NCAA Football News

West Virginia vs. Baylor: Live Score and Highlights

The Baylor Bears will have a chance to bolster their case for a playoff berth Saturday when the team welcomes the West Virginia Mountaineers at noon ET on Fox. 

Head coach Art Briles’ Baylor team has been dominant through the first five games of the 2015 season, particularly on offense. The team is averaging a mind-boggling 64.2 points per game to lead the nation. Texas Tech, a team the Bears routed 63-35 on Oct. 3, is a distant second with its average of 52.7 points. 

West Virginia sprinted to a hot start to begin the season, which included a 45-6 demolition of rival Maryland, but the team stumbled a bit in its past two games. Losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State put the Mountaineers at 3-2, but a high-flying offense and at least passable defense make them Baylor’s toughest opponent thus far. 

Quarterback Skyler Howard and West Virginia will have the arduous task of outscoring Baylor and Seth Russell on the road. The Mountaineers are 20th in the nation in total defense, but Russell ranks second nationally with 22 passing scores. 

Check back here before kickoff for instant updates and reactions to Saturday’s showdown. Feel free to join the discussion below in the comments section.

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Daily Fantasy College Football Week 7: DraftKings Last-Minute Picks, Best Values

The college football season is nearing the midway point for nearly every college football team, making daily fantasy decisions somewhat easier to make. While it's easy to pinpoint the top players in college, identifying the best value players can be a trivial activity.

So hey, how about you don't worry about that anymore? With our last-minute picks and best values, you can punch in the top players and have salary to spare. Here's a look at the top value players from both noon and night matchups to lock into your lineups.

 

Quarterback: Kyle Allen, QB, Texas A&M ($6,900)

There's a dual-threat quarterback at Texas A&M looking to make a statement on Saturday against Alabama. Sound like a familiar script? That's because it is. Only this time, it's not Johnny Manziel against the Crimson Tide—it's Kyle Allen.

The sophomore signal-caller is torching opposing defenses to the tune of 13 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Tack on two rushing TDs and two 50-plus-yard performances, and you have a phenomenal start to Allen's season. Fox Sports' Jackie Sherrill noted additional Allen stats:

At 5-0, Allen has Texas A&M on the cusp of greatness with his leadership. But with stats to back up his success and a $6,900 price tag, Allen is a perfect target for a QB2 spot or low-end QB1 at 27.5 DK points per game.

 

Running Back: Tre Madden, Southern Cal ($5,100)

Do you want Leonard Fournette, Devontae Booker or Ezekiel Elliott in your prime-time lineup? Well, you'll need to do some digging to find a productive back at a much lower price. Tre Madden is that tailback.

One off game against Arizona State has lowered the price for Madden from $7,500 earlier this season to $5,100 on Saturday against Notre Dame. The production in the last game, however, proves he's still a reliable back. With 16.5 points in a loss to Washington, it's clear he's still a good target for DFS owners.

 

Wide Receiver: Joshua Atkinson, Tulsa ($5,400)

The last two games for Joshua Atkinson have been his worst fantasy performances of the season. So why should you slot him in your lineup? Because his worst outings were for 23 and 19.7 fantasy points.

But wait, he's playing on the road in a tough atmosphere at East Carolina. Don't worry about that, either. In two road starts this season, Atkinson has averaged 26.7 fantasy points compared to 21.4 at home.

Tulsa's team leader in yards per catch (15.7) is a home run threat every time the ball is snapped. While he might not have a massive volume of receptions, expect solid production from Atkinson at a position where depth is a necessity. Whether he's a WR2, WR3 or flex, Atkinson is a must-have in any lineup.

 

Wide Receiver: Robby Anderson, Temple ($4,100)

What if I told you there is a receiver with three touchdowns in his last two games who doesn't rank inside the top 20 on DraftKings' salary sheet? You'd want that player, right? Well, it's time to start targeting Robby Anderson before his stock skyrockets.

While he isn't exactly piling on the yards like Atkinson, the 6'3" wideout is a prime red-zone target. His matchup on Saturday? Oh, you know, UCF's 94th-ranked pass defense that has allowed 251.5 pass yards per game and 13 touchdowns this season. Expect huge points from Anderson this weekend.

DraftKings owners can win $300K in the "Dive for the Pylon" tournament to start off the college football season! Use Promo Code BLEACHER REPORT when you sign up.

Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter for more DraftKings advice:

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College Football Rankings 2015: Overview of Week 7 Standings for NCAA's Top 25

Don't get used to the way the Top 25 looks across the board entering Week 7, because a jam-packed slate full of marquee matchups all but guarantees another major shake-up.

We didn't have to wait until Saturday to see the first ranked squad fall in embarrassing fashion. That moment came Thursday night, when 15th-ranked Stanford humiliated No. 18 UCLA by the score of 56-35, all but ensuring the Bruins' fall from next week's Top 25.

That's only the start of a bevy of ranked matchups, with three of the four remaining such bouts sure to rewrite the College Football Playoff outlook heading toward the season's second half. Without further ado, let's take one last look at the standings before Saturday.

