NCAA Football News

Nebraska Football: Analyzing the Huskers' Top 5 2015 Recruiting Targets

Nebraska football fans know that summer is for following recruiting. While others may be watching baseball or grilling brats, Nebraska fans will be wanting to keep up on how Bo Pelini will be filling out his 2015 class.

Here are five of the top targets Nebraska is chasing for next year’s recruiting class.

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Making the Case for Ray Drew as the Georgia Bulldogs Starting Defensive End

One of the good things to come out of the 2013 season for the Georgia Bulldogs is that the defensive front seven was able to get after quarterbacks. In fact, the Bulldogs were second in the SEC in total sacks with 33. And of those 33 sacks, six of them came from defensive end Ray Drew, which put him second on the team behind Leonard Floyd in sacks.

Drew had a productive 2013 season. He made seven starts and finished with 43 tackles and eight tackles for loss to go along with his six sacks. And it looked as if Drew was going to get to be the starter this season with Garrison Smith gone. But it looks as if Sterling Bailey along with James DeLoach will be the No. 1 defensive ends heading into preseason practice.

Based on the way spring practice went for the defense, there could be a lot of changes when it comes to the starting lineup. But the coaches should consider Drew as a starter.

Drew’s career has not lived up to expectations. He was recruited in 2011 and 247 Sports listed him as the No. 2 player in Georgia as well as the No. 2 strong side defensive end in the country. He was a Parade and USA Today All-American and played in the Army All-America Game. So the expectations for him were high.

Drew did not redshirt when he got to campus and played in seven games his freshman season. His playing time increased his sophomore year, and he played in all 13 games. It was last year when he was able to not only play in all the games during the season, but also to start in half of them and was effective when he was on the field.

Before spring practice started, it looked like Drew was going to be the starter under Jeremy Pruitt’s defense. But he was working more with the second and third stringers, which could mean nothing because preseason practice could be a different story.

Ray Drew has been challenged this spring, dropping down to the third team at one point. But he is working his way... http://t.co/HitMORM0zJ

— The Telegraph (@middlegeorgia) April 8, 2014

As it was mentioned earlier, Sterling Bailey and James DeLoach are on top of the depth chart. Bailey made nine starts in 13 games and tallied 34 tackles and one sack. DeLoach played in only five games last season and finished with four tackles. DeLoach was named as the Most Improved Player this past spring according to Gentry Estes of 247 Sports (subscription required). Bailey also received a lot of praise from defensive line coach Tracy Rocker for his work.

This leads to the ultimate reason why Drew is not a starter right now. He did not perform well during spring practices and even head coach Mark Richt said that he needs to step it up. However, Rocker told 247 Sports that he was just beat up at the start of practice and he will be a factor this season (subscription required).

This upcoming preseason practice is very important for Drew. He has to show the coaches that he’s a better player than what he showed during the spring and he can get the job done. He proved last year and his numbers only got better each year.

Drew should be the starter because he would be a very good leader for the defense. With the Bulldogs going with a new scheme, they will need veterans with a ton of game experience to lead the way. Drew has been in a lot of games his career and his experience will pay dividends for the defensive line.

There’s no telling what Pruitt will do with the defensive line. But having Drew on the field as much as possible will make the defense better.

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Ohio State Football: How Jamal Marcus' Dismissal Impacts Buckeyes' 2014 Season

Even though it's May and Ohio State is still three months away from kicking off the 2014 season, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes just suffered a huge loss.

According to a report from Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors, defensive end Jamal Marcus has been dismissed from Ohio State for an unspecified violation of team rules.

The junior pass-rusher played sparingly in his first two seasons with the Buckeyes, but that was expected to change this season—especially early.

Marcus was primed to fill in for Noah Spence, who will miss the Buckeyes' first two games as part of a three-game suspension he received before last year's Orange Bowl. Spence's suspension was handed down by the Big Ten for using an "unapproved dietary supplement," according to Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch.

