NCAA Football News

College Football Picks Week 1: B/R's Expert Predictions for the Top 5 Games

After a wild offseason that included major lawsuits, big time transfers and suspensions, college football fans sure are ready for some real football.

Week 1 surely will not disappoint.

Will Ohio State State struggle against Navy without star quarterback Braxton Miller, or will his replacement, redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, step in and carry the Buckeyes to glory?

Who will emerge as the true signal caller for Alabama when the Tide battle West Virginia, Jake Coker or Blake Sims? Dana Holgorsen will aim to play spoiler in the Georgia Dome, but his Mountaineers will have their hands full trying to shut down the Tide’s talented backfield.

Georgia will play host to Clemson, hoping to get revenge for losing in Week 1 a season ago. Both teams will be ushering in new quarterbacks, so this showdown is sure to be an exciting one.

Defending national champions Florida State look to hold off a hungry Oklahoma State team aiming to prove itself on the national stage.

And the fifth marquee game of Week 1 pits LSU vs. Wisconsin in what should be a prime example of how to run the football.

Each week of the 2014 season, Bleacher Report’s college football experts Adam Kramer, Michael Felder, Barrett Sallee, Mark Blaudschun and Ben Kercheval will be making their predictions on the top five games of the week. These five have a strong background in college football and bring great knowledge and insight to readers.

Whether you agree or disagree with our expert picks, be sure to sound off in the comments below!

*All picks made straight up. Spread is not a factor.

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Josh Shaw Investigation: Updates, Details on Injured USC CB

Suspended USC football star Josh Shaw has been coy about the events that led to him jumping out of a second-story balcony, leading to two sprained ankles. The latest update isn't going to make the backlash go away anytime soon. 

According to Gary Holland and Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times, Shaw and his girlfriend are being investigated to determine whether they "were involved in a domestic-violence incident."

Capt. John McMahon, head of Central Division patrol, said Friday that Shaw, citing his attorney’s advice, has refused to be interviewed about the case.

“We would have like to hear from Mr. Shaw to provide some clarity about the situation, but that is not going to happen,” said McMahon. “In light of that, our investigation into a possible domestic dispute will continue.”

Donald Etra, Shaw's attorney, is quoted in the report as saying that his client talked "to the LAPD twice. We believe that is enough. The matter is over and there is no need to talk to them further. ... Enough is enough."

McMahon also said that Shaw's girlfriend has spoken to the police and "'did not indicate she was a victim of domestic violence."

Police officer Sara Faden describes in the piece that cops went to a third-floor apartment in downtown Los Angeles on August 23 "after receiving a report of a woman screaming" and officers had to break open the door after no one answered the initial knocks but didn't find anyone inside.

Faden did say that the officers saw “the window had been pried open," and that witnesses said they saw "a man with dreadlocks climbing from the third-floor balcony of the apartment. The woman who resides in the unit then arrived on the scene."

This story comes out days after Shaw was suspended indefinitely from the USC football team after admitting that he lied to the school about the way he suffered the injury.

The original story Shaw told, via Kyle Bonagura of, was that he jumped off a second-story balcony and into a pool to save his nephew from drowning. That tale of heroism garnered national attention, including on social media and morning talk shows. 

However, according to Meghan Keneally of, Shaw's story first started to come apart shortly after his tale of heroism gained steam because "a man named Josh Shaw matching the football player’s description was listed in a police report stemming from a disturbance call."

Shaw's future on the field has never looked less clear, but right now that's the least of his concerns. He's gone from being viewed like a hero and role model to an outcast and pariah in the span of a few days because of this huge lie he concocted. 

It's important to note that this is just an investigation at this point. No one has been charged with anything, nor has anyone been arrested. 

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Darian Roseboro to Michigan: Wolverines Land 4-Star DE Prospect

Given the importance of pass-rushing in today's football world, the news of 4-star defensive end Darian Roseboro committing to Michigan has huge ramifications for the 2015 recruiting class. 

247Sports' Steve Lorenz first broke the news about Roseboro's decision:

As Wolverine247 predicted and many believed, Michigan has secured the commitment of four-star defensive end Darian Roseboro, beating out home-state N.C. State and North Carolina among others for his pledge.

Roseboro, the nation's No. 7 strong-side defensive end recruit and No. 109 prospect overall based on 247Sports' composite ratings, has turned into a pass-rushing monster at Lincolnton High School in North Carolina over the last three years. 

According to 247Sports, Roseboro had more than 30 offers from top programs across the country and was seriously considering six in early August. On that list was Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina State, North Carolina and Tennessee. 

He said on Twitter, via Pack Pride, that those were his final six schools and the decision would come at the end of August:

As a freshman, Roseboro was already a beast with 107 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Those are scary numbers for a quality high school senior, let alone a player in his first season at that level. 

Yet when you look at the constant evolution for Roseboro, it's easy to see why power schools like Alabama, Michigan and Clemson were all after him. His performance continued to improve with 107 tackles, 30 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2012 to go along with four forced fumbles. He followed that up by posting 125 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 11 sacks as a junior. 

Every school across the country needs help rushing the quarterback. Since defensive backs are all but forbidden from touching wide receivers, having a player who can get in the backfield is paramount to success on defense. 

Roseboro brings a ferocious, attacking style and insane athleticism at 6'4", 285 pounds with a 4.64 40-yard time to the next level. The scary thing is, he will only get better with more seasoning and higher-level coaching. 


