading Top Contenders' Performance from Week 12

You could argue that this 2014 college football season hasn’t had a true Heisman moment—the kind of moment where fans take notice of an accomplishment so incredible that they can’t help but say, “That might have won the Heisman Trophy."

Well, one of those moments took place Saturday afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin. Racing through the snow and past a tired Nebraska defense, Wisconsin junior tailback Melvin Gordon took the final play of the third quarter 26 yards for a touchdown. Gordon stopped at the back of the end zone and took a slight bow. He had just set the new FBS single-game rushing record, his 408 yards passing the 406 that TCU tailback LaDanian Tomlinson put up against a hapless UTEP defense in November of 1999.

It was a special day for Gordon, one that should vault him to the forefront of the Heisman Trophy race and one that highlights this week’s performances by Heisman Trophy candidates. Here are this week’s grades for Heisman candidates. The criteria for inclusion is inclusion in last week’s Heisman Watch by ESPN.

Begin Slideshow

NCAA Football Rankings 2014: Week 13 Standings and Analysis for Latest Polls

And then there was one. 

No. 1 Mississippi State's loss to No. 4 Alabama in Tuscaloosa means that Florida State remains the only power-five conference school with an unblemished record. It also means it is about the only team with a guaranteed ticket to make it into the inaugural College Football Playoff.

The rest of college football's top teams have now put their fate in the hands of the playoff committee. With each team losing at least one game, it's not going to be an easy task for them to sort through the wreckage and choose the other three most deserving teams. 

Fans will still have to wait until Tuesday to see the latest batch of CFP rankings, but the newest Associated Press and Bleacher Report polls have already been released. Here's how those rankings see the teams stacking up: 


Week 12 Winners

Looking at the polls, there were a few teams who definitely picked up crucial wins in Week 12. The most obvious would of course be the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide welcomed Mississippi State to Bryant-Denny Stadium and controlled most of the game with typical Alabama defense. 

The win was yet another over an AP No. 1 team for Nick Saban. No coach has been better at toppling top teams than the Alabama boss, per ESPN Stats & Info:

The win puts Alabama in the driver's seat for a berth in the playoff. Sitting atop the SEC West, all that stands between the Tide and a berth are games against Western Carolina, Auburn and the SEC Championship Game. 

Another big winner from Saturday was Florida State. The Seminoles managed to survive and advance yet another week with a 30-26 victory over rival Miami. If the 'Noles were under the same scrutiny as one-loss teams around the country, this wouldn't have been a good win. 

After all, they had to prove their ability to come from behind once again this season. They came back from a 23-7 deficit in the second quarter to remain flawless. They're knack for coming back this year is putting them in rarefied air, as noted by ESPN Stats & Info:

However, as ugly as Florida State's wins have been this season, the fact remains it has made it through its schedule unscathed. It's a point that head coach Jimbo Fisher emphasized after the game, per Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the Sun-Sentinel: “Talk about our guys, just amazing. What a special group of guys. Everybody talks about this team, it doesn’t do this, it doesn’t do that. Well measure them for 60 minutes. When you measure this team up for 60 minutes, it measures up pretty dadgum good.”

With just Boston College and Florida left on the regular-season slate, it's looking like the ACC Championship Game might be the only remaining challenge left for them to hurdle. 


Week 12 Losers

Regardless of how college football decides who plays in its championship game, there's always going to be a recency bias. A loss in September will always be more forgivable than a loss in November. That's what makes losing (or not winning as well as expected) difficult this time of year. 

No team is likely to find that out as clearly as Mississippi State. The Bulldogs went from being a shoo-in for the CFP to yet another one-loss team who must hope that the committee sees it fit to include them over their one-loss brethren. 

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, it wasn't just their own loss that hurt. As Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports pointed out, none of the high-caliber teams that they beat did them any favors:

Even with those losses, the Bulldogs still have one of the best resumes in the country. The question now becomes how the committee would feel about putting a team that isn't a conference champion into the playoff. With Alabama in control, it appears that Mississippi State's shot at the SEC crown is gone. 

