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College Football Playoff Standings 2015: Week 5 Rankings, Bowl Game Projections

As hard as it is to believe, some teams across the country are already a third of the way home with their regular seasons.

There's still plenty—and we mean plenty—of college football to soak in over the rest of the year, but entering Week 5, the early part of the season has provided us with an opportunity to understand just how good some teams are and how bad others have become.

Thanks in part to several Week 4 games that helped separate some contenders from pretenders in several conferences, Bleacher Report's College Football Playoff and postseason bowl projections have returned and are ready to look ahead.

As with any prognostication on the postseason picture this early in the year, these projections are heavy on predicting a ton of coin-flip games, so keep that in mind before screaming to the high heavens.

Also note that the bowl picture is fluid because conferences can send teams that finish higher in the standings to bowls that might be considered lower in the pecking order.

With that in mind, here are a few takeaways heading into Week 5 of the season:

  • Here are the full AP Top 25 rankings. The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its first rankings November 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.
  • The College Football Playoff anticipates plenty of changes over the coming weeks, but it should come as no surprise that Ohio State is slated to be the top-ranked team when it reaches the postseason. The closer proximity to Dallas puts the Buckeyes in the Cotton Bowl semifinal against predicted Pac-12 champion UCLA.
  • Already holding a road win over Alabama plus a favorable schedule (Texas A&M and LSU in Oxford), Ole Miss is in prime position to win the SEC. This slots the Rebels in as the second-ranked team in the playoff standings—a spot they can capture even with a loss. Given how weak Baylor's schedule could be at the end of the year, the Bears would be slated in the fourth and final spot regardless of whether they run the table over the rest of the year. Things would shift if Baylor were to lose a game, but for now, that's not looking as likely as it was earlier in the year.
  • Memphis may be the leader in the clubhouse to capture the "Group of Five" bowl bid right now, but there's plenty of competition in its own conference. Because of the Tigers' iffy defense (see Cincinnati last Thursday with a backup quarterback), Houston gets the nod with a win over an ACC opponent (Louisville) already in the bag, a potential win over an SEC team (Vanderbilt) on the horizon and what could be two victories over Memphis. Thanks in part to the weakness of the Mountain West Conference, Boise State is on the outside looking in unless there's a lot of drama among the other Group of Five leagues.
  • Thanks in part to a high number of teams being selected for the "New Year's Six" bowls (in this scenario, Texas A&M as West Division runner-up and Georgia as East champion but SEC title game loser), there's some shuffling when it comes to the SEC bowl picture. Combined with the fact that some teams like Auburn and Arkansas will struggle to qualify for a bowl at all, a few bowls may be looking to select replacement teams from elsewhere.
  • Some juicy matchups could be in the cards, including powerhouses Alabama and Michigan in the Citrus Bowl, Tennessee and Florida State in the TaxSlayer Bowl and USC against Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

Here's a look at the full postseason picture:


You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Predicting Every Remaining Undefeated College Football Team's 1st Loss

Of the 128 teams in the FBS, only 29 boast undefeated records heading into Week 5 of the college football season. 

Some of these teams are bona fide national championship contenders that have already recorded big-time wins in the early season. Others are Power Five programs that haven't been tested yet. And there are some that have defied the odds multiple times to stay unbeaten through four weeks.

But let's bring everyone to a somewhat level playing field and predict when they all will join the 99 other squads that have already tasted defeat.

The following slides contain each undefeated team's highest chance at taking its first loss of the season. I came up with these losses based on location, potential matchup problems, where they land on the schedule and recent history between the two sides.

Of course, these are just one college football writer's opinions and predictions—they have been determined by how these teams look right now. There's still plenty of time for things to change for these undefeated teams between now and their problem matchups, especially in the crazy world of college football.

Begin Slideshow

Randy Moss' Son Thaddeus Moss Tweets Plan to Officially Visit Georgia

Charlotte, North Carolina, 3-star tight end Thaddeus Moss is one of those prospects who holds the recruiting world in the palm of his hand with every tweet because of minimal interaction with the media.

Last month, the flex TE and son of NFL great Randy Moss tweeted his top six of Arizona State, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina State, UCLA and USC. On Monday, the 6'3", 240-pound prospect tweeted his plans for his first official visit:

For Moss, the nation's No. 19-ranked tight end, the trip will mean an opportunity to meet with head coach Mark Richt, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, tight ends coach John Lilly and the rest of the Georgia staff.

It will give Moss a chance to see how the tight ends are used in a run-oriented offensive scheme.

The trip will also give Moss a chance to see the overall game atmosphere in Athens and how well the Bulldogs perform against Alabama, a team that will enter the game as an underdog for the first time since the 2009 SEC Championship Game, according to LVSuperBook (h/t ESPN's Brett McMurphy):

What would landing a player like Moss mean for Georgia's recruiting? For starters, having a player with his versatility in the lineup would be a plus.

Moss, who picked up his 30th offer on Sunday from Oklahoma, can line up as a receiving tight end, a blocking tight end, a wide receiver or an H-back.