Marcus played in place of Spence against Clemson and was one of the few defensive bright spots during a game in which the Buckeyes surrendered 576 total yards and 40 points. Marcus piled up six tackles, which led all defensive linemen, and recorded a pass breakup in the loss.

Ohio State was counting on Marcus to provide a similar lift to start the season.

The Buckeyes are slated to open against Navy and its vaunted triple-option attack in Baltimore. A week later, Ohio State will play its home opener against Virgina Tech in a prime-time matchup.

Those are the two toughest nonconference games of the year, and Ohio State will be down its top two edge-setters outside of Joey Bosa.

That could prove particularly costly against Navy, which uses unique blocking schemes to attack and outnumber a defensive front. Players such as Noah Spence and Jamal Marcus are talented enough to neutralize that, but now the Buckeyes will turn to a host of unproven players to start the season.

The impact of Marcus' dismissal reaches far past the first two games, though.

As Rowland of Eleven Warriors pointed out, new defensive line coach Larry Johnson wants to take advantage of Ohio State's depth up front by using a heavy rotation. 

There’s not a first group, there’s not a second group. There’s a group of guys trying to get better. I’ve sold them on the idea that there are going to be eight or nine guys. The game has changed. You’re talking about spread offense, quick snaps, so that number of plays can go from 65 to 90 really quick. You add that times 12 games, that’s a lot of football.

What I want to do is play fresh. I want to play eight or nine guys every time and be relentless. That way every guy can play as hard as they can every play. That's how you play defense.

With Ohio State losing Marcus, Meyer is also losing out on one of the prospects he was most excited about in his first recruiting class with the Buckeyes.

Back in 2012, moments after signing the nation's No. 5 class that featured two 5-star defensive ends, Meyer couldn't stop talking about Marcus.

Then a 4-star prospect, Marcus' film stood out to Meyer, according to Tony Gerdeman of The Ozone.

The guy that when you flip him on tape, and not knowing anything else, without reading rankings or without listening to everybody else's opinions, the guy that is really impressive to me is Jamal Marcus. 

I just heard about him two weeks ago. We put on the film. He just blew us away on the videotape. I never heard of him.

Meyer was thrilled to sign such a talented player so late in the recruiting process. It's safe to assume he's just as upset about losing that player just as he was on the verge of making an impact.

 

All recruiting information via 247Sports.

David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. 
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.

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Tennessee Football: What Riley Ferguson's Transfer Would Mean for Volunteers

The news of Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson's likely transfer sent shock waves through Vol Nation, and it could have accompanying tremors that are felt on the depth chart in the near future.

UT coach Butch Jones all but confirmed to Volquest.com's John Brice (subscription required) at the SEC's annual spring meetings on Tuesday that the promising redshirt freshman would not be back with the Volunteers.

"Based on our recent conversations, I do not anticipate (Ferguson) to be a member of our football family moving forward," Jones said.

If Ferguson doesn't return to UT, the Vols' four-man quarterback derby will be reduced by one.

It's a blow for the present—and future—Vols depth chart. The 6'3", 189-pound Matthews, North Carolina, native had surged to the top of the competition to split first-team reps with senior Justin Worley by the end of spring practice.

He was expected to battle Worley and sophomore Joshua Dobbs for the starting spot throughout summer and into fall after redshirting last season following a stress fracture in his right leg.

Even if Worley won the job, the Vols were anticipating a heated and healthy quarterback race between Ferguson and Dobbs as the young Vols matured over the next couple of years.

Now, it seems Tennessee's future offensive leader has become "Dobbs-or-Bust" unless redshirt sophomore Nathan Peterman takes a major leap forward or a yet-unsigned prospect seizes the future job.

"I'm not sure how much this helps or hurts Tennessee," GoVols247's Wes Rucker said in an interview with Bleacher Report. "I think Ferguson had the most upside of Tennessee's four quarterbacks, but he was arguably the least consistent.

"I thought before this came out that Justin Worley was the starter going into the season, and obviously, this news doesn't change that. I think this potentially creates more long-term questions than short-term questions."