Perhaps one of the teams that lost the most with a win was TCU. As one of the six power-five conference schools with just one loss on the season, the Horned Frogs have now entered the part of the season in which they are expected to dominate against inferior competition. 

Trailing 3-6 Kansas 20-10 in the third quarter would not be considered domination. As Kirk Herbstreit noted, failing to put away the Jayhawks early in Lawrence could create some perception problems for TCU: 

Of course, finding a way to pull out the victory is better than, say, losing by 14 at home against Virginia Tech. Still, it wouldn't be a surprise to see Ohio State jump TCU or Mississippi State remain above the Frogs despite their loss to Alabama. 

Shifting to the West Coast, the Pac-12 found itself short one playoff contender when all was said and done Saturday. The No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils were stunned by the Oregon State Beavers, despite the Beavers entering the game on a four-game losing streak. 

The Devils had set themselves up nicely for a playoff campaign after back-to-back wins over ranked teams in Utah and Notre Dame. Now, they must hope to emerge from a jumbled mass of two-loss teams in the Pac-12 South that includes USC (whom they hold a win over), UCLA (whom they lost to) and Arizona (remains to be seen). 

That's one less team the committee will have to figure out what to do with come Dec. 6. 

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College Football Picks Week 13: Predictions and Odds for Top 25 Schedule

The only teams in the nation's Top 25 that are safe from utter defeat in any given week are the ones that are inactive due to a bye. That statement rang true in Week 12, as multiple contenders fell to lesser opponents and others were given huge scares.

With the 2014 college football season continuing its unpredictable nature for this long, there's no reason to expect anything to be different in Week 13. Several ranked teams are set to clash once again, and others could be set up for trap games, so get ready for another wild ride.

What do Vegas oddsmakers think of the upcoming week of action? Here's a look at the updated Associated Press rankings, followed by odds and predictions for every Top 25 game on the Week 13 slate.

Point spreads are courtesy of Odds Shark and current as of November 16 at 6 p.m. ET.


Week 13 Upset Alert: (15) Arizona at (20) Utah

While the Utes are favored in Vegas' eyes due to home-field advantage, No. 15 Arizona is on upset alert.

Utah slid down the nation's rankings after a two-game skid, falling to Arizona State in overtime and succumbing to Oregon's potent offense one week later. The team pulled itself together in Week 12, though, riding its stout defense to an overtime victory over Stanford.

There wasn't much to speak of offensively for the Utes, but many would say the team needs to get the speedy Christian McCaffrey involved more frequently.

David Lombardi of tweeted his take on the running back:

However, the team's defense was simply phenomenal.

Pressure by Nate Orchard and Co. ensured a miserable day for Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan, who finished the game with a 29.1 quarterback rating. Bill Riley of ESPN 700 tweeted an interesting statistic regarding Utah's pass defense against Stanford:

Arizona is a pass-heavy team, and inconsistent Anu Solomon will have his hands full.

Solomon is coming off a lackluster outing against Washington, completing 17 of his 39 passing attempts for 242 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He led the Wildcats to a victory, but that came on a last-second field goal.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times tweeted about Solomon's struggles under pressure:

Utah displayed its ability to sustain long drives, killing the clock and keeping its stout defense fresh against the Cardinal in Week 12. Continuing that trend against Arizona shouldn't be much of an issue considering the Wildcats' struggles against the run Saturday, as Washington racked up 245 yards on the ground.

So, what should be expected from this contest? The Utes will control the pace of the game, and that's their biggest advantage. Keeping Solomon off the field for extended periods of time will prevent him from getting into a rhythm, causing him to struggle against Utah's defense. This one will remain close throughout, and Utah's defense will come up huge late in the game to secure a win.

Prediction: Utah 23, Arizona 20

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Bowl Predictions 2014: Updated Playoff Projections Before Crucial Week 13

Week 12 was everything college football fans could have asked for before it started. 

