NCAA Football News

Harold Brantley, Missouri DL, in Serious Condition After Car Accident

Missouri defensive lineman Harold Brantley was involved in a car accident on Sunday and is in serious condition at University Hospital in Columbia.  

Tod Palmer of the Kansas City Star reported the news, indicating Mizzou women's basketball player Maddie Stock was a passenger in Brantley's car, which flipped over on southbound U.S. 63 at 1:55 p.m. Stock suffered minor injuries and is in good condition. Neither Stock, 21, nor Brantley was wearing a seat belt.'s Pete Scantleburyrelayedanofficial statement from university athletic department spokesman Chad Moller:

Harold was injured in a car accident this afternoon on Highway 63 south of town. He was taken from the scene to University Hospital and is being treated for injuries. I don't have specifics yet...But will certainly pass along what I can when it becomes available. We are hopeful that he will be OK.

Ashley Zavala of KRCG 13 posted a few images from the scene of the accident:

Per Palmer, head coach Gary Pinkel has compared Brantley to current New York Jets star and former Tigers standout Sheldon Richardson, which provides an idea of the type of talent Brantley is on the gridiron.

A rising junior, the 21-year-old Brantley made 10 starts this past season, racking up 54 total tackles and five sacks.

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Meet Ronnie Stanley, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top OL Heading into Next Season

Had Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley declared for the 2015 NFL draft, he well might have been the first offensive tackle off the board. After deciding to return to school, he is now the favorite to be the top offensive lineman selected in the 2016 NFL draft.

After spending his first playing season at right tackle in 2013, Stanley had big shoes to fill last year as Notre Dame’s replacement for Zack Martin, a four-year starter at left tackle who went on to be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft and a Pro Bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys in his rookie season.

As good as Martin was at Notre Dame and already is in the NFL, Stanley could be more highly regarded as a prospect. Unlike Martin, who was always projected to move inside because of his measurables, Stanley has the prototypical length and athleticism that NFL scouts covet in an offensive tackle prospect.

Given that, he could have gone even higher in the 2015 draft than Martin went in 2014 (No. 16 overall). As Stanley explained via a release by Notre Dame’s official athletics website, however, he felt as though he has unfinished business in South Bend before he moves on to the next level:

This was a difficult decision. My dream isn't just to play in the National Football League. I want to win a national championship. I've waited to this point so I could watch the actual game and see if I felt any emotion, and I felt a great deal. I am a competitor. I want to play on the top stage so I've decided that I'm returning to Notre Dame for my senior year.

We've got a chance to have a special season next year. Many of my teammates are returning and I've made strong bonds with lots of them. If all of them weren't coming back this year it would've made it an easier decision to leave. All this, the opportunity to graduate, and much more, led to my decision to stay.

Technically, Stanley still has two years of collegiate eligibility remaining. He is considered to be a senior by Notre Dame, which always lists its players by class year, but he is actually a redshirt junior from an eligibility standpoint.

Based on the quote above, though, it sounds like Stanley already has his mind set toward moving forward to the NFL in 2016. If he continues to perform as well this upcoming season as he did last year, he’ll be in high demand.


Dominant in Pass Protection

When NFL teams look for a franchise left tackle, they search for a player who can consistently handle pro-caliber pass-rushers on the edge and provide consistent protection for the quarterback’s blind side.

Stanley, after just two years as a collegiate starter and just one season on the left side, looks as though he could do that already.

From a physical standpoint, he has optimal measurables for the left tackle position. A long-limbed lineman who is listed at 6’5 ½” and 315 pounds by, Stanley is a former high school basketball player who combines the size of a behemoth with the feet of a ballerina.

Even more striking than his physical tools, however, is how fundamentally sound he is in using them. Despite his relative playing inexperience, he already has refined technique in both his upper and lower body.

Stanley consistently lands proper hand placement on his opponents, which enables him to lock out his long arms, absorb punches and keep pass-rushers at bay.

The rising senior’s footwork is also excellent. When pass-rushers line up wide, Stanley (No. 78) is able to employ his smooth kick-slide to get out in front of the edge defender quickly, like he did on the following play against Florida State’s DeMarcus Walker (No. 44, bottom of screen):

While Notre Dame allowed 28 sacks last season, according to, that was mostly because its former quarterback, Everett Golson, often didn’t know when to get rid of the football.