If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 

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LSU Professor Asks Students to Clean Up Les Miles Quotes for Homework

Some coaches may talk a lot but never provide much useful information. One LSU professor has decided that students can learn how to be clear and concise by translating Tigers coach Les Miles' quotes.

For homework, the instructor asked the students to read through some of Miles' statements and clean them up a bit. The students were asked to translate "coach talk" to concise—and grammatically correct—sentences.

Hopefully the professor will hand over the papers to Miles and let him read through them so he can learn how to get to the point quickly in the future.

[Twitter, h/t SB Nation]

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UCF Unveils Irish-Themed Helmets for Season Opener in Ireland

Central Florida is doing its best to win over fans in Ireland for its season opener against Penn State.

The Knights and the Nittany Lions will square off in the 2014 Croke Park Classic in Dublin this weekend, and to get in the spirit of the game, UCF has made a slight tweak to its helmet. To commemorate the special game, two Irish clovers and a pot of gold have been added to the Knights' helmets.

Playing in Ireland is a unique situation for both teams, and this was a cool way for UCF to pay tribute to the country.

[UCF Football, h/t Sports Illustrated]

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College Football Week 1: Previews and Predictions for the Top 5 Games

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! College football is back in full swing with a full slate of games that will have national significance. 

Kenny Hill and Texas A&M went into Columbia, S.C., on Thursday evening and blew out the Ol' Ball Coach's Gamecocks 52-28. While that was viewed as a big upset already for Week 1, this weekend could be presented with upsets that have significance on the new College Football Playoff.

Clemson and Georgia, as well as LSU and Wisconsin, are all teams that could be playing in the six major bowl games at the end of the season.  

With that said and a lot to look forward to this weekend, here are the top five games to watch. 

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Power Ranking Top 10 Alabama Crimson Tide Players Heading into 2014 Season

Backed by talent all over the roster, the Alabama Crimson Tide once again will be challenging for a national title in 2014.

After winning three of four BCS titles, the Tide saw their run come to a heartwrenching end last season. But while the rest of college football fans bask in the end of a dynasty, head coach Nick Saban and Co. seem poised to begin Act 2.

These are the top 10 players who should prove the most beneficial to Alabama in its pursuit for championship No. 16.

Each player was given a ranking based on several factors. Among the factors used were each player's career stats, experience on the team and awards/recognitions earned.

Begin Slideshow

Eastern Illinois LB Takes a Cheap Shot at Minnesota Player, Gets Ejected

Things didn't go so well Eastern Illinois through the first three quarters of its season opener against Minnesota, but the opening play of the fourth quarter had to be the worst moment of the night for the Panthers.

The Golden Gophers were leading 21-0 entering the fourth quarter and driving for another score. After Minnesota picked up a first down and moved closer to the goal line on the first play of the quarter, Panthers linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill decided to give Golden Gophers offensive lineman Zac Epping a shot below the belt.

Not only did the cameras pick it up, but the referees did as well. Grugier-Hill was flagged for a personal foul and ejected from the game.

Minnesota won the game, 42-20.

[The Big Lead]

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Quarterback Shuffle the Main Reason for Vanderbilt's Blowout Loss to Temple

The Derek Mason era at Vanderbilt couldn't have gotten off to a worse start, as the team kicked off the 2014 season with a blowout loss to Temple.

Temple won just two games last season, and this win marks the program's first over an SEC school since 1938.

The 90-plus minute weather delay forced the game to a 9:50 p.m. kickoff, but that is no excuse for the 30-point loss. Mason looked confused in his first game at the helm, and his inexperienced players followed suit. 

Clay Travis of Fox Sports commented on this being one of the worst head coaching debuts ever:

The five worst college football coaching debuts of all time. Starring Derek Mason:

— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) August 29, 2014

What Mason and the Commodores have to do to make this embarrassing loss a distant memory is the question now.

The Commodores have to turn the page quickly and understand that this non-conference loss can be quickly forgotten if the team pulls off an upset against No. 18 Ole Miss next week. It may seem like it would take a miracle for the Commodores to avoid another blowout to a much better team, but crazier things have happened.

One upset somewhere along the way can still lead to a bowl berth with this favorable schedule. But the quarterback situation will have to be figured out quickly to keep this from snowballing into a season that the program became accustomed to prior to James Franklin.

The fact that Mason pulled Patton Robinette in the first half appeared to be a knee-jerk reaction, and that was where the wheels began to fall off.

Mason's offense was never able to settle in after seeing three different quarterbacks lining up under center during the course of the game. 

It's very puzzling that Mason pulled Robinette so quickly after displaying that he didn't want his starting quarterback to look over his shoulder, per David Climer of The Tennessean.

Stephen Rivers saw the most action but never looked comfortable. He finished 12-of-25 for 186 yards and two turnovers.

Johnny McCrary also got into the game for a short stint. He threw three passes, and two of those were interceptions. McCrary was quickly pulled after those blunders, and it led to more confusion for the offense.

Mason has to make his choice for a starter and ride them out for a while, through both the high points and the low points. By changing quarterbacks so many times, he showed his inexperience as a head coach. 

The running game also was abandoned too early. Panic seemed to set in before halftime even arrived, which could be another sign of inexperience as a head coach.

All of this negativity can change in a hurry if a couple wins are strung together, but Mason has to stick stick with one quarterback to give this offense a chance.

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