An incredible 10 ranked teams lost, including No. 1 Mississippi State, No. 6 Arizona State and No. 9 Auburn, and the playoff picture is even more muddled than it was before after TCU and Florida State struggled against unranked foes.

However, at this point, winning is the most important thing. With that in mind, here is a look at some updated playoff projections heading into Week 13 before a closer look at what lies ahead for the postseason contenders.


Bowl Predictions

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 4 Baylor

Rose Bowl: No. 2 Florida State vs. No. 3 Oregon   

Championship Bowl (in Arlington, Texas): TBD (semifinal winners)


Week 13 Playoff Preview

Let’s just call Week 13 the eye of the storm.

The last couple of weeks saw a number of Top 10 teams fall, thrilling finishes and marquee showdowns between some of the best teams in the country. What’s more, rivalry games and conference title clashes await fans in Weeks 14 and 15.

You may want to get some chores done Saturday, though, because the schedule is lackluster at best. But Week 13 is absolutely crucial because the playoff contenders cannot afford any losses to lowly opponents if they want to be playing for a national title in January.

Ohio State starts it off when it hosts Indiana in a sleepy noon ET kickoff time. While the Buckeyes should roll, Indiana is 11th in the nation in rushing yards per game behind one of most underrated players in the nation in Tevin Coleman. If nothing else, it will be good practice for the Buckeyes before they battle Melvin Gordon in a potential Big Ten Championship Game.

Mississippi State will take out its frustrations from its loss to Alabama on poor Vanderbilt. The Commodores are 0-6 in the SEC and barely escaped Charleston Southern and Massachusetts earlier in the season. They are certainly not going to keep up with the Bulldogs.

Out west, Oregon faces Colorado. This is a perfect matchup if you are some type of masochist sports fan who loves painful blowouts. Marcus Mariota and the high-octane Ducks offense will make mincemeat of the Buffaloes’ 120th-ranked scoring defense.

Colorado has given up more than 30 points in nine of its 10 games this season and will have no chance at slowing Oregon down.

Alabama will take its momentum from the impressive victory over Mississippi State into a laughable November matchup against Western Carolina. Does anything really need to be said about this matchup? Just imagine the jokes if a Big Ten playoff contender played against Western Carolina in November.

Elsewhere, Florida State takes on Boston College.

If this game goes according to script, Boston College will seize a two-score lead in the first half and get everyone’s hopes up before the Seminoles come roaring back. Eventually, Florida State has to start getting credit for winning these games instead of getting criticized for not winning with enough style points.

Love them or hate them, the Seminoles will be in the playoffs if they take care of business against the overmatched Eagles, Florida and their ACC Championship Game opponent. Head coach Jimbo Fisher talked about how important and difficult it is to just win in college football, via Jared Shanker of

[Winning] is so much harder than we make it seem to be out there. If it wasn’t, guys would be undefeated all the time. … Why do you think I’m nervous every week? A college kid – think of all the things that went through your head at that age. It’s a challenge every week to control their minds to bring them to focus, to understand how to be consistent. That’s the hard thing.

The best game featuring a playoff contender in Week 13 is the showdown between Baylor and Oklahoma State. On paper, this may be a decent contest based on the Oklahoma State name compared to the likes of Colorado, Western Carolina and Boston College, but the Cowboys are not a good football team this season, even if they did almost beat Florida State in the opener.

Oklahoma State is 5-5 and lost four games in a row. Its five wins came against Missouri State, Texas San Antonio, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Kansas, which is not exactly a murderer’s row. It was also destroyed by TCU, West Virginia, Kansas State and Texas and is giving up 30 points a game.

Baylor leads the nation with 50.1 points a game. This could get out of hand quickly if the Bears offense gets going in the first quarter.

What’s more, the Cowboys offense isn’t exactly dominant, as Jake Trotter of ESPN noted:

Chances are, the playoff contenders are going to live to see another day after Week 13 is in the rearview mirror.