Tennessee currently sits in the top two for 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, the nation's top-ranked dual-threat signal-caller on 247Sports, according to Ryan Bartow (subscription required). But it will have to battle Auburn and others to get him on the Hill.

Other quarterbacks UT is still recruiting include Deondre Francois, Sheriron Jones, Sam Darnold and Travis Waller, among others. Targets Zach Gentry (Texas) and Brandon Wimbush (Penn State) are off the board.

On the bright side for UT, all those players have taken as many game snaps as Ferguson.

But there's no downplaying Ferguson's promise and potential. He wowed many around the program with some of the plays he made, including Jones.

UT's head coach told B/R's Barrett Sallee recently, "You know, Riley has an innate ability to create plays. I've been very encouraged."

Though Dobbs outshone Ferguson in the Orange and White spring game, Ferguson still had a more consistent spring, evidenced by Jones promoting him to split those reps with the starters.

With Ferguson's likely departure, the Vols must have Dobbs step up and take his game to another level.

Also, UT absolutely cannot strike out in signing an elite quarterback in the 2015 recruiting cycle. Closing the deal on Gibson, Francois or a similar talent just became imperative, and the Vols now should attempt to sign two more quarterbacks to go along with athlete commit Jauan Jennings, who will start his UT career under center.

If UT misses on its quarterback of the future this year, it could be a major obstacle in Jones bringing the Vols from their recent doldrums back into contention for the SEC.

Calling the loss of a player who had never taken a live snap in a college football game catastrophic is a stretch, but Ferguson's pending decision does take yet another talented name off the roster at a position where the Vols desperately need somebody to step up.

Now, their quarterback question mark has one less potential answer.

 

All recruiting rankings and statistics courtesy of 247Sports.

Brad Shepard is the Tennessee Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Brad on Twitter here:

@Brad_Shepard

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New College Football Playoff Format Won't Change for 12 Years, Says Bill Hancock

Your dream of a March Madness-esque 64-team postseason college football tournament? Not happening. At least not any time in the immediate future, according to College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock.

Speaking with reporters at the SEC meetings Tuesday, Hancock again indicated any talks of an expanded field were speculative, per ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

Hancock's 12-year timeline is no accident. That's the length of the television deal between the NCAA and ESPN, which announced a deal through the 2025 regular season in 2012.

While there have been numerous calls for an eight-team system and even talk of its inevitability, avoiding expansion initially is a logical decision. No one knows whether the system will be a success or a major failure, and high-profile bowl games remain a revenue giant.

Expansion would only further the disenchantment of fans who have bemoaned the decreased importance of games like the Rose Bowl, whose "Granddaddy of Them All" nickname used to mean a lot more than merely being the oldest.

There are also pretty obvious fiscal reasons. The NCAA and ESPN agreement is not for a "four-game" championship playoff—it's for the entire package. Expansion to eight teams gives the network four extra games without guarantee of the NCAA receiving any extra revenue. A renegotiation is possible, but it would behoove the NCAA to hold off on expansion until they can reap the biggest financial reward.

Publicly, the NCAA has shut down expansion talks at nearly every possible avenue. Hancock himself has discussed the matter twice now this month, saying each time that decision makers are committed to the four-team format.

"We wanted there to be stability in the system," Hancock told reporters at ESPN upfronts. "We wanted people to grow to love it and understand it. And we did 12 years on purpose. In our group of commissioners, I don't sense anybody wanting to go to eight—or our board, the presidents. They're delighted with where we are."

It's also worth highlighting the wording on each of those statements. Hancock does not say the College Football Playoff will never expand. Just that it won't in its current contract. 

"Really, it's four for 12 years and then we'll reevaluate," Hancock said.

Given the millions of dollars on the table for television networks and NCAA member schools, expansion only makes sense in the long term. ESPN is paying $470 million a season for three playoff games. Expanding the field to eight adds an entire other round and more than doubles the total amount of games. We don't know what the television market will look like in 2025, but the financial windfall could be huge.  