He uses his body well in passing situations against smaller defenders, and when he catches the ball, he showcases soft hands and a long stride after the catch—similar traits to what made his father an exciting NFL receiver.

Moss also is a strong receiver option, a bruiser with finesse of sorts with the right mentality for picking up yards after the catch.

Georgia currently has 17 commitments in its 2016 class, including fellow 3-star North Carolina tight end Garrett Walston, who is ranked ahead of Moss nationally. In case Moss commits as a receiver and not a tight end, it should be noted that the Bulldogs also have four wide receivers committed.

This weekend, Georgia can set the bar high for official visits to come for Moss. He has a UCLA visit scheduled for Oct. 31 and a USC visit scheduled for Nov. 27. Rivals.com adds a scheduled visit to Arizona State on Nov. 21.

Georgia fans are hoping that this weekend will be all Moss needs.


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Damon via Twitter @DamonSayles.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Scooby Wright Injury: Updates on Arizona Star's Foot Injury and Return

University of Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright faced adversity soon after the 2015 college football season began, and now the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is dealing with yet another injury.

Continue for updates.

Wright Out Several Weeks with Right Foot Sprain Monday, Sept. 28

Wright was one of the most dominant players in college football on either side of the ball last season, but the 21-year-old star has struggled to stay on the field in 2015 thus far.

According to head coach Rich Rodriguez, via Zack Rosenblatt of the Tucson Star, the 2014 Chuck Bednarik Award winner suffered a sprained foot against UCLA on Saturday and is expected to miss several weeks.

Expectations for Wright were huge entering the campaign after he registered 164 tackles and 15 sacks for the Wildcats. Those numbers established him as one of the most productive defensive players in college football in more than a decade, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Unfortunately, he hit a major speed bump in Arizona's first game of the season when he suffered a knee injury. It seemed to be quite significant, as the Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner couldn't even walk under his own power, according to Bleacher Report's Bryan Fischer:

Despite that, Wright's father wasn't overly concerned with the severity of the injury, per Anthony Gimino of Tucson News Now:

Wright was eventually able to work his way back into the lineup, but there is undoubtedly concern among the Wildcats coaches and supporters now that he is on the mend for the second time this season.

Arizona entered the season as a Top 25 team with Pac-12 title hopes due largely to Wright and the defense as a whole. Without him on the field, though, the Wildcats will lose a great deal of dynamism and reliability defensively.

That is a bad combination in a conference with as much offensive talent as the Pac-12 has, and it could lead to the Wildcats' season entering a state of disarray if Wright isn't back soon.

The likes of Haden Gregory, Derrick Turituri and DeAndre' Miller will be looked upon to step up during his potential absence, but none of them brings the same all-around skill set and ability to take over games as Wright.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

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Scooby Wright Injury: Updates on Arizona Star's Foot Injury and Return

University of Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright faced adversity soon after the 2015 college football season began, and now the reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is dealing with yet another injury...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

Can Alabama QB Jake Coker Win Between the Hedges at Georgia?

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — There were a lot of messages being sent throughout the University of Alabama football team last week.

There was head coach Nick Saban having senior quarterback Jake Coker take all of the first-team reps in practices, which he had never done before. There was a player’s-only meeting during which the talk centered on everyone ignoring what was being said outside of the locker room and what senior center Ryan Kelly called “negative noise.”

There was also what senior running back Derrick Henry said to Coker after the interception in the second quarter of Saturday’s 34-0 victory against Louisiana-Monroe: Don’t press.

“[I told him to] keep his head in the game,” Henry described on Monday. “There was was a lot of game left to play, just got out and make plays and don't let it affect him."

It was good advice, which will likely be repeated before this week’s showdown at No. 8 Georgia, where No. 13 Alabama might be an underdog for the first time since the 2009 SEC Championship Game against Tim Tebow and Florida. It has fans wondering if Coker can win such a big game “Between the Hedges” at Sanford Stadium.

All they have to go on are his first four games, especially his ULM performance that was viewed as sort of a mixed bag. While the defense played lights out, the offense didn’t quite click as some hoped, and Alabama didn’t pound the ball as expected.

That was partly because of the primary running backs being limited. Henry was coming off having a 100-degree temperature from tonsillitis, senior Kenyan Drake got a little beaten up the previous week against Ole Miss, and Bo Scarbrough was serving the final game of his eligibility suspension.

So Alabama focused on working through some things in the passing game during Coker’s debut as the full-time starting quarterback.

“Eventually, I got things going and finished the way I wanted to finish,” he said.

“I thought I got better, but at the same time, I had some mistakes. There were guys in the wrong position, and it was my fault. I have a long way to go.”

There’s no doubt, though, that Coker played better and looked more comfortable as the game progressed. Specifically, after completing 10 of 21 passes for 80 yards in the first half, Coker was 7-of-10 for 78 yards in the second before being pulled.