Golson likes to use his feet to maneuver the pocket and create plays, and Stanley regularly gave him the pass protection he needed to do so. A player who can be trusted in one-on-one matchups, Stanley does an excellent job of fighting with his hands and sliding his feet to mirror a pass-rusher in isolation and keep his man away from the quarterback.

On the play below, also from last year’s Florida State game, Stanley showed that ability as he was able to mirror Seminoles linebacker Jacob Pugh (No. 16, top of screen) for a good five seconds, buying time for Golson to dance around the pocket before ultimately completing a shovel pass.

Stanley’s foot skills make him a fit for any offensive scheme. Have a mobile quarterback and want to create a moving pocket to extend a play? No problem, as Stanley showed on the following example of pass protection (working toward bottom of screen) against Stanford:

If you watch Stanley’s entire game versus Florida State from last season, you will see many examples of his not allowing his opponent—specifically, 2015 second-round draft pick Mario Edwards Jr.—to even get off the line of scrimmage. He consistently gets out of his stance quickly, shuts down most pass-rushing moves and exhibits strength in holding his ground against bull-rushes.

When a pass-rusher does start to get momentum toward the quarterback, however, Stanley does not panic. He is adept at adjusting his angle mid-play to guide an opponent around the back of the pocket, like he did on the following matchup with Pugh (bottom of screen) to not only buy time for Golson but enable the quarterback to take off running for a first down.

As Stanley moves forward into the 2015 season, he can still work on becoming more consistent as he blocks the blind side for a new Notre Dame starting quarterback, Malik Zaire, this year. All in all, though, Stanley has no glaring weaknesses that should stop him from being a successful pass protector in the NFL.


Can Stanley Make an Impact as a Run-Blocker?

How teams feel about the answer to that question could make a difference in whether or not Stanley is the top-10 overall pick he has the potential to be. While his pass-blocking skill is outstanding for a player who still has two years of collegiate eligibility left, he has not shown that he can make the same sort of consistent presence in the run game.

Despite his size and strength, Stanley has not exhibited much ability to generate power. He rarely drive-blocks defenders more than a couple of yards off the line of scrimmage, and he often struggles to move his man backward at all.

To a similar extent, he does not regularly translate his athleticism into making downfield blocks in space, though he shows more potential in that regard.

A screen block is not precisely the same as a run block, but nonetheless, the following clip—on which Stanley blocked Florida State safety Tyler Hunter to lead Notre Dame wide receiver Will Fuller to an 11-yard touchdown—shows his potential to accelerate to the second level and impose his size upon a smaller defender.

Stanley does not consistently show that level of ability to find a defender in space and get a body on him, so he needs to improve in that regard.


Where Does Stanley Fit in the 2016 NFL Draft?

Altogether, Stanley needs to make strides as a run-blocker this upcoming season if he is going to solidify himself as one of the top prospects in the 2016 NFL draft.

The good news is that NFL teams tend to value pass-blocking ability, especially in a prospective left tackle, more highly than run-blocking ability.

Furthermore, a lack of power should not stop a team from drafting Stanley, especially if he shows development in that area in 2015. While he could continue to get stronger through hard work in the weight room, his length and athleticism are naturally inherited traits that many offensive tackles—even some who are already starting in the NFL—are unable to match.

Stanley’s top competition to be the first offensive tackle chosen in the 2016 NFL draft could be Ole Miss junior Laremy Tunsil. He has similar physical attributes to Stanley but is not quite as natural in pass protection and is also coming off a fractured fibula suffered in the Peach Bowl last season.

Other offensive tackles who project as potential first-round picks and could compete for draft position with Stanley and Tunsil include Ohio State senior Taylor Decker, Michigan State junior Jack Conklin, Baylor senior Spencer Drango and Texas Tech senior Le'Raven Clark.

Regardless of how those players or any other offensive linemen who might emerge as top prospects perform, Stanley should be one of the first players selected in the 2016 NFL draft assuming he declares, stays healthy and continues to perform at the high level he did last season.

In comparing Stanley to prospects from recent drafts, he does not yet project at the same elite level as the top two offensive tackles from the 2014 draft, No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson and No. 6 overall pick Jake Matthews. If he can take a leap forward as a run-blocker and have an excellent junior season, he could reach that level.