Eight teams is also in no way overbearing and should deter the inevitable snub talk that will probably come as soon as next season. (Though, as the basketball tournament highlights every year, "snubs" will never die regardless of the expansion number.)

Twelve years is a long time, and no matter how many public statements are released, expansion talk isn't going anywhere soon. The thirst for college football (and football in general) has never been higher, nor has the importance of holding a captive live audience. 

As far as the NCAA is concerned, that talk can wait. And it is doing its best to make the speculation die down while it's at it.

 

Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter:


 

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Biggest SEC vs. Pac-12 Football Recruiting Battles in Class of 2015

The SEC and Pac-12 both boast programs that can recruit nationally such as USC, Alabama, Stanford, Florida, Oregon and Texas A&M, among others.

That means the two powerful conferences bump heads on the recruiting trail from time to time, and several big recruiting battles are shaping up between schools from the leagues. A 5-star defensive end from Florida is thinking of playing in Eugene, while College Station could be calling the name of a 4-star running back from California.

Plus, a stud defensive tackle may be thinking of playing at the same school as his father and uncle.

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Every Big 12 Team's Strongest, Weakest Position Groups Heading into 2014 Season

With the spring season behind us, each Big 12 team knows its strengths and weaknesses. 

For example, Baylor may very well have the best quarterback in the country, but a gutted offensive line is a huge concern for head coach Art Briles. 

Let's checkout each Big 12 team's strongest and weakest positional unit heading into summer camp. 

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Top Schools for Each Uncommitted 2015 5-Star Defensive Recruit

Among the 34 5-star recruits in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, 16 defensive prospects remain uncommitted. College coaches from all over the nation are doing all they can to land them.

However, reading between the lines, one can get a solid feel for the top schools in each uncommitted 5-star defensive recruit's recruitment. At some point, these prospects will have to narrow their lists, and this piece could be a sneak preview.

A Pac-12 school could pluck a defensive end from the SEC, while a Big 12 program is looking to steal a defensive tackle from Alabama. Plus, several linebackers have multiple elite options.

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Best Fits for Top Uncommitted WR Recruits for 2015

The 2015 recruiting class is packed with premier wide receiver prospects who form an impressive list of playmakers ready to rise up in a growingly pass-centric sport.

Plenty of programs have already taken advantage of a deep group, collecting pledges from several outstanding pass-catchers. However, many of the marquee prospects remain uncommitted as their junior years come to a close.

We explored the current recruitment process for eight of America's most coveted receivers, peeking ahead to see which team might present an ideal fit in terms of offensive scheme and immediate need.

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Ohio State Football Recruiting: What QB Joe Burrow's Commitment Means for OSU

Ohio State finally added some offensive firepower to its 2015 recruiting class Tuesday, landing in-state quarterback Joe Burrow.

The 6'4", 205-pound passer became the first Buckeyes pledge in nearly four months when he announced his intentions on Twitter:

Burrow, a rising senior at Athens High School (The Plains, Ohio), is the first commitment to come on the offensive side of the football in Urban Meyer's latest class. He joins 4-star defensive backs Eric Glover-Williams (Canton, Ohio) and Jamel Dean (Cocoa, Florida) in a prospect haul that currently rates ninth among Big Ten Conference teams in 247Sports' composite team rankings.

The consensus 3-star recruit is listed at No. 10 among dual-threat recruits in this class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He was named Ohio's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2013, when he torched opponents for 3,732 yards and 47 touchdowns through the air.

Burrow displayed serious wheels throughout a dominant campaign that featured an unbeaten regular season. He rushed for 589 yards and nine scores, averaging nearly six yards per carry.

His prolific statistics pile on those from a sensational sophomore season to create impressive career numbers.

Burrow will begin his senior season ranked seventh all-time in state history when it comes to touchdown tosses, per USA Today. He provides the Buckeyes with a promising passer to build around after Meyer came up empty on top quarterback targets who made up their minds earlier in the cycle, including 4-star Penn State pledge Brandon Wimbush.