One of the second-half incompletions was the dropped pass that should have been a touchdown by freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley, and Coker also didn’t get credit for the 13-yard completion to Stewart when left tackle Cam Robinson was flagged for being illegally downfield (although replay clearly showed that he wasn’t past the three-yard limit).

Alabama did a lot of crossing and slant routes and numerous times essentially ran the same plays over and over again with different personnel or with what Saban likes to call “window dressing.”

“We played it pretty tight to the vest today, and I think we probably need to do a little more,” Saban said after the game. “I thought Jake did a good job, and however you look at the stops, you’ve got to look at the drops. That wasn’t really his fault; he made some good throws. There was probably a couple times that he wishes he would have done it a little different, in terms of going to somebody else, and those are the things we need to work out and get better at.”

After reviewing the game film, Saban said there were six dropped passes. Sophomore ArDarius Stewart, junior Chris Black, sophomore Cam Sims and Ridley all had an obvious one, but part of the game plan was to get more players involved.

“We do take it to heart,” Stewart said about the drops.

Still, when Coker talks about improving, he’s mostly referring to things like not going through his progression and locking in on one receiver. A perfect example was the pass intended for O.J. Howard against Ole Miss that was picked off. Coker never took his eyes off the tight end.

On the ULM interception, Henry had just slipped out into open field, and had Coker noticed him, it could have resulted in a big gain. On 3rd-and-3, he tried to force a pass to Ridley for an incompletion. Senior wide receiver Richard Mullaney was open on a crossing route.


  • Alabama converted just two of 13 third-down opportunities against the Warhawks. Coker was 3-of-8 on the down, but only one pass resulted in a first down.
  • Yards after the catch were almost nonexistent. Senior tight end Michael Nysewander, a former walk-on, had 17 on his 19-yard touchdown, and Black had 12 on his 19-yard slant early in the fourth quarter. Those two plays accounted for 29 of Alabama’s 49 unofficial yards after the catch.
  • Coker’s longest completed pass downfield was caught 17 yards from the line of scrimmage on his final touchdown pass, a bootleg to the right during which Coker showed good patience despite a block being missed. Anything longer, and he was 0-of-3 with one interception.

Alabama’s offense, with nine new starters, also had trouble with the blitz, which Georgia has surely noticed, but one thing Coker didn’t attempt in the second half was another deep pass, which can only be taken as a sign of improvement. Despite his arm strength, he has yet to connect on a home run ball, while the receivers haven’t gotten separation or gone up to try to make a play.

“Obviously, we’ve got some young receivers out there playing who have not played much that need to develop more confidence,” Saban said. “I think Calvin Ridley is playing well, and I think ArDarius Stewart can be a really good player for us. We’ve just got to get a little more consistent with what we’re doing, and we’ve got to bring some of the young guys along. Richard has done a good job all year long.”

The key word there is confidence, which only comes through repetition and experience, yet there are two important things to keep in mind regarding the looming showdown in Athens: 

  1. Coker was the one to lead Alabama in its comeback back against Ole Miss, which, like Georgia, has a very good defense.
  2. If everything goes the way Alabama hopes, he won’t have to try to lead the team to a win. Although Saban wants the offense to be as balanced as possible, the Crimson Tide’s trademarks remain a powerful running back and imposing defense.

The coach never wants to have to put the game in the quarterback’s hands.

“The more games that he starts, the more reps that he gets, the confidence level is only going to go up, and I think people are starting to notice that,” Kelly summarized.

“If I know Jake, I know he’s going to be the most well-prepared that he can. The guy studies his [rear] off, and I just know that’s what he’s going to do. He’s going to give us the best chance to win.”


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

Christopher Walsh is a lead SEC college football writer. Follow Christopher on Twitter @WritingWalsh.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

B/R CFB Committee: Playoff Predictions Heading into Week 5

Week 4 of the college football season is in the books, and as upsets loom larger, the playoff picture is becoming clearer by the week.

Who is the top team in the country? Which teams will fill the other three spots in the College Football Playoff?

Watch as Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee, Adam Kramer and Michael Felder examine the potential playoff scenarios heading into Week 5 in the video above.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

10 Names to Know from the 2016 Elite 11 QB Watch List

Annual Elite 11 action helps college football coaches and recruiting analysts evaluate the country's top quarterback prospects in a competitive environment. These premier high school passers may eventually evolve into stars at the university of their choice and, in some cases, beyond.

The folks at Student Sports released a "watch list" featuring quarterbacks in the 2017 class who've landed on Elite 11's national radar. The collection includes multiple committed athletes, while the vast majority remain undecided about their collegiate destination.

These talented juniors ultimately aim to join a prestigious group of Elite 11 alumni headlined by Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford. From an early list of more than 90 names, here's a closer look at 10 compelling quarterbacks who could claim the spotlight next summer at Nike's world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

Begin Slideshow

College Football's Most Important Offers of the Week

While Georgia is focused on trying to capture its first SEC title since 2005, head coach Mark Richt and his staff are also busy trying to reel in one of the nation’s top recruiting classes.

The Bulldogs currently sit at No. 7 in the 247Sports team rankings, but they are involved with a handful of high-profile prospects heading into the final months before signing day.

