NCAA Football News

Penn State vs. Indiana: Live Score and Highlights

Penn State 0, Indiana 0  - start of the second quarter

Buried in the carnage of what has been two disappointing Big Ten seasons so far, there's an embedded heavyweight battle expected in today's Penn State-Indiana showdown in Bloomington.

Yes, the Nittany Lions and Hoosiers have combined to lose their last seven consecutive conference games, and both teams are reeling. But the game will match up the nation's top rusher in Tevin Coleman against Bob Shoop's PSU run defense that is ranked first nationally.

So far, neither offense has done anything as the first quarter was a Punt Fest.

Penn State will be trying to halt its first four-game losing streak since 2004. Indiana will try to make it two in a row.

Be sure to keep open the blog for highlights…if they exist in this donnybrook.

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Baylor vs. Oklahoma: Live Score and Highlights

Oklahoma 7, Baylor 3—Late Lst Quarter

The No. 12 Baylor Bears and No. 15 Oklahoma Sooners are squaring off in a pivotal Big 12 matchup Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.

Fox Sports 1 is carrying the conference tilt. Bleacher Report is providing live scoring updates and in-game analysis. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Presbyterian College vs. Ole Miss: Live Score and Highlights

The Ole Miss Rebels will look to earn their eighth win of the season when they face Presbyterian College at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. The game will kick off at noon EST and it will air on the SEC Network.

The Rebels are coming off a heartbreaking loss to Auburn and they now have to claw their way back into the SEC West race. Ole Miss has played in six consecutive games and they have been beat up, losing Laquon Treadwell and Denzel Nkemdiche to season-ending injuries the past two weeks.

Ole Miss is going up against an opponent that is one of the top teams in the FCS in Presbyterian College, but the Blue Hose have been blown out by two FBS teams this season, Northern Illinois and N.C. State.

Be sure to come back to this blog when the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates and highlights.

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Bowl Projections 2014: Predictions for College Football Playoff Before Week 11

Week 11 of the college football season brings a whopping six matchups between ranked teams, as the playoff picture could receive a significant shake-up.  Given that the field of contenders is already thinning, it is possible that we could see a clear-cut group of four teams hold the pole position after Saturday's action.

Then again, upsets could just begin the cycle anew and create even more chaos.  Top SEC and Pac-12 contenders are facing tricky road contests, while the Big 10 and Big 12 are essentially conducting elimination games between two of their top contenders.

Thus, Saturday's action is likely to change our perception of the playoff field.  For now, though, let's take a step back and predict the current field, as well as the game with the biggest playoff implications.

 

Projected Playoff Field

Sugar Bowl: No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Auburn

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

 

This is a prediction of how the rest of the season will play out, not where things should currently stand.  Despite a pair of shaky outings against ACC foes Louisville and Clemson this season, the Florida State Seminoles still look like the clear-cut team to beat.  

Though the Seminoles still face Florida, the weak Costal division should make the ACC title game a mere formality, thus punching Florida State's ticket to the semis.

Auburn is just as talented as Florida State, as it actually tops Football Outsiders' Fremeau Efficiency Index.  But the SEC has cannibalized itself the whole season, and with one loss already in hand, the Tigers have no margin for error against a brutal schedule:

Nevertheless, with the weakness of the other conferences, it's not hard to envision the SEC receiving two teams.  Undefeated Mississippi State can likely absorb one loss—fortunate considering that they still visit Tuscaloosa and Oxford, not to mention a potential SEC Championship game against Florida or Georgia.

If the Bulldogs survive and give the SEC two teams, the Oregon Ducks currently look like the favorites to jump up in the field.  Oregon finally got over the Stanford hump last week, though a tough Pac-12 championship game against either Arizona State or UCLA does loom (not to mention a tricky road trip to Utah this weekend).  

Nevertheless, behind an improved defense and increasingly healthy offensive line, Marcus Mariota and Co. look like the class of the conference.

 

Game of the Week: No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 9 Arizona State

Though other contests like Alabama-LSU and Ohio State-Michigan State may hold more cache and generate bigger TV ratings, the game in Tempe actually holds the greatest playoff implications.  Both the Fighting Irish and Sun Devils are one-loss teams sitting on the periphery of the postseason picture, but a marquee win could vault them into serious consideration for the final four.

The matchup will pit two of the nation's best quarterbacks in Everett Golson and Taylor Kelly.  However, expecting fireworks might be folly.  