Ohio State ends a severe recruiting drought with the addition of Burrow. The team's last commitment occurred in February, when 4-star safety Ben Edwards (Jacksonville, Florida) joined the class.

However, he flipped his allegiances to Auburn in April.

The Buckeyes remain in the mix for 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), who listed Ohio State as his No. 4 option in an ordered top 15 list released last month. He is expected to trim that collection of favorites to seven teams this week, and it will be interesting to see if Burrow's commitment factors into Gibson's decision.

The Buckeyes now aim to surround Burrow with offensive talent in a class that still needs a lot of work. Five-star running back Damien Harris (Berea, Kentucky), 4-star offensive tackle Patrick Allen (Reisterstown, Maryland) and 4-star wide receiver Christian Kirk (Scottsdale, Arizona) rank among Meyer's top targets moving forward.

The addition of Burrow is a long-awaited boost for the Buckeyes recruiting efforts and helps solidify quarterback depth in coming years. His offer sheet also included Boston College, West Virginia, Vanderbilt and Maryland, among others.

 

Recruit information and ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

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USC Football: Will James Toland IV Be USC's Running Back Savior in 2015?

It wasn't so long ago that running back was perceived to be one of the deepest and strongest units for the 2014 Trojans.

And while that may still be the case this year, there are potential problems looming on the horizon in 2015 and perhaps beyond.

The trouble started when the school announced that sophomore running back Ty Isaac would be transferring closer to his Illinois home.

Though he is a very good back, in and of itself, USC could absorb his loss in a typical year when a focus could be made on replenishing the unit through this year's recruiting class.

However, as I wrote about not so long ago, this is not a strong year for high school running backs, and USC has not extended much in the way of offers to this position in 2014.

In fact, it would not be a surprise if the Trojans signed only one or perhaps did not sign any running backs in this class, and if this is the case, it could mean problems down the road.

Of course, I could be accused of doing my best impersonation of Chicken Little running around claiming the sky is falling when in reality, everything could work out just fine.

After all, USC has three outstanding running backs on scholarship in 2014, and not one of them is a senior.

Both Javorius "Buck" Allen and Tre Madden are redshirt juniors, and Justin Davis is only a sophomore, which means, in theory, that all could be back in 2015.

That is the best scenario for the Trojans, but what if everything goes to hell and both Allen and Madden declare for the NFL following this season?

That would leave Davisand a mystery running back recruit(s)as the only scholarship ball-carriers on USC's roster in 2015.

And that, my friend, is a scary thought for those who follow the men of Troy.

Still, things may not be quite as dire as they would appear.

USC will have one other option, and while his name might not be familiar to many, those who saw him in high school and even in the recently completed spring practice know him well.

Meet James Toland IV, and he might just wind up being the guy the Trojans turn to in 2015 when it comes to running the rock.

Though only a walk-on, Toland possesses scholarship ability.

At 6'0", 185 pounds, Toland is a quick, strong, elusive runner, and the only reason this kid wasn't a big-time recruit is because he played his ball at a small high school called Shadow Hills in Indio, California.

But man, did he play well, as evidenced by some truly eye-popping statistics in 2012, when he ran for 2,649 yards on 315 carries (8.4 yards per carry) andget this39 touchdowns.

I don't care if you're playing the little sisters of the poor; those are some big numbers.

According to The Desert Sun's Andrew L. John (courtesy of USA Today High School Sports), Toland had only one verbal offer (from Pittsburgh) when he decided to accept a preferred walk-on offer to join the Trojans.

For Toland, accepting the offer was a no-brainer, as John quotes him as saying, "I've been a USC fan since I was 8 years old. So this is a dream come true for me. I'm going to make the most of it."

So far, Toland has done just that, and when 2015 rolls around, USC may be very happy that he took the Trojans up on their offer.

Because if things go wrong next year, USC may be turning to the guy with big numbers from a small school.