One player who has emerged on the Bulldogs' radar is 4-star defensive end Jeffery Simmons—who earned an offer from Georgia last week.

According to Kipp Adams of Dawgs247, Simmons is in the process of setting up a visit to Athens.

"It was a blessing and an honor to get an offer from Georgia," Simmons told Adams. "I spoke to [offensive line] Coach Rob Sale this morning, and he said he wants to get me on campus to see what Georgia is all about."

Simmons, who is the nation’s No. 3 strong-side defensive end and No. 38 player overall, is also the top-rated prospect from the Magnolia State.

Alabama, Louisville, Mississippi State and Ole Miss are among the other programs in the running for the 6’4”, 262-pounder. 

However, with the Bulldogs in the picture and potentially getting a visit from him soon, the path of his recruitment could change in the coming months.


Irish, 'Canes Offer Rising 2017 ATH 

Notre Dame and Michigan may have halted their rivalry on the field, but it is very much alive on the recruiting trail.

Last week, the Irish went into the Wolverines backyard and offered 2017 athlete Antjuan Simmons.

The 6’1”, 205-pounder—who also received an offer from Miami last week—admits the offer from Notre Dame is one that caught his attention.

"It’s hard to explain," Simmons told Bleacher Report. "It’s a great program to be in and to be around. It’s a blessing for me just to have an offer from that program. The tradition, their academics and the football program, everything is top of the line there."

Simmons was on hand for Notre Dame’s win over UMass last weekend, and the Irish are working to build a strong bond with him moving forward.


Michigan State After 2017 QB

One of the top quarterback prospects in the 2017 class is 4-star Georgia passer Davis Mills.

Last week, his offer list expanded when Big Ten power Michigan State extended an offer to the 6’3”, 189-pound metro Atlanta product.

Mills, who threw for 2,267 yards and 26 touchdowns as a sophomore, now has 21 offers to his credit.

Miami, Michigan, Stanford and UCLA are among the other schools who have offered Mills, but the Spartans are hoping to make a push for the nation’s No. 5 pro-style quarterback and No. 88 player overall in the 2017 cycle.


UCLA Offers Pair of 2017 Stud WRs

Under head coach Jim Mora Jr., UCLA has steadily gained momentum as a force on the recruiting trail.

Last week, the Bruins offered a pair of dynamic wide receivers in 5-star Tyjon Lindsey and 4-star Osiris St. Brown.

Lindsey is the nation’s No. 3 wideout and No. 19 player overall in the 2017 class. Ohio State, Oregon, Texas A&M and USC are among the other schools involved with him.

Meanwhile, St. Brown—whose older brother Equanimeous is a freshman receiver at Notre Dame—already holds an offer from the Irish as well as other programs such as Miami, Michigan and Michigan State.


Best of the Rest







Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

SEC Football: All-Conference Team for September

It seems like only yesterday when the assembled members of the media voted on the predicted order of finish for the 2015 SEC season at media days in Hoover, Alabama.

Yet here we are with four weeks in the books and the month of October looming this weekend. 

Several stars broke out during the first month of the season, many of whom came seemingly out of nowhere.

We pick the SEC's September all-conference team based on performance during the first month of the season in this slideshow.

Begin Slideshow

Florida Football: Can the Gators Hold on to Big Recruiting Momentum?

Last weekend’s thrilling win over Tennessee did more than just help Florida improve to 4-0.

Included among the 88,000-plus spectators inside the Swamp last Saturday were a throng of stud recruits—many of whom were getting their first look at the Gators under first-year head coach Jim McElwain.

Two touchdowns scored in the game’s final five minutes propelled the Gators to an improbable 28-27 win over the Vols—and turned the energy level inside the Swamp to a level last reached in the Urban Meyer era in Gainesville.

Now, as GatorBait’s Luke Stampini reports, the Gators are trending with several elite prospects—including 5-star defensive end Shavar Manuel, 5-star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, 5-star receiver Nate Craig-Myers and 4-star defensive end Antonneous Clayton

“You can basically say ‘Go Gators’ right now,” Manuel told Stampini after the game. “It was fantastic. I enjoyed myself, man, from the time I got in to now leaving. I had a blast tonight, I really did.”

That sentiment was popular among the recruits in attendance, but can the Gators hold on to this momentum moving forward with a number of their top targets?

It’s possible, but there’s a lot of work to be done before labeling the Gators a lock to land a top-10 class in February.

As great as the win over Tennessee was, it’s simply a good first step in the right direction for McElwain and his staff.

Considering that Florida is preparing for a four-game stretch that includes games against Ole Miss, Missouri, LSU and Georgia—with the last three of those coming away from home—the big picture of the Gators program has the potential to look a lot different in a month.

With that said, recruits and fans alike have reason to be optimistic for the future under McElwain.

Given that McElwain’s background is on offense, the Gators' attack already seems to be leaps and bounds ahead of where it was a year ago.