The Sun Devils have employed a heavy pressure defense that utilizes plenty of blitzes, and against Florida State this season, Golson struggled when the Seminoles sent blitzers through the interior A- and B-gaps:

Kelly's issues could stem from rustiness more than scheme.  After missing three games following surgery on his right foot, Kelly has appeared rusty.  

The Arizona State signal-caller has completed just 56.1 percent of his passes for just 6.75 yards per attempt in two games since his return.  Additionally, Kelly's mobility has appeared impaired, resulting in more negative dropbacks:

This is not to disparage the two quarterbacks, but rather to show how both Notre Dame and Arizona State are underrated and complete teams.  

Both teams likely need a bit of help to realistically challenge for the four-team playoff, but notching a win against a fellow top-10 opponent would be the type of signature victory that would stand out to the committee at season's end.

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College Football Rankings 2014: Final NCAA Overview of Week 11 Standings

The most important weekend of the 2014 college football season is here.

The schedule itself does the talking. Baylor at Oklahoma. Notre Dame at Arizona State. Alabama at LSU. Kansas State at TCU. Ohio State at Michigan State. Oregon at Utah.

It goes on, but one has to feel sorry for the pollsters at some point. Granted, this is the job they signed up for, but the path to the inaugural College Football Playoff has seemingly created more movement on the weekly polls than ever on a week-to-week basis.

Below, let's look at the notable polls before illustrating the thing most came to see—the CFP committee's poll. Soak it all in, because everything is about to go up in flames.

 

Week 11 College Football Top 25 Rankings

AP Poll can be viewed at CollegeFootball.AP.org.

Amway Poll can be viewed at USAToday.com.

B/R Poll can be viewed at BleacherReport.com.

 

College Football Playoff Week 11 Rankings

 

 

Week 11 Storylines to Watch

Oregon's Trap Game

The nation is sleeping on one of Saturday's late games, which may have a bigger impact on the CFP than any of those that come before it.

Marcus Mariota and Oregon better not be sleeping on it, though.

The Ducks finally got over the hump by upending Stanford 45-16 last week to quell whispers that the team is due for an annual November, soul and postseason-crushing loss. 

As a wise man once said, though—not so fast, my friend. 

The problem with the above theory and the fact most are unaware of this game's importance stems from the fact that Utah has been given little attention this season. For shame, too, as the Utes are more Stanford than Stanford is this season.

The Utes allow just 21.3 points per game this season and lead the nation in sacks with 39 to date. The team is far from a one-trick pony, though, as the offense can get down and dirty in quite an effective manner thanks to running back Devontae Booker, who has 990 yards and eight touchdowns on a 5.4 average this season.

Oregon has appeared to turn on the afterburners, though, gaining four wins in a row after a stunning upset at the hands of unranked Arizona at the start of October.

"Particularly after the Arizona game it's been more competitive, a better sense of urgency," coach Mark Helfrich said, per STATS LLC on ESPN.com. "All those things, win or lose, you try to impart on these guys of getting better in everything we do. Unfortunately, sometimes it's adversity in the form of a loss that wakes everybody up."

Right now the Ducks are playing the best ball they have all season, and Mariota has been his usual self (2,541 yards and 26 touchdowns to just two interceptions) when actually upright in the pocket or rolling out of it.

That figures to give Oregon the edge on the road, but should the hogs in front of Mariota collapse and Booker get the ball in his hands with his team in the lead, the CFP is going to suffer its biggest blow to date.

 

The One-Loss CFP Underdog

It was predictable that a one-loss team, if not two, would slip into the CFP.

Not many figured one might come from the Big Ten, though.

Michigan State has something to say about that. Many were ready to write off the Spartans after an early September loss on the road to Oregon in rather ugly fashion, but since then the team has rattled off six straight wins in a rather unconventional, if not unexpected manner.

Make no mistake, the Spartans are still great on defense. The team surrenders just 20.3 points per game on average. But it is the nation's fifth-ranked offense at 45.5 points per game that has many, including ESPN CollegeFootball, wondering if the Spartans can power their way to the postseason:

Some, such as Gerry DiNardo, per Bo Mattingly, project the Spartans to slip into the fray:

To do so, of course, the Spartans will need to move past the pesky Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday, led by surprising quarterback J.T. Barrett (1,856 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 496 rushing yards, six touchdowns).

For quarterback Connor Cook, who completes 60.6 percent of his passes this season, that will prove to be the toughest test since Oregon.

It is certainly a passable one, and one the Spartans cannot do without. The team is wedged behind more than a few SEC and Big 12 teams, among others, in the hunt for the CFP. Those dominoes can and will fall, but the Spartans will need to stand strong in the process.

The real test begins now.

 

Stats and information via ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

 

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