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College Football Rankings 2014: Latest Standings and Predictions for Week 13

After a dramatic Week 11 full of unexpected and season-altering results, Week 12 had a tough act to follow. Well, it certainly delivered, as the nation's pecking order shifted in substantial fashion once again. 

The Top 25 doesn't remotely resemble what it did just one week ago, as upset victories and close calls plagued the best teams in the country. Not only do we have a new No. 1 squad, but we also have several new teams in this week's standings due to the collapse of previously ranked schools.

So, which teams currently comprise the Top Four? Which dropped out of the Top 25 altogether? Are there any new teams in the playoff mix? The answers to those questions may surprise you. Here's a look at each poll released on Sunday, followed by a few predictions for key Week 13 games.


Week 13 Predictions

Florida State's No. 1 Ranking Is Short-Lived

The Seminoles may be the nation's top-ranked team heading into Week 13, but let's face it: Their recent games have been rather ugly. Florida State continues to somehow muster late-game magic to earn wins, but there will come a time when that runs out. It may be in Week 13 against Boston College.

Jameis Winston and Co. have been slow out of the gate over the past several weeks. This has led to very close calls against Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia and Miami. If that trend continues against the Eagles, the end result should be similar.

Here's a look at Winston's lopsided numbers before and after halftime this season, via ESPN Stats & Info:

Boston College has a very solid running game that ranks 12th in the nation, averaging 264.0 yards per game. Dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy and running back Jon Hilliman have combined for more than 1,600 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns this season. Combine that with a defense that's only allowing an average of 21.9 points per game, and you get a team that can control the pace of a game.

Even if the Seminoles win, Boston College will keep things very close. That won't look good in the eyes of the selection committee. With Alabama and Oregon having very favorable contests in Week 13, expect one—or both—of them to leapfrog the Seminoles.


Ohio State Makes a Playoff Statement

How impressive have the Buckeyes been of late? They followed up a 55-point showing against Illinois with a 49-point performance against a stout Michigan State defense and, most recently, a brilliant game by quarterback J.T. Barrett in a Week 12 victory over Minnesota.

Barrett was on fire Saturday against the Golden Gophers. He threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns, but even more impressively, he rushed for 189 yards and another score. That rushing total was a new team record, and he now owns the most touchdowns in a single season in school history, according to ESPN College Football:

The freshman signal-caller is sure making his case for Heisman consideration, and that will continue in Week 13 against a porous Indiana defense. Ranked 106th in the nation and allowing 33.6 points per game, the Hoosiers gave up 429 yards of offense and 45 points to Rutgers in Week 12. Barrett and Co. must be chomping at the bit to get their hands on that defensive unit.

Expect to see another huge performance from Ohio State's quarterback this coming Saturday, as the Buckeyes roll to a huge victory and give the selection committee something to think about before the Week 14 rankings are released.


USC Takes Down UCLA

The Trojans have been on a roll of late, and UCLA is meeting its in-state rival at the wrong time. Aside from a loss during a defensive struggle with Utah, USC's offense has exploded, putting up 56, 44 and 38 points in its other three most recent games. That offense will get a shot at the Bruins' 79th-ranked defense in Week 13.

Quarterback Cody Kessler has been fantastic lately. He's coming off a huge game against California, throwing for 371 yards and four touchdowns. Kessler has a knack for getting out of the gate quickly, and that could cause problems for an inconsistent UCLA squad.

According to Dane Brugler of CBS Sports, Kessler's efficiency puts him in some elite company:

While the Bruins are riding a four-game winning streak entering this contest, they haven't been able to dispose of opponents easily, winning in a few close shootouts. The fact this team was taken down to the wire by the likes of Colorado and California recently isn't a good sign with an impending matchup against a more prolific offense.

Brett Hundley has been playing very well recently, showcasing his ability to create yards with both his arm and his legs, but his skill set will be severely tested against a USC defense that's allowing an average of just 23.3 points per game.

This game should be a close battle between two very good quarterbacks, but the Trojans are the more well-rounded team, and that will be the difference-maker in this one.

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