Recruits are also likely to notice the performances of young talents such as redshirt freshman quarterback Will Grier and true freshman receiver Antonio Callaway—who connected for a game-winning, 63-yard touchdown strike. 

The defense looks poised to still be one of the nation’s best under new defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.

Given the foundation he and his staff were able to build with top 2016 and 2017 targets during the spring and summer, the Gators are in position to capitalize in a big way over the next few months.

Wins like the one over Tennessee will only help foster the belief among recruits that Florida is on its way back toward the upper echelon of the SEC.


Sanjay Kirpalani is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand and all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

7-Step Drop: Highly Paid College Football Coaches Feeling the Heat

As I was settling into the press box at Arizona Stadium prior to UCLA’s dismantling of the Wildcats on Saturday, I couldn’t help but pull up the Florida/Tennessee game on my laptop to see what was happening.


Like many around the country, I saw the Volunteers go up 26-14 with touchdown with just a few ticks over 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter and assumed the game was over. Congrats to the Vols on finally turning the corner and ending the losing streak against the Gators.


Of course, that didn’t happen.


Curiously, although there was certainly a lot of time left, I was a little confused as to why Butch Jones opted to kick the extra point to make it 27-14 instead of going for two in this scenario. Yes there was a lot of time on the clock but that’s precisely why there was little downside in pushing the lead to a full two touchdowns instead of keeping things at a 13 point margin.


Naturally the decision came back to bite the Vols in the rear end as they allowed Florida to march down the field on the next possession, proceeded to go three and out, and then gave up the game winner on a wild 4th and 14 pass from Will Grier to Antonio Callaway that was about as big of a gut punch as you could get.


Even UF coach Jim McElwain was somewhat incredulous that his team had won based on comments after the game. Tennessee fans, no doubt, were in the same state of shock.


When you include the missed opportunity to go for two and the atrocious clock management and organization on the final drive, one can understand how Jones moved from hero to goat for the Vols fan base in about a half hour. The Florida game represented the second blown fourth quarter lead of the year after a big missed opportunity against Oklahoma and certainly turned up the heat on the supposed turnaround in Knoxville.


Both losses sit squarely on the shoulders of Jones at this point and call into question all of the momentum he had created by turning into an orange-clad bricklayer on signing day. Nobody wins games in February, you have to get things done in the fall.


For all the positive rhetoric around the Vols program recently, it still appears they can’t escape floating around .500 like they have been dating back to the end of the Phillip Fulmer era. That’s on Jones to get things done when the bullets start flying and is looking increasingly likely that this simply isn’t the team that was expected to make a big jump and contend in the SEC East.


While the pressure on Jones has been cranked up about 100-fold following Saturday’s loss, he’s not the only high-priced head coach in college football to be feeling the heat from the fans and the media. Heck, one doesn’t have to leave the league to find a collection of supposedly top-notch coaches who are struggling so far in 2015 despite lofty salaries.


Just a few miles to the West of Knoxville lies Bret Bielema, the biggest talker in college football coaching who just seems to not be able to cash any checks with the Razorbacks a very disappointing 1-3 on the year and an uphill climb to bowl eligibility following an overtime loss to Texas A&M that also included blowing a fourth quarter lead.


Correspondingly, one preseason storyline that came up a quite a bit around the time of SEC Media Days was the fact that some SEC West school would be paying their head coach $4 million-plus to finish last in the division. As we enter Week 5, few would be surprised if it was the coach who was also picked to win the league in Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.


The Tigers fell to 0-2 in the SEC after a 17-9 loss to Mississippi State on Saturday that further cemented their status as the country’s most disappointing team following preseason hype of reaching the College Football Playoff. Despite limiting the Bulldogs to 56 yards rushing (a vast improvement over the LSU game) and holding onto the ball for over 36 minutes, the quarterback change to Sean White produced just three field goals on offense in another anemic outing.


Malzahn has proven himself to be a good head coach in engineering a remarkable turnaround that ended just short of a national title but it seems we were all sold a bill of goods about the Tigers in 2015. And, let’s face it, it’s hard to pin the blame on anybody but the head coach when so many things go wrong early in the season.


The good news, if there is any, is that Malzahn is not alone. In the SEC alone, six head coaches are making over $3 million a year and are currently sitting at 0-1 or 0-2 in the league. Expand that further to include those like Arizona State’s Todd Graham, Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville, Louisville’s Bobby Petrino, and Oregon’s Mark Helfrich, and one gets the pictures that there are more than a host of highly paid coaches who are very much under fire by their fan bases.

Considering we’ve just wrapped up Week 4, that’s not exactly an encouraging sign for a number of teams.


Stats of the Week


- Crazy note from TCU: since 1980, Gary Patterson leads all college football coaches with the most 12-game winning streaks (6), breaking a tie with Bobby Bowden.


- TCU wide receiver Josh Doctson set or tied school records against Texas Tech with 18 receptions for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Doctson became the first Horned Frog with at least 10 receptions in a game since… his quarterback on Saturday, Trevone Boykin, had 11 catches against West Virginia in 2013.


