NCAA Football News
The non-BCS leagues found no success in last year's BCS, watching their sole representative, Northern Illinois, flounder against Florida State in the Orange Bowl.
But thanks to Eric Fisher, they got the last laugh.
Central Michigan's left tackle soared up draft boards and went No. 1 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs, becoming the first non-BCS player to claim that spot since Alex Smith in 2005.
The only other offensive tackles to ever go No. 1 went to USC (Ron Yary), Ohio State (Orlando Pace) and Michigan (Jake Long)—three of the most esteemed programs in college football history.
Who else is ready to shatter the mold this season?
Note: Notre Dame and BYU both excluded from the list for playing as Independents.
The LSU passing game received a big boost with dynamic wide receiver Trey Quinn joining the 2014 recruiting class.
The Times-Picayune's Andrew Lopez hits us with the news:
Barbe wide receiver Trey Quinn became the 14th commitment to LSU's 2014 class when he pledged to the Tigers on Saturday.
Quinn selected LSU over Auburn, Clemson, Ole Miss, Texas, and Texas Tech.
Quinn is a 4-star recruit and the 13th-rated wide receiver for the 2014 class in 247 Sports' composite rankings. He checks in at 6'1" and 200 pounds, and he has solid strength to go with his size.
This Lake Charles, La. product lacks elite explosion, but he's shown the top-end speed to get open deep.
To go with those attributes, he has reliable, if not quite spectacular, hands as he naturally catches the ball away from his body. He also has solid ball skills and great body control.
This will certainly help make him a deep threat at the college level, but it does remain to be seen if he has the speed it will take to consistently beat guys deep.
However, he certainly isn't reliant upon getting deep. He has far more to his game than this.
Quinn has a nice feel for finding open space and for setting up defensive backs by knowing when to break off his route.
That helps him get quick separation and so does the fact that he is very fluid going in and out of his cuts.
He does not posses elite change-of-direction ability, but he has a nice feel for moving through traffic.
These skills make him a natural for the slot. While the slot is typically reserved for shorter receivers, Quinn is a natural for the spot, and he has dominated there while in high school.
No matter where he winds up lining up on the field in college, this is the kind of guy who will rack up catch numbers and help his offense keep the chains moving.
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The release of the 2013 Associated Press preseason poll, via the AP's official site, was met with its normal college football frenzy. But to the shock of no one who follows the sport, it was the Alabama Crimson Tide who ranked No. 1 in the nation.
Despite the strong roster and winning tradition, the road to a third consecutive BCS National Championship won’t be easy. Not only are the Crimson Tide in the always-tough Southeastern Conference (SEC), but the fact that the program is coming off of back-to-back championships makes Alabama public enemy No. 1 in college football.
The following matchups will be the toughest in 2013 for the Crimson Tide.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 7 Texas A&M (Saturday, September 14 at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS)
The biggest test without question is Alabama’s meeting with Texas A&M in College Station.
Whether Aggies quarterback Johnny Manziel is playing or not, the tough defense and run-first offense of the SEC powerhouse (11th in the country with 242.1 yards per game) will give the Crimson Tide fits.
The ultimate X-factor in this matchup will be senior quarterback A.J. McCarron and how he handles Texas A&M's tough secondary. If McCarron can protect the ball and make efficient plays, there's little doubt that Alabama will be able to walk into Texas A&M’s building and stun the program in a Week 3 dream matchup.
Prediction: Alabama 24, Texas A&M 17
No. 12 LSU at No. 1 Alabama (Saturday, November 9 at TBD)
The battle between Alabama and the LSU Tigers will be the same battle that it's been every other time the two programs have faced off in the past: a defensive showcase with timely scoring making the difference in the final outcome.
LSU was 12th in college football last year in terms of points allowed per game (17.5), but it will square off with a defense that returns most of its top stars from 2012.
The Crimson Tide are coming off an impressive year in which the defensive unit ended the season as the top-ranked defense in the nation (10.9 points per game allowed).
Expect the Bayou Bengals to struggle putting points on the board and ultimately lose another heartbreaker to Alabama.
Prediction: Alabama 17, LSU 14
Arkansas at No. 1 Alabama (Saturday, October 19 at TBD)
While on paper the Arkansas Razorbacks don’t look like a team that can challenge the Crimson Tide this season, the October 19 meeting could be the ultimate trap game for Alabama if the team underestimates its opponents.
Losing stars like quarterback Tyler Wilson and running back Knile Davis will hurt the Razorbacks, but with one of the toughest schedules in the nation, Arkansas will be seasoned and ready for anything Alabama has to offer.
The Razorbacks visit Alabama in the seventh game on the schedule, but they will have played three preseason Top 10 teams in a row leading into the meeting. While Arkansas may not beat Alabama, playing Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina and the Crimson Tide in a four-week stretch will have the program ready for its biggest game of the year.
Alabama must be ready for the challenge.
Prediction: Alabama 30, Arkansas 20
All stats via ESPN.com
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