Within the 2015 draft pool, however, Stanley might have already given No. 5 overall pick Brandon Scherff a run for his money. As aforementioned, some draft analysts—including Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller—felt that Stanley would have been the top prospect at the position this past spring.

Adding to that, Miller also considers Stanley to be among a group of six prospects who stand out, in his opinion, as the top talents in the 2016 draft class.

All of those players (spoiler alert: you might see a few of them as our top-prospects-by-position series moves to the defensive side of the ball) have the potential to be among the top picks next spring.

Stanley’s case in comparison to some of the others, though, is not only bolstered by his skill set but also his position—left tackle—which is typically valued at a premium in the NFL draft.


This article is part of a series on the projected top prospects at each position for the 2016 NFL draft. Also read:

Meet Jared Goff, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top QB Heading into Next Season

Meet Ezekiel Elliott, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top RB Heading into Next Season

Meet Tyler Boyd, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top WR Heading into Next Season

Meet Evan Engram, the 2016 NFL Draft's Top TE Heading into Next Season


All GIFs were made at Gfycat using videos from Draft Breakdown and YouTube.

Dan Hope is an NFL/NFL Draft Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.

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Jim Harbaugh Sent Rapper Lil Wayne a Custom Autographed Michigan Jersey

Jim Harbaugh is apparently a big fan of Lil Wayne, so much so that he sent the rapper an autographed custom Michigan Wolverines jersey.

Harbaugh tweeted out a photo of Lil Wayne with rapper Jack Kennedy. Kennedy was a walk-on quarterback at Michigan from 2009 to 2012. Kennedy was one of the openers for "Big Show at the Joe" at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena on Friday night. 

Harbaugh penned the jersey with "To Wayne, proud to be a fan of yours, Go Blue!" 

Expect to hear Lil Wayne boom through the stadium speakers this upcoming season. 

[Twitter, h/t College Spun]

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SEC Football: Power Ranking Top 10 RBs for 2015 Season

As difficult as it is to find playmaking quarterbacks on 2015 SEC football rosters, it's every bit as easy identifying stud runners.

The league is loaded with top-shelf tailbacks for the upcoming season.

From home run threats, to grind-it-out gamers, to a few guys who can do it all, this year's group may be the strongest stable of runners the conference has seen in several years.

So, who's the best, especially when the top three seem so interchangeable? When you look at Alabama's Derrick Henry, Georgia's Nick Chubb and LSU's Leonard Fournette, you know right away they're freaks of nature.

But they're also durable workhorses who will be forced to shoulder most of their teams' offensive loads this season with inexperienced or historically inefficient quarterbacks at the helm.

Then there are the two Arkansas running backs who belong high on the list. Everybody has a favorite between Jonathan Williams and Alex Collins, but who ranks higher? How about Tennessee's super sophomore Jalen Hurd? Where does he fit?

There are numerous other former top recruits who have little or no sample sets of game reps, too. That played a factor in the rankings as well.

Considering past performance, elite potential and their dependability factor on the success of their respective teams, let's take a look at the top 10 runners in the rugged SEC.

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Alabama, Florida State Will Play 2017 Season Opener in Atlanta

The 2017 college football season is set to open with a bang, as the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles have agreed to start their seasons against each other in Atlanta, according to Tom D'Angelo of the Palm Beach Post.

It will be the first time the two schools will have met in the regular season since 2007, when Florida State won, 21-14. The game will reportedly be played in the new Atlanta Falcons stadium, which is currently being built, according to Michael Casagrande of

Few programs have had more success in recent years than Alabama and Florida State. Alabama has won three of the last six national titles and reached the first inaugural College Football Playoff this past season, while Florida State won the 2014 BCS National Championship Game and reached the playoff last year as well.

It's hard to imagine a much better way to start the season than with these two powerhouses facing off. Given the strength of these programs in recent years and the vaunted recruiting prowess of head coaches Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, it will hardly be shocking if these schools both find themselves in the top five of the rankings when they meet.


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Gator Football: 5 Florida Freshmen Who Will Take the SEC by Storm

The Golden State Warriors just won their first title in 40 years, the Blackhawks had their third Stanley Cup parade in six years this week and baseball is coming up on its All-Star break. For the most part, that means one thing, especially down south.