- LSU noted that Leonard Fournette became the first player in LSU history to run for 200+ yards in two consecutive games.


-  Oregon’s 42-point loss to Utah is the worst for the Ducks since 2003 and the most points (62) they’ve given up since 1985.


- Penn State played San Diego State for the first time on Saturday, which according to the school, was the 155th different program the Nittany Lions have ever played. They have an 11 game win streak going against teams they’ve faced for the first time.


- USC has scored a touchdown in the first quarter in 18 straight games, longest streak in the nation.


- Cincinnati quarterback Hayden Moore threw for an American Athletic Conference-record 557 yards against Memphis… despite not starting and coming into the game to replace the injured  Gunner Kiel.


- East Carolina has won five straight against ACC teams.


- SMU after four weeks of 2015 has scored more points than they did all of last season.


- Tennessee’s lone win against conference rivals Florida, Georgia and Alabama since Phillip Fulmer left? It came courtesy of Lane Kiffin in his single season in Knoxville against the Bulldogs in 2009.

Per @ESPNStatsInfo, Kansas now owns the longest road losing streak since the FBS/FCS split in 1978 with 31 straight defeats

— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) September 27, 2015

Painful #Vols fact. This season, teams are 188-3 when leading by at least 13 points in 4th Qtr. 2 of those 3 losses belong to Tennessee.

— Dari Nowkhah (@ESPNDari) September 26, 2015

Quote of the Week


"Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said after Utah dismantled the Ducks 62-20.


Tweet of the Week

Steve Sarkisian's insight was spot on at Salute to Troy: Arizona State sucks #USC

— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) September 27, 2015

Play of the Week

It's a stunner for @GatorsFB! Florida pulls off a shocker in the @BestBuy highlight. http://t.co/hwLfhLUaSG

— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) September 26, 2015

Sound from Saturday


Pre-Snap Reads 

Notre Dame at Clemson

 Is this the game the injuries finally catch up to the Irish? On the road against a tough defense and a quality quarterback, it just might be. Tigers signal-caller Deshaun Watson hasn’t looked the sharpest so far this year but he could help out those that picked him to finish high in the Heisman voting with a breakout performance against a tough Notre Dame defense. 

Alabama at Georgia 

We’ve seen flashes from Georgia this season but there’s still not enough good opponents on the schedule so far to say they’re truly in the national title race until they can come through with a win against one of the boys in the SEC. Alabama will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start to league play and will be plenty motivated. Between the hedges anything can happen, including a Crimson Tide win.

West Virginia at Oklahoma

Easy candidate for most surprising unit of the year? It might be West Virginia’s defense, which suddenly looks like the best in the Big 12 even when you factor in their non-conference opponents. They’ll have their hands full with Baker Mayfield and the Sooners on the road but the good news is the offense should be able to help out and move the ball against a suspect unit on the home sideline. Since this is in Norman though, Bob Stoops should be able to squeak out a nice conference victory.

All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise noted. You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

#ManCrushedMonday: College Football's Biggest Hits of Week 4

Week 4 of the college football season featured some absolutely bone-shattering hits.

Who delivered the biggest blows this weekend? Watch the video above to see the top four.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan vs. Maryland: Complete Game Preview

The Michigan Wolverines will attempt to continue their winning ways on Saturday, Oct. 3, taking on the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium in College Park.

Michigan (3-1) seems to have become fully intoxicated by the Jim Harbaugh effect, since the first-year head coach has turned a mediocre 2014 squad into an impressive 2015 unit. The Wolverines obliterated then-No. 22 the BYU Cougars 31-0 in Week 3.

Maryland (2-2) must bounce back from a 45-6 beatdown at the hands of the West Virginia Mountaineers, who outgained the Terps 601 yards to 326 yards.

Per Odds Shark, Michigan opened as a 12-point favorite. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Big Ten Network.

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Joseph Kraemer, Eastern Kentucky DL, Dies at 19

Eastern Kentucky defensive lineman Joseph Kraemer was pronounced dead Sunday morning after being involved in a car accident in Madison County, Kentucky.

He was 19.

According to a WKYT report, police say Kraemer was in a car that ran off the road sometime late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Lex18.com reported he hit a tree and went over an embankment, and the impact of the crash caused him to die on the scene. The cause of the accident is unclear at this time.

Kraemer was in his first season at Eastern Kentucky after transferring from UTEP. He was considered a 3-star defensive end by 247Sports coming out of high school, starring at Archbishop Alter in Dayton, Ohio. He did not record a defensive statistic in his college career.

Eastern Kentucky is scheduled to travel to Lexington for a game against Kentucky this Saturday. The program has not released a statement on Kraemer's death at this time. An investigation into the crash is still ongoing.


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10 Best Plays from 1st Month of 2015 College Football Season

It's hard to believe that the first month of the college football season is about to be in the books.

As the calendar inches closer to October, now is a good time to look back on the incredible highlights that dominated the first four weeks of the 2015 college football season.

