NCAA Football News

Texas Football: Longhorns' Top Remaining Targets for NSD 2015

Charlie Strong's first true recruiting class at Texas has been on the upswing in the last month-and-a-half. The Longhorns appeared to be struggling in the recruiting department with just 16 verbal commitments before December.

But Christmas came early for the Longhorns and has continued to produce presents in the form of talented recruits.

Texas has landed 10 recruits since Dec. 1, jumped up to the No. 11 recruiting class in the nation, according to Rivals.com, and still has a handful of talented targets on its wish list.

The Longhorns now have 26 verbal commitments and a little less than a month to make an impression before national signing day on Feb. 4.

The positive news for Texas fans is some of the nation's elite prospects are expected to take official visits to Texas in the weeks leading up to national signing day. And as any recruiting junky knows, getting kids on campus is a good step for the football program.

The next few weeks could be huge for the Longhorns' recruiting and the future of the program. Here's a look at the top five remaining targets for the Texas Longhorns.

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Uber Offering Helicopter Ride Service for Fans Attending CFP Championship Game

"Quick! Get to da Ubaah!"

If you do not yell this before boarding the UberCHOPPER, you are wasting everyone's time. 

Indeed, the UberCHOPPER is a very real helicopter you can reserve with your phone, and as of Monday morning, Uber is offering its premium airborne taxis as shuttles for football fans in North Texas looking to arrive in Nixon-esque style at the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship.

The Dallas Morning NewsBrandon Formby reports that the ride costs $350 per person, and no, the helicopter does not pick you up at your home or hotel.

According to Formby, users reserving an UberCHOPPER will be picked up by car and taken to Love Field, where they will board their helicopter for an aerial tour of Dallas before being dropped off at a helipad near AT&T Stadium. No word yet on whether or not passengers will be able to Bluetooth Creedence Clearwater Revival songs over the chopper sound system and/or strafe local livestock during said tour.

As for the returning leg, Formby reports that passengers who arrived via helicopters will be provided an UberBLACK ride home. 

I'll say this about the UberCHOPPER: As someone who has languished in four hours of traffic getting to and from Jerry World, I would pay unholy sums to avoid sitting in Arlington gridlock. The pre- and postgame scrum is a tangle of humanity beyond description. Purgatory is a bus of hungover fans stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-30 East. 

In any event, these aerial shuttles will probably fare better than the original UberCHOPPER.

Fly lightly, young squires.

 

Follow Dan on Twitter for more sports and pop culture filigree.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Big Ten Football: Power Ranking the Conference's Head Coaches

The Big Ten Conference didn't escape the annual offseason coaching roulette in 2014-15, but the result presents a better top-to-bottom group of men leading their respective programs.

Ranking them requires a set of guidelines and understanding which factors are more important than others. For example, a coach who won big a decade ago but is currently in a slump won't rate as highly as a coach who might have a worse overall record but is coming off back-to-back bowl wins.

In short, if teams were holding a draft for the head coaches going into next season, in what order would they be chosen?

The wild card is obviously Jim Harbaugh, a coach who's experienced tremendous success in both the college and professional ranks. He's clearly in the conversation for the top few spots, but how much should his NFL accomplishments account for, if anything?

Take a look at our Big Ten football coach power rankings and be sure to let us know who's being undervalued, who's overrated and, of course, why I'm just plain out of my mind.

 

All stats via cfbstats.com.

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Oregon vs. Ohio State: Final TV Schedule, Live Stream Coverage and Prediction

The inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship between the Oregon Ducks and Ohio State Buckeyes is a tale of perseverance.

Urban Meyer's Buckeyes lost Heisman Trophy contender Braxton Miller, then top-five finisher J.T. Barrett. No matter—Cardale Jones took over and might just complete the most jaw-dropping three-game stretch of any quarterback in program history.

Mark Helfrich's offensive line does no favors for Marcus Mariota this year. His defense also lost top corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu yet took down Jameis Winston in the CFP semifinal. Now the offense must overcome the loss of key contributors, too.

Most programs experience injuries and losses on the way to the top, but the best compensate in convincing fashion.

"We've been playing, both our program and Ohio State have played with that kind of early loss, and your back was against the wall to get to this point every play of every game, the entire rest of the season, it was to the those words: do or die," Helfrich said, per The Associated Press (via ESPN.com).

The participants in Monday's encounter personify this better than any others could. 

 

College Football Playoff National Championship Odds and Schedule

 

Last Team to Touch the Ball Wins

Monday may not turn out to be the 70-point outburst Las Vegas seems to suggest, but fireworks are a sure thing regardless.