There are just 11 Saturdays remaining before college football season kicks off.

Heading into the offseason, Florida had plenty of questions. Chief among them, how would the recruiting class shape up?

We now know that first-year head coach Jim McElwain was able to give the Gators a top-25 recruiting class, receiving 21 total commitments. But how exactly do those recruits factor into 2015, and how do they stack up with Florida’s redshirt freshmen eager to put cleat to turf for the first time this fall?

In this list, we rank the top five Florida freshmen options to take the SEC by storm in their first year. Taking the SEC by storm is, of course, a relative term, so here are the criteria used to form this list. It’s very scientific.

Best chance to start right away. Best chance to have a major impact on the team. It’s that simple.

These players and criteria are obviously up for debate. That’s the beauty of sports, after all.

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Auburn Football: 10 Best Players in Tigers' History

Three Heisman Trophy winners, three players with retired numbers, 15 national award-winners and dozens of first-team All-Americans can make it extremely challenging to pick a school's 10 best all-time players.

But that's the challenge with Auburn, a program that has some of the most individual star power of any school in college football history.

Only 10 teams have had more than a pair of Heisman winners, and Auburn can claim that—and the fact the trophy's namesake also coached there.

The following list of the 10 best players in Auburn football history was determined by individual awards, All-American selections, school records and number of titles won. 

Auburn fans, sound off on this list—and the players who just missed the cut—and create your own top 10 in the comments below.

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Summer Predictions for Every Major College Football Award

When it comes to trophies, the one every college football player and coach hopes to get their hands on is the shiny gold obelisk that's given out following the national championship.

But taking home some individual hardware along the way isn't a bad consolation prize, especially when it's for an award that signifies a player or coach is the best of his kind in the country. 

Watch lists have already started popping up for some of the many individual awards that college football offers, and as the 2015 season progresses those lists will be pared down to semifinalists and finalists before winners are announced in December.

We're going to go ahead and take a stab at picking those winners now, and maybe we'll get a few right. Last year saw two players (Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Arizona's Scooby Wright) claim eight total trophies, but in the spirit of spreading the wealth we're picking someone different for every award.

Check out our predictions for the major college football awards, then give us your thoughts in the comments section.

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Florida Leads for Elite 2017 QB but Alabama, Michigan and ND Making Pushes

Recruiting the quarterback position is a very difficult and precise science. Many teams' hopes can rest upon the shoulder of a young starting quarterback. 

Adam Lefkoe is joined by Bleacher Report Recruiting Analyst Tyler Donohue to discuss the recruitment of Jake Allen. 

Where do you think Allen will land at the next level? Check out the video and let us know!

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Would SEC Ever Lift Its Ban on Alcohol Sales at Football Games?

Every offseason, a handful of college programs take the plunge and begin selling alcohol at on-campus facilities.

This summer, one of the most prominent programs in the country announced it had joined the fray.

According to the Associated Press (via, the University of Texas will sell beer and wine at home football games after it was sold at other facilities. 

As rivalries go, Texas A&M chancellor John Sharp naturally took a shot at his intrastate rival (via Gabe Bock of TexAgs Radio):

Trolling aside (which is always encouraged), the truth is Texas A&M can't sell alcohol at sporting events thanks to an SEC rule that dates back more than three decades.

Here's the rule the SEC office provided to Bleacher Report:

No alcoholic beverages shall be sold or dispensed for public consumption anywhere in the facility and the possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages in the public areas of the facility shall be prohibited. These prohibitions shall not apply to private, leased areas in the facility or other areas designated by the SEC. There shall be no advertising displays mentioning or promoting alcoholic beverages in the facility.

Essentially, that means no alcohol except in private suites.

Will that change, though?

There has been some talk that the SEC could lift the ban as recently as 2014.

"Right now, they drink excessively in the parking lot before they come in because they can't get alcohol inside," LSU athletics director Joe Alleva said, according to Jon Solomon, formerly of "Perhaps if they had access in the stadium, they wouldn't drink as much when they come in. I think it's something we have to talk about."

All that is, though, is talk.

"While it’s mentioned from time to time in public domain, there were no substantive discussions, motions, votes, etc., regarding changing the policy in Destin," the conference said in a statement to Bleacher Report.