Fans were treated to one of the best spin moves ever utilized on a football field, a game-winning field goal from extremely long range, some massive touchdown runs that included plenty of broken tackles and quite a number of game-winning touchdown passes in the final moments of big games.

Here's a countdown of the 10 best college football plays from September. Everyone has their own unique criteria for picking the best of the best, but this list is weighted more toward the big plays that either won or drastically changed games. The more dramatic the play, the better the result on here.

Of course, that leaves plenty of room for debate and lots of noteworthy omissions from what was an exciting first few weeks of the season. Tell us your favorite plays in the comments below.

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B/R Recruiting Notebook: Will 'The Shark' Invade Ohio State or Michigan?

Houston 4-star linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch has been good at not only keeping a poker face about his recruiting process, but also saying just enough—and using the right buzzwords—to not be considered silent about his college future.

McCulloch on Sunday said he's looking at finalizing his official visits schedule soon, an announcement that more than 40 schools are eagerly anticipating. And one weekend has been targeted as the potential first weekend for a visit.

"Oct. 10," said McCulloch, who has the nickname "The Shark" because of his aggressive nature and his ability to make crushing, beeline plays at top speeds.

The big question, however, involves which school will get the visit. McCulloch said it may come down to two schools—two big rivals, as a matter of fact.

"Ohio State, Michigan," McCulloch said.

While dates and destinations are set in stone, having the Buckeyes and Wolverines high on his list says a lot about both programs and how they've recruited him. Ohio State has been watching McCulloch for quite some time and finally offered him last week. Michigan offered McCulloch back in January and has been in touch for months.

As for the other potential official visits, McCulloch refused to tip his hat. Schools like LSU, Alabama, USC, UCLA, Auburn, Stanford, Florida, Arkansas and in-state schools Texas, Texas A&M and Houston are contenders, as they were a part of his top 12 released back in May.


Solid FSU commit preparing for upcoming officials

Panama City, Florida, 4-star defensive end Janarius Robinson has been committed to Florida State for more than a year now. Since the commitment, the nation's No. 4 weak-side defensive end has been faithful to the program.

He's also been very honest. For months, Robinson has made public that even though he's solid with the Seminoles, he's planning on taking official visits. Robinson on Sunday said those dates and destinations will be finalized soon.

"I'm still committed to FSU, but I haven't really set officials yet," Robinson said. "I have schools in mind, but I'll know for sure in a couple weeks."

Robinson said he will take all five official visits and spread them between now and December. Among the schools that have a shot at a Robinson official are Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee, USC and Auburn.

And, of course, Florida State—the school he committed to on Sept. 21 of last year. Seminoles fans don't plan on losing Robinson as a commitment, but some, he said, have asked why official visits to other schools are even necessary if he's solid.

"I will take all my visits to make sure I'm doing everything right," he said. "I don't want to leave any tables unturned."


Decision already made for Cali DB?

Oct. 13 is the big announcement day for Corona, California, defensive back Chacho Ulloa. A 3-star safety with 15 reported offers, Ulloa has narrowed his choices to Notre Dame, Stanford and Arizona State.

And, from the looks of things, a decision already has been made.

"I have an idea," Ulloa said of which school he wants to choose, "and I'm confident in myself [that] I picked the right fit for me."

Oct. 13 may be a regular Tuesday, but for Ulloa, the date will close the chapter on a competitive recruiting process. Ulloa, a 6'0", 190-pound defensive back, said he wanted to make the announcement on the 13th day of whichever month he felt he was most comfortable with his decision.

And why the 13th day?

"I was born Aug. 13," said Ulloa, who wears No. 13 on the field. "It's my lucky number, even though a lot of people associate it with an unlucky number."

Prognosticators participating in Ulloa's 247Sports Crystal Ball have him choosing Notre Dame (71 percent), with Stanford taking the rest of the votes.


Buffaloes get 4-star DB...who's next?

Colorado scored a huge commitment win over the weekend when St. Petersburg, Florida, 4-star safety Craig Watts announced he had verbally committed. The Buffaloes beat out 40 other schools that reportedly offered, including Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma and a host of others.

Watts is Colorado's first 4-star commit of the 2016 class, but the Buffaloes are hoping his pledge is the jolt needed to jump-start recruiting. Currently, Colorado only has nine commits with Watts included.

This weekend will be key for Colorado, as it not only plays Oregon in a big Pac-12 matchup, but also hosts two potential recruits on campus for official visits. Powder Springs, Georgia, 3-star offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 3-star running back Anthony Julmisse both are expected to be on campus.

Of the two, Anchrum will be the bigger question mark for Colorado. Kipp Adams of 247Sports reported that Anchrum's father said Georgia "picked up a silent commitment from an offensive lineman," but he didn't mention the player by name. The Colorado coaches are hoping to still be a player in Anchrum's recruiting until signing day.


Sleeper alert: California QB solid through 5 games

In five weeks, Camarillo, California, quarterback Jake Constantine has looked like an FBS-caliber athlete—even though he's yet to land an FBS offer.