And if Toland has his way, that may not be a bad thing after all.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @RickMcMahan

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Florida State Football: Early Game-by-Game Prediction for the 2014 Season

Florida State's 2014 schedule is without question tougher than the 2013 version. But will the result be the same?

FSU has bulked up its nonconference schedule, trading in the likes of Nevada, Idaho and Bethune-Cookman for Oklahoma State, The Citadel and Notre Dame (Florida remains a constant non-conference opponent).

A 12-0 record, a berth in the ACC championship game and a spot in the new College Football Playoff are the expectations of FSU fans. Are there roadblocks? Of course. But can the Seminoles go perfect in the regular season, especially with how the schedule is set up? Absolutely.

 

Oklahoma State, Aug. 30 (at Arlington, Texas)

This looked like a nice matchup to kick off the season, but FSU is a two-touchdown favorite against an Oklahoma State team that returns just nine starters and lost 29 seniors. The two-deep looks like Swiss cheese, and that's what FSU's offense will make of Oklahoma State's defense.

 

The Citadel, Sept. 6

This much we know: FSU will win, and The Citadel will receive a check for $440,000. This will be a good game for fans to enjoy watching FSU's backups, as No. 2 QB Sean Maguire will (likely) lead the offense in the second half and will have the chance to work with a deep corps of running backs and some young receivers.

 

Clemson, Sept. 20

FSU catches a few breaks with this game. The Seminoles not only get a bye week to prepare for Clemson, but they also face the Tigers without quarterback Tajh Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, both of whom are gone to the NFL. Note to ACC: realize that this is a better matchup later in the year, like mid-October or November. But a mid-September date really gives Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris very little time to get anything rolling, and FSU should grab its first ACC win.

 

at N.C. State, Sept. 27

FSU returns to the scene of its stunning 17-16 loss to N.C. State on Oct. 6, 2012. This game should be far different. While many of the FSU starters in that game have moved on, the reserves either played or were on the sidelines. They haven't forgotten. Jacoby Brissett has had a year to learn the offense, but he doesn't have much of a supporting cast—or a chance to upset the Seminoles.

 

Wake Forest, Oct. 4

Wake is starting over with a new coach, Dave Clawson, who will have to break in a new quarterback (Tanner Price has graduated) and will need to find him a No. 1 receiver after Michael Campanaro went off to the NFL. FSU won the last two games against Wake by a combined 111-3. This one could get ugly, too.

 

at Syracuse, Oct. 11

If there is a "sleeper" team to watch in 2014, give Syracuse the early nod, Athlon Sports says. The Orange return QB Terrel Hunt (10 passing TDs, seven rushing TDs), veterans on the offensive line and what should be an improved defense. FSU shredded Syracuse 59-3 last season at home, but this feels like a game where FSU could struggle early if it is looking ahead to the following week's showdown with Notre Dame.

 

Notre Dame, Oct. 18

This game is a wild card. In May, it's an intriguing matchup because Notre Dame returns dual-threat QB Everett Golson and plenty of talent at receiver and running back. But with just nine returning starters, the Irish could struggle, too. FSU will catch Notre Dame at the tail end of a very challenging four-game stretch (at Syracuse, vs. Stanford, vs. North Carolina, at FSU). Will Notre Dame be a top-10 team or a two-loss team when the Irish face FSU? It's just too hard to predict, but the Seminoles should win en route to a 7-0 start.

 

at Louisville, Oct. 30

Even without QB Teddy Bridgewater, new coach Bobby Petrino returns to Louisville and could put up a ton of points again. Petrino won 41 games at Louisville from 2003-06, and his Western Kentucky team aired it out for 5,502 yards in 2013. FSU shouldn't get too overconfident if, as expected, the Seminoles defeat Notre Dame. But a week off is again significant as FSU prepares for a Thursday night road game. The Seminoles have historically been sluggish on Thursday nights, but the Seminoles won 28-22 at Virginia Tech in Nov. 2012 and 38-7 at Boston College in Nov. 2011. Look for FSU's recent Thursday success to continue.