In fact, it really hasn't been brought up at all.

"I don't think it's ever been brought up in Destin [at spring meetings]," Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs told Bleacher Report. "To be brought up in Destin, that means there has to be some legislative proposal on the table, and in my memory, I don't remember that ever being the case."

But this is a changing world.

The cost of operating a competitive athletics department rises seemingly by the day, and in the age of autonomy, the inclusion of full cost-of-attendance scholarships will only accelerate those costs.

Because of that, schools are getting creative. Georgia Tech just hosted the Rolling Stones earlier this month for a concert at Bobby Dodd Stadium. As's Andrea Adelson reported in April, some of the money generated from the event will cover half of Tech's budget for full cost of attendance.

In the SEC, though, Mick Jagger and the boys aren't needed. At least, not for financial reasons.

"With the different revenues and expenses that we all have, I'm not sure that any one component—specifically cost of attendance or an increase in tuition—would be a reason why you would change what you do," Jacobs said. "I think we all are blessed from the SEC Network funding—I know we are here at Auburn—so we aren't forced to look for new ways to generate revenue."

If you're looking to enjoy a frosty adult beverage at a college football stadium for the low, low price of $8.50, you better try Austin, Minnesota or West Virginia, because you won't likely be able to anytime soon in the SEC.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of unless otherwise noted, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports' composite rankings.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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Make-or-Break Games for Top 2015 Heisman Candidates

Successful Heisman campaigns can hinge on one performance.

Think of the last few Heisman Trophy winners, and a few signature games will come to mind—Jameis Winston's pregame speech and 444-yard outburst against Clemson in 2013, Johnny Manziel's crazy play in an upset win over Alabama in 2012 and Robert Griffin III's game-winning strike to knock off Oklahoma in 2011.

But Heisman campaigns can come to an abrupt end in big games, too. Remember how West Virginia's Geno Smith looked like the runaway favorite in 2012 before Kansas State held him to 143 yards in a prime-time blowout loss?

In anticipation of what should be a Heisman race filled with a ton of great candidates in 2015, let's take a look at the games that could make or break the top contenders' bids for the award.

These games, one for each of the top 10 players in the latest numbers from Odds Shark, were determined by the amount of national spotlight on the matchup, the player's previous performances against the school and the caliber of the opposing defense.

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Michigan Football: 10 Best Players in Wolverines History

It’s taken more than 134 years for the Michigan Wolverines to develop one of college football’s most celebrated and respected programs. With 915 victories, 42 Big Ten titles and 11 national championships, Michigan is recognized as nothing short of NCAA royalty.

And for decades, its winged helmet and maize and blue jerseys have helped define Saturdays in a way unrivaled by most teams in the land. There have been dozens of books written about the rich heritage and proud tradition of Michigan football, yet there is always room for more. Fans and alumni just can’t get enough background when it comes to learning about “Mad Magicians” and “Harmon of Michigan.”

With that being said, it’d be nearly impossible to limit a Wolverines' top-10 slideshow to just 10 people or players for that matter. However, by covering the early days of Fielding H. Yost and Fritz Crisler, all the way to the present-day Jim Harbaugh era, this slideshow will highlight 10 (plus a few) of the greatest men who laid the foundation in Ann Arbor.

“Have you ever been to the Louvre?” asked legendary Wolverines broadcaster Jim Brandstatter, who played for the iconic Bo Schembechler from 1969 to 1972, calling the team’s games for various outlets since the late 1970s. “If you ever get there, you walk around there and there are these paintings, and there’s a masterpiece at every turn, OK?

You walk around the corner of the hallway, and you’re like, ‘Oh, there’s a Van Gogh. Oh, there’s a Monet.’ You get sensory overload. You know, when you’re playing with these guys, you see them every day in practice, and you see them doing remarkable things. You’re used to it.”

Back then, players such as Dan Dierdorf and Reggie McKenzie were “just your buddies." Today, they’re heroes who not only helped shape a program, but they also helped influence Brandstatter's career. Because of them, he knows exactly how to identify special talent. 