 

Teams to Watch

No. 12 Michigan (vs. No. 7 Michigan State)

Even the most optimistic Jim Harbaugh supporters couldn't have imagined this bout between the state's marquee programs to have this much sizzle in its 2015 showdown.

But that's the case entering Saturday, as the Michigan Wolverines have taken college football by storm after a torrid start to the season. Ever since a season-opening defeat to Utah (which isn't half bad itself), Michigan has won five straight in such a convincing fashion that it's almost unbelievable.

Harbaugh's defense gave up touchdowns in a pair of blowouts to Oregon State and UNLV, but since, it hasn't given up a single point. That stretches three wins against BYU, Maryland and Northwestern—two of the three were ranked at the time.

However, none of those offenses compare to the Spartans, as ESPN's Chris Fallica noted:

Mark Dantonio's squad has not been the "little brother" in recent seasons, as Michigan State has earned its status as the state's most formidable program over the last few years. But the times change, and the ebbs and flows of college football are inevitable.

Whether it comes this weekend or gets put off until next year, it does seem like Harbaugh is regaining the Wolverines' place near the top of the Big Ten.

 

No. 8 Florida (at No. 6 LSU)

The 2015 season has brought plenty of surprises for the Florida Gators in a promising light. A squad expected to be near the bottom of the SEC is now 6-0 and in the Top 10 entering a road contest against a fellow unbeaten.

Of course, the surprises have come in tough-to-swallow fashion as well. Gators redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier was suspended for one year after violating NCAA rules and testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The quarterback job goes back to Treon Harris, the dual-threat quarterback who lost his starting job to Grier over the offseason. But it's no secret that the star of this matchup is still heavily involved, per Mike Huguenin of Gridiron Now:

LSU star Leonard Fournette has been taking college football by storm this season, moving to the forefront of the Heisman Trophy discussion and running through defenses. He'll have to do so against a Florida team that ranks 16th in the nation in total defense.

While the Gators offense may not be at full strength with Grier's suspension, it's the defensive side of the ball that will win or lose this game and decide if Florida's undefeated season will continue.

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Bowl Predictions 2015: Projections for Top Playoff Contenders

The college football regular season is almost at the halfway point, and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. 

Entering its second year, the College Football Playoff and the bowl games have shifted, as they will from year to year. 

The Cotton Bowl and the Orange Bowl will host the playoff games, while four other bowls will round out the New Year's Six.

As usual, the Rose Bowl will feature the Pac-12 and Big Ten, while the Sugar Bowl will pit the SEC against the Big 12. The Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl will be assigned at-large teams, including the highest-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences.

 

Notable Teams

Baylor

Baylor has looked like the most dominant team in the nation this season, but the Bears' resume doesn't quite hold up right now. 

Through its first five games, Baylor has won by 28 points or more in every contest, but it is yet to face a ranked opponent. 

Do Baylor, TCU and Texas Tech boast the 3 best offenses in CFB? The numbers suggest it. The 3 lead the nation in points and yards per play.

— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 14, 2015

While the team's resume may not match up with some of the other teams right now, the Bears will get their chance. Baylor has a three-game stretch in November in which it will host Oklahoma and then travel to Oklahoma State and TCU.

If Baylor runs the table, the team should be considered a lock to make it into the playoffs. It has dominated its non-conference schedule and would finish with at least three quality victories, which should be enough to overcome the Big 12's lack of a championship game.

 

Michigan

Even with a loss to Utah, Michigan still controls its own destiny to advance to the College Football Playoff.

By running the table, Michigan would have wins over Michigan State, Ohio State and the Big Ten Championship game, which would give it an impressive resume worthy of a top-four position. 

But that's a lot to ask of Jim Harbaugh's squad, so at least one loss is likely on the horizon. 

Even with two losses, Michigan would be a safe bet to represent the Big Ten in one of the other New Year's Six bowl games. The Wolverines' dominant defense would be a compelling matchup against any number of possible opponents. 

 

Stanford

Is there a hotter team than Stanford right now?

After crushing UCLA on Thursday night, Stanford is through the most difficult stretch on its schedule. The Cardinal are the only undefeated team in the Pac-12 North and control their own destiny for a berth in the Pac-12 title game. 

Stanford (+87) and Utah (+48) have, by far, the biggest point differentials in the Pac-12. No other team is better than +13.

— David Lombardi (@LombardiESPN) October 16, 2015

It will be tough for Stanford to sneak into the College Football Playoff unless it runs the table, but a Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl berth is certainly within reach. 

The Cardinal don't play another currently-ranked team until they host California in their Pac-12 finale, and then against Notre Dame to close out their regular season. 

 

Clemson

Clemson's resume won't be overly impressive this year, as it may finish the year having only played two ranked opponents (Notre Dame and Florida State). But an undefeated record would likely be enough to sneak the Tigers into the playoffs. 

Fortunately for the Tigers, their only serious test remaining is Florida State, which visits Clemson on November 7. Clemson has defeated the Seminoles in five of the last six matchups in South Carolina. 

Given the lack of quality wins, however, Clemson's playoff hopes may rest on that showdown with Florida State. A loss to the Seminoles likely eliminates Clemson from playoff contention and potentially out of the New Year's Six bowls altogether. 

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