 

Virginia, Nov. 8

Is this the year that all of Mike London's recruiting success comes to fruition? It had better, or he could be on a scorching hot seat (or gone) by the time the teams face off. Virginia is just 6-18 the past two seasons. London has chosen sophomore QB Greyson Lambert to lead the offense after he threw for 220 yards and two TDs (along with two INTs) in the spring game. The Cavaliers need sophomore RB Taquan Mizzell to break out, but Virginia is overmatched against FSU.

 

at Miami, Nov. 15

Duke Johnson is in the backfield, and that's a concern for any defense. After hurting his ankle in a loss at FSU in November 2013, Johnson is expected to be back at 100 percent in August. But Miami has so many question marks. Will QB Ryan Williams make it back from a knee injury? Can Stacy Coley develop into an elite receiver? Is the defense, which returns LB Denzel Perryman, going to be better?  FSU fans would probably prefer to be facing Miami earlier in the year. If Williams returns and is effective, Miami could have some balance on offense to give the Seminoles a run for it.

 

Boston College, Nov. 22

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher wanted a nonconference cupcake in 2013 before Florida, and he was able to schedule Idaho. But the way the schedule worked out, FSU is facing what appears to be a weaker Boston College team before the Gators. BC loses RB Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams as well as QB Chase Rettig and WR Alex Amidon, who accounted for 1,032 of Rettig's 2,012 passing yards. But coach Steve Addazio landed a quality replacement for Rettig in Tyler Murphy, who graduated from Florida and is able to play for BC immediately. Murphy should do well, but BC needs to surround him with some pieces to make him successful. Still, look for the Seminoles to win this one comfortably.

 

Florida, Nov. 29

It simply can't get any worse than how 2013 finished for the Gators—a 4-8 season that concluded with eight straight losses, including a home defeat to FCS foe Georgia Southern and a 30-point blowout to FSU. Florida will surely be better in 2014 as new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper arrives from Duke. He has installed a spread offense that could play to QB Jeff Driskel's strengths. Florida has talented RBs in Kelvin Taylor and Mack Brown, but the Gators need a young group of receivers featuring Demarcus Robinson, Ahmad Fulwood and Chris Thompson to emerge. The Gators should put up more than the seven points they managed last year against the Seminoles, but Florida will struggle to stop FSU's dynamic offense.

Bob Ferrante is the Florida State Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bob on Twitter.

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Texas A&M or Oregon: Where Will No. 1 Dual-Threat QB Kyler Murray Commit?

The No. 1 Dual-Threat QB of the 2015 class, according to 247 Sports' composite rankings, is set to announce his commitment. Kyler Murray from Allen, TX, will commit to either Oregon or Texas A&M on Wednesday. Murray has the skills to be a huge playmaker wherever he ends up. 

Going into Texas and landing Murray would be a huge get for the Oregon Ducks and their increasing national recruiting presence. If Murray chooses Texas A&M, expect the Johnny Manziel comparisons to come rolling in. 

Check out Michael Felder predict where Kyler Murray will play his college ball. 

 

Highlights courtesy XOS Digital. Recruiting rankings from 247 Sports Composite.

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Penn State Football: Early Game-by-Game Prediction for the 2014 Season

We're less than 100(!) days away from the 2015 football season which Penn State will kick off in Ireland against UCF in the Croke Park Classic.

The Nittany Lions have managed to hold things together thus far amid crippling sanctions that have depleted the roster and left them with around 50 healthy scholarship players at times in 2013. The upcoming season could be the most difficult to navigate through but a third consecutive winning season would give fans something to be proud of.

Gone are Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska but they've been replaced by the likes of Michigan State and a couple new additions to the Big Ten.

The out-of-conference schedule gives Franklin a test in week one followed by some winnable games. Will the kinks be worked out by the time the Big Ten schedule gets going or will growing pains and a thin roster prove too much for the Big Ten's newest coach?

Here's a week-by-week breakdown of the Nittany Lions' 2014 season.

 

All stats courtesy of CFBStats.com.

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