Michael Keller agrees "100 percent" with Brandstatter. Because of time spent playing for Schembechler and with guys such as "Brandy" and others, Keller developed a deeper knowledge of the game that helped him excel as a player and executive. He spent five decades holding various titles in the NFL, NFL Europe, XFL and USFL. 

"The types of guys that we had playing on either side of us; that’s what made me a better scout," said Keller, a defensive lineman who started a program-record 33 games during his career (1968-1971). "I knew what it took to be successful and to be great, and I applied my experiences with my teammates to find players for the teams I was going to be scouting for and building.

“I’ve built four or five championship teams because of my experiences at Michigan and being exposed to great players at Michigan. I can't say enough about what I learned from my teammates."

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College Football Fact or Fiction: Answering Offseason's Hottest Questions

The college football season approaches, and with it comes extreme excitement for the upcoming storylines that will conquer the national spotlight. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Adam Kramer, Michael Felder and Barrett Sallee debate the hottest topics during the summer in college football. 

Who will win this year's national championship? Check out the video and let us know!

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Odds Jim Harbaugh Beats Ohio State, Michigan State or Both in 2015

It's no secret that first-year Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has a tough rebuilding project ahead of him. After going 5-7 a year ago under Brady Hoke, getting back to a bowl game would be considered a successful season. But even if that doesn't happen, Michigan could get some satisfaction if it beats either Michigan State or Ohio State—or both. 

(Of course, defeating the Spartans and Buckeyes in the same season likely means Michigan is good enough to go bowling. In that case, it would be an added bonus.)

However, what are the odds of Michigan pulling off at least one of those upsets? Both games are at home, which is a plus, so let's set the early odds of beating Ohio State at 3-1, assuming as of today that the Buckeyes will be about a two-touchdown favorite at best. We'll put beating Michigan State at 2.5-1, assuming the Spartans will be a touchdown or so favorite. The odds to beat both? Let's put it at 8-1. 

These odds are just opinion, of course, but they are based on what some early Vegas lines are saying (with an assist from B/R in-house betting guru Adam Kramer). 

Still, the odds aren't great, and history alone tells you why. 

Compounding the misery of Michigan football over the past several years is the fact that the program has fallen far behind not just Ohio State, but Michigan State as well. Things have certainly changed dramatically since 2007 when former Wolverines running back Mike Hart referred to the Spartans as "little brother." 

At that time, Michigan had won its sixth straight game over its in-state rival. Since then, the Spartans have won six of the last seven meetings.

Things are even worse against the Buckeyes. Since 2003, which also happens to be the last time Michigan beat both teams, the Wolverines are 1-10 against Ohio State. Over the past eight seasons, Michigan is 3-13 against Michigan State and Ohio State. The Wolverines have lost to both teams in the same season five times. 

Heading into 2015, Ohio State is a runaway favorite to make the College Football Playoff again and potentially repeat as national champions. Michigan State returns quarterback Connor Cook and defensive end Shilique Calhoun and looks to play spoiler for the Buckeyes' Big Ten and national title hopes. 

In other words, barring an unforeseen development, Michigan isn't catching either team in a down year. To beat even one of them, it's going to require an ugly, grind-it-out game. (For what it's worth, Michigan went 2-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less last year.)

That won't be easy. The Buckeyes and Spartans posted the top two scoring offenses in the Big Ten in 2014 at 44.8 and 43.0 points per game, respectively. Sure, both offenses lost some key contributors, especially at the skill positions. Tony Lippett and Jeremy Langford, the top receiver and rusher for the Spartans, are gone; Devin Smith, the Buckeyes' deep threat, is also no longer around. However, there are plenty of returning players to believe there won't be a major drop-off. 

Michigan's not going to get into a shootout with these teams. That's not their game right now. The Wolverines' concerns lie on offense because of an unresolved quarterback competition, a running back unit that has underperformed and an offensive line that has never quite come together. Under Hoke, there was never any improvement on that side of the ball. In fact, scoring offense actually got worse from 2013 to '14, dropping about 11 points per game. 

As Nick Baumgardner of wrote in April following the spring game, Harbaugh's rebuilding job isn't impossible, but it has a long way to go: 

There's a reality here, whether fans want to admit it to themselves or not. Michigan's offense was completely broken a year ago. Harbaugh has to rebuild it. Not quite from scratch, but in terms of fundamentals and mental toughness, it's pretty close. It'll take far more than 15 practices to accomplish this feat, but at the same time, he's got a pretty good track record.