The Buckeyes still roll right along with an elite offense that can even keep pace with Oregon's thanks to the efforts of sophomore back Ezekiel Elliott.

As ESPN CollegeFootball illustrates, Jones' ascension to starter has been a blessing for Elliott:

To be fair, Elliott's increased usage is in large part out of necessity with the inexperienced Jones under center. The hero of the Big Ten Championship Game went just 18-of-35 for 243 yards with a score and a pick against Alabama.

Regardless, Elliott's performance against an elite Crimson Tide defense that still ranks sixth in scoring suggests he will have few issues with the Oregon defense. Florida State's Dalvin Cook ran wild for 103 yards on just 15 carries, so Elliott's outlook is great, no matter how predictable the Ohio State attack may be.

Most focus on Oregon's offense, but it's for the wrong reasons going into Monday.

Mariota is close to capping off one of the best seasons in history after 40 touchdowns to three interceptions through the air, 15 more scores on the ground and some individual hardware to boot.

What really jars the accomplishments alive, though, is a note on the offensive line provided by ESPN Stats & Info:

Granted, star center Hroniss Grasu is back in the fold, which will place more of an emphasis on the run game between the tackles.

That will be just fine with Helfrich, who can lean on the underrated Royce Freeman. While a freshman, he continues to rise to the occasion and has 1,343 yards and 18 touchdowns so far.

Further placing an emphasis on the run, other than to keep Mariota out of the hands of Joey Bosa and others, is the fact the aerial attack will be without major weapons such as Devon Allen and Pharaoh Brown.

Also, try not to forget that wideout Darren Carrington, the hero of the encounter with Florida State thanks to a pair of scores, will miss Monday's action due to suspension, per Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman.

An emphasis on rushing attacks is not what some may want to see, but both programs have reason to protect their quarterbacks Monday, whether it is from an elite defense or downright inexperience.

The dream scenario for both teams is ripe for the picking.

Down to a third-string quarterback, Ohio State can complete an epic run that wouldn't have been possible in the now deceased BCS and take down the three top Heisman finalists in the process before moving on to a realm of quarterback prosperity for years to come.

Oregon can shed the minute remains of the "choke" label and take home their first national title while Mariota, perhaps the most dominant Heisman winner in history, departs for the NFL with accolades galore.

Only one can unfold, though, and Monday just feels like Mariota's time.

Experience very much matters. While Elliott will come firing out of the gates and keep the Buckeyes in it—kick-starting next year's Heisman pursuit—Jones will fall into erratic, Winston-esque splotches of rhythm that create turnovers.

More possessions for Mariota is the last thing the Buckeyes can afford. Really, with the game on the line, one of the quarterbacks is much more trustworthy than the other.

As he has all season, look for Mariota to come through when it matters most.

Prediction: Oregon 36, Ohio State 30

 

Betting information courtesy of Odds Shark. Statistics and info courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise specified.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Empire State Building Lit Up in Ohio State, Oregon Colors for Championship Game

The Empire State Building has joined the fun leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship game between Ohio State and Oregon. 

The famed New York City building is lit up in Ohio State and Oregon colors. It may look like Christmas colors, but hey, this game is a present. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Nebraska Football: Cornhuskers' Top Remaining Recruiting Targets for NSD 2015

With national signing day less than a month away, Nebraska football head coach Mike Riley is working to complete his first class for the Huskers.

Having only been at Nebraska since early December, Riley is doing his best to pick up where former head coach Bo Pelini left things—while also paving his own path.

Nebraska currently has four early enrollees and 11 hard commits, according to 247Sports. Of those, the majority are 3-star recruits, with a few 4-stars mixed in.

At this time, 247Sports ranks the Huskers at No. 33 in its recruiting rankings. However, Riley is likely less worried about the final ranking of this class and more about securing important and much-needed recruits.

Who are those recruits exactly? Here are five of the Huskers' top remaining recruiting targets heading into national signing day.

 

All stats and player information via 247Sports unless otherwise noted.

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Predictions for Top 25 Uncommitted 2015 College Football Recruits

The 2014-15 college football ends Monday night, but it won't take long for recruiting season to hit full gear. With national signing day on Feb. 4, teams must pivot from the season that was and start looking at the seasons ahead.

Part of that includes closing strong in the 2015 cycle, even though most of the top recruits have already made their commitments known. There is still plenty of talent to be had, including the No. 1 overall player in the country, three other members of the national Top Five and 23 players in the national Top 100.

Here's a guess at where the Top 25 uncommitted prospects, per the 247Sports composite rankings, will sign in early February.

Sound off below, and let me know where you disagree.

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