Constantine's numbers have been sensational in leading Camarillo High School to an undefeated season. After a 287-yard, five-touchdown performance two weeks ago against Simi Valley, Constantine finished last Friday with 340 yards and four touchdowns in a win against Ventura.

For the season, Constantine, a 6'1", 178-pound quarterback, has 1,253 yards and 18 touchdowns, and he's completed 97 of 136 passes (71.3 percent) through five games. Yet still, the pro-style QB is without an offer.

Cal, Boise State, Fresno State and Colorado State have been some of the schools showing interest thus far. He has thrown for more than 4,500 yards for his high school career, including 2,501 yards as a junior.


Damon Sayles is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. All quotes were obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted. All player ratings are courtesy of 247Sports' composite ratings. Follow Damon via Twitter: @DamonSayles

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Buying or Selling Every Top 10 Team as Playoff Championship Contender

College Football Playoff contenders are like stocks: Buy when they're low and rising, sell when they've peaked.

Four weeks of games have vaulted some teams up the board and dropped others down lower than usual, but only some of that movement will last. Last year's post-Week 4 Associated Press rankings had Oklahoma at No. 4, Auburn at No. 5, Texas A&M at No. 6…Ohio State at No. 22 and TCU at No. 29.

See how much can change after September?

On that note, let's take stock of the current AP Top 10. We'll buy and sell each team based on their chances of winning it all, accounting for factors such as talent, performance, injuries, coaching and schedule.

The Preseason Verdict refers to my opinion of each team before Week 1. The Current Verdict refers to my opinion of each team post-Week 4. The direction it has changed between Strong Sell, Moderate Sell, Reluctant Sell, Reluctant Buy, Moderate Buy and Strong Buy reflects how the first month has shaped those opinions.

Sound off in the comments section below and let me know where you disagree!

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Big Ten Football: All-Conference Team for September

As hard as it may be to believe, we're already a month into the college football season.

And with nonconference play down and league schedules set to start for most teams, there may not be a more talked about conference in all of college football than the Big Ten.

Between the nation's top two ranked teams (Ohio State and Michigan State), perhaps the country's biggest surprise (Northwestern) and an offseason juggernaut that has brought its momentum into the regular season (Michigan), there's been no shortage of storylines in the Big Ten through the first four weeks of the season. A big reason for that, of course, has to do with the league's players, including some expected stars and even more much-welcomed surprises.

It's a relatively small sample size, but through the first third of the regular season, some players have stood out above all the others. With that in mind, let's take a look at the Big Ten's all-conference team for the month of September.

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AP College Football Poll 2015: Official Top 25 Rankings and Week 5 Projections

Another exciting week of college football is in the books, and while Week 4 didn't necessarily pack the same shocking punch that Week 3 did, there were still some surprising results. 

With big wins from schools like Utah and UCLA, along with some of the top teams like TCU just squeaking by, the newest AP poll looks plenty different compared to last week's edition.

Let's take a look at the most recent Top 25 rankings and how each team did this week. 

Five teams in the Top 25 went down during Week 4. Of those five teams, Georgia Tech, BYU and Missouri lost to unranked opponents. Ranked or unranked, it didn't matter what kind of opponent the team lost to as they dropped out of the polls. 

And while those with losses are sure to move down, there may be a few winners that could drop a few spots as well. 

Let's take a look at how each team might fare come their Week 5 matchups with a focus on the new schools in the Top 25.

Mississippi State took down an Auburn team that dropped its second straight game after an initial scare from FCS side Jacksonville State during Week 2. While it was nowhere near impressive, a win in the SEC seems to count for more in the polls nowadays. 

However, the Bulldogs have a big challenge waiting for them this week in No. 14 Texas A&M in College Station. They might not be in the polls for long. 

The same might go for Florida, which makes its way into the polls after a narrow one-point win over Tennessee. Unfortunately for them, they will meet an Ole Miss team that took down then-No. 2 Alabama two weeks ago. 

Ole Miss struggled a bit against Vanderbilt in Week 4, but with their high-powered offense that averages just under 55 points per game, they'll be a tough team to stop. 

From the Big 12, West Virginia made easy work of Maryland Saturday, showing that they could be a dark horse in the conference. They've only allowed 23 points over their first three games and will get their first real test of the season in their conference opener against No. 15 Oklahoma. 

If they manage to pull off a win in Norman, the Mountaineers could shoot up to the middle of the rankings. 

While Maryland lost to West Virginia last week, they'll meet another team that just made the polls in Michigan, who made easy work of BYU. The Wolverines are benefiting from Utah's recent run of dominant play, as it makes their opening-day loss to the Utes look better. 

They should have little problem against Maryland, but with No. 16 Northwestern looming, it puts a bit more importance on this game to show just how dominant the Wolverines could be. 

On the West Coast, Pac-12 squad California made the jump to the Top 25 as well after a 30-24 win over Washington in Seattle. Pair that with a narrow win over Texas in nonconference play and a 4-0 record, and that was enough to get them into the polls.


Stats courtesy of ESPN.com.

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