Will the Wolverines offense go from a total mess to something serviceable or better by mid-October (vs. Michigan State) or late November (vs. Ohio State)? Possibly, but turning around three years of mediocrity takes practices and more practices. And then some more practices. It wasn't fixed in the spring, and it may not be fixed in preseason camp. For all anyone knows, the best players Harbaugh will coach at Michigan may not even be on the roster yet

To upset Ohio State and/or Michigan State, Harbaugh's team will need to rely heavily on its defense—not to mention it'll need to catch some breaks as well. There's no denying the defense is ahead of the offense at the moment, but even then, that side of the ball has to be stingy.

In 2014, the Wolverines finished fourth in the Big Ten in scoring defense (18.4 points per game) against unranked teams; against three Associated Press-ranked teams, that number nearly doubled to 34.3 points per game. 

But if there's one thing Michigan has on its side, it's experience. Seventeen starters are returning, according to Phil Steele. Another returning player is safety Jabrill Peppers, the former blue-chip recruit who had his '14 season cut short because of a leg injury. 

Michigan hasn't been great in close games over the past couple of years—it's basically been a coin flip—but the important thing is that they've been in those situations. As former Wolverines lineman Jon Jansen said at a Michigan Alumni Alumni Association luncheon recently, per James Gensterblum of the Petoskey News-Review, that experience should pay off with Harbaugh's brand of mental toughness: 

Regardless of who was coaching this team, we would be a much better team this year just because of the experience these guys have gained. There's no way to simulate what it's like being on the field, and when you're an 18 or 19-year old kid running out of the tunnel to face 110,000 screaming fans, it's overwhelming.

Once you've gotten a year or two under your belt, you're not overwhelmed anymore, you're thinking about your assignment and focused on taking on the guy across from you. The game starts to slow down for you, and when you're playing fast and everything around you is slow, then everything is going to go better for you.

That's it. That's how Michigan upsets Michigan State and/or Ohio State. It's not terribly complex, but that doesn't make it easy, either. The Buckeyes and Spartans are the Big Ten's best right now and either could be playoff-bound next season. Michigan is simply trying to get things turned around in the right direction. 

Beating either one of those teams is about bringing them down to Michigan's level, not the other way around. 


Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. All stats courtesy of

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Odds and Prediction on Where Playmaking WR Ahmir Mitchell Lands

Ahmir Mitchell is a 4-star athlete, per 247Sports' composite rankings, who is uncommitted. Mitchell is an explosive player who will make an immediate impact at the next level.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Adam Kramer gives his odds on where this 2016 stud will go to college.

Where do you think Mitchell will play at the next level? Check out the video and let us know!

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SEC Football: Optimistic, Pessimistic and Realistic Predictions for Every Team

It's summertime and your team—yes, you, the fan of a team who lost everybody off of its depth chart—is a stone cold, lead pipe lock to win the SEC, correct?

Well, it's not that easy.

Upsets happen, major injuries occur and sometimes coaches forget the intricacies of proper clock management. We will account for all of those variables in our optimistic, pessimistic and realistic prediction slideshow for the SEC in 2015.

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Breaking Down the Best Offensive Players in Each College Football Conference

Over the past few years, college football has become an increasingly offensive-oriented game. Spread offenses like Auburn, Clemson, Oregon and TCU's have piled up points from coast to coast, making the game truly fun for fans to watch.

With that said, there’s still room for power rushers who chew up three yards and a cloud of dust (or 50 yards and paydirt) each time out and powerful passing games that feature dropback signal-callers who’ll fit right into any NFL offense. The point? Offenses rule the game, and having talented offensive players on your roster is paramount to sustained success.

Here’s a look at the best offensive players in each FBS conference. Players were selected for their on-field impact, as well as their potential to make a difference for their respective teams in 2015.

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Jennings' On- and Off-Field Mistakes Give Harris Clear Lead in LSU QB Battle

According to the Baton Rouge Advocate's Ross Dellenger, LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings was arrested on Thursday for unauthorized entry of a dwelling. 

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee explains what this means for the LSU QB battle. 

Who will be the starting signal-caller for LSU in 2015? Check out the video and let us know!

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