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Ryan Kelley Sets Decision Date: Odds on Where 2017 4-Star QB Lands

Another marquee passer in the 2017 cycle is set to come off the board next week when 4-star quarterback Ryan Kelley will announce his commitment. 

Two weeks ago, the 6’2.5”, 170-pounder announced a top five that included Arizona State, California, Michigan State, Oregon and UCLA.

According to Barton Simmons of 247Sports, Kelley, who has accounted for nearly 3,000 yards of total offense this season, will make his decision next Wednesday.

Regardless of where he lands, the nation’s No. 3 pro-style passer and the No. 65 player overall in the 2017 cycle figures to give that program a huge boost on the recruiting trail.

What are the odds for each of his finalists heading into the final days before his announcement?

Let’s break down each program’s chances with Kelley.

 

California and Michigan State: 15-1

Both Cal and Michigan State offered Kelley in the summer.

Also, in Cal’s Jared Goff and Michigan State’s Connor Cook, both programs have passers who are widely regarded as two of the nation’s elite quarterbacks.

However, neither program has generated much traction recently with Kelley—at least not when compared to his other finalists.

The Spartans do have a pledge from 2017 4-star receiver Hunter Rison—who used to be a teammate of Kelley’s at Basha (Arizona) High School, as noted by Justin Hopkins of Duck Territory.

While that connection is a plus, it appears as if both the Bears and Spartans are on the outside looking in with regard to Kelley’s upcoming decision.

 

UCLA: 10-1

Given the success that current UCLA star freshman quarterback Josh Rosen is having this year, it’s easy to see why the Bruins appeal to touted passers such as Kelley.

Coincidentally, with Rosen seemingly locked in to lead the Bruins for at least the next two years, the Bruins could be searching for his eventual successor in the 2017 class.

Kelley is one of six quarterbacks in the 2017 cycle who have earned an offer from head coach Jim Mora Jr. and his staff.

According to Hopkins, a big reason why the Bruins made the final cut for Kelley is because of his comfort level with Mora and his staff.

Hopkins also notes that he has visited the UCLA campus multiple times—which makes the Bruins a valid dark horse in the race to land Kelley.

 

Arizona State: 7-1

Arizona State began the week by landing the top in-state prospect in the 2016 cycle when 4-star receiver N’keal Harrypledged to the Sun Devils.

Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham and his staff would love to continue their push to keep Arizona’s top recruits close to home by landing Kelley.

While the Sun Devils are the home state school, Kelley told Hopkins that distance isn’t an issue in his decision-making process.

“I have some former teammates at ASU and they tell me great things about it. It's obviously also very close to home, but that's not really a big factor,” Kelly told Hopkins. 

Still, his familiarity with the coaches and the players at Arizona State is a big reason why the Sun Devils have to be considered one of the favorites to land Kelley’s pledge next week.

 

Oregon: 5-1

The Ducks have the benefit of being the program Kelley last visited. As noted by Hopkins, he made a three-day visit in October and was accompanied on the trip by his family.

He got to spend time with the coaches and players and came away with glowing remarks about his trek to Eugene.

"I liked everything about Oregon. The stadium, the tradition, the atmosphere and how the players all got along,” Kelley told Hopkins. “I hung out with coach (Scott) Frost and coach (Mark) Helfrich a lot. They talked about how I fit the offense and they think I have one of the strongest arms in the country. They told me they are going to stay recruiting me until they know if I'm coming or not. They said I'm the guy for them."

The Ducks have clearly identified Kelley as their priority at the quarterback spot in the 2017 cycle—so much so that he’s the only junior quarterback that head coach Mark Helfrich and his staff have offered.

His skill set also appears to be a natural fit for the Ducks uptempo spread attack. 

While it wouldn’t be a complete shock for him to head elsewhere, the Ducks seem to have the most momentum with Kelley heading into his announcement.

 

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

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The Current Undefeated Team Most Likely to Not Make the College Football Playoff

Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff selection committee will reveal its first Top 25 poll of 2015. That's when the real debate will begin.  

The committee's rationale, as explained by chairman Jeff Long, will be especially interesting because there's no explicit formula like there was with the BCS. It's hard to gauge how (or how consistently) the committee will gauge factors like strength of schedule versus the so-called "eye test." As such, it's difficult to say for sure which teams have the inside track. 

The closest thing to guaranteed entrance into the field of four, at least for Power Five schools, is to finish the season undefeated. But which of the remaining unbeaten teams is most likely to lose?

The short answer is that Baylor, Oklahoma State and TCU are the most at-risk. Of the trio, Baylor has the best chance to stumble, which is ironic given that the Bears have looked the best of any Big 12 team so far. That's not to say Baylor will lose, but it certainly faces the biggest hurdles to keep winning. 

Before diving into why, it helps to know the overall landscape. There are 11 undefeated teams heading into Week 9: Baylor, Clemson, Houston, Iowa, LSU, Memphis, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, TCU and Toledo.

(Frankly, the chances of Houston or Toledo making the playoff are slim, even if both finish undefeated. The strength of schedules for the Cougars and Rockets are 124th and 116th, respectively, according to Sagarin.com. Neither has a signature out-of-conference win, either. That's not going to cut it.)

Through scheduling alone, seven of those undefeated teams are on a path to play another currently undefeated team six times in the regular season. That number increases to eight if Iowa goes through the regular season unbeaten and then faces either an unbeaten Ohio State or Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game. 

In other words, the math states that even in perfect conditions in which all other games are won, as many as five undefeated teams, including two Big 12 teams, could lose between now and the conference championship weekend.  

Baylor head coach Art Briles remains confident that an undefeated Big 12 team will make the playoff. Though the Big 12 lacks a conference championship game, he's probably not wrong: 

However, what are the odds that a Big 12 team actually makes it through the next five weekends unscathed? Baylor could be the least likely because its two toughest games—Oklahoma State and TCU—are on the road. Oklahoma State, on the other hand, gets all its toughest games at home. Additionally, Bears true freshman quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be starting in place of the injured Seth Russell for the remainder of the year. 

There isn't one great team in college football this year, only ones that are more complete than others. And the Big 12's top three teams all have glaring concerns. As mentioned above, Baylor lost a player (Russell) who accounted for 35 touchdowns. TCU has been ravaged by injuries and is nowhere near the same team on the road as it has been at home. The Frogs outscore teams by nearly 39 points at home and only 10 points on the road. Oklahoma State has won three of its last five games by an average of four points and gave up 53 points to Texas Tech in Week 9.

"We’re not a great team,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy told ESPN.com's Max Olson, “but I have a lot of confidence in their willingness to come together.”   

Somewhat lost in the Big 12's November slate is Oklahoma, who could play ultimate spoiler. As Ryan Autullo of the Austin American-Statesman tweeted, the Big 12 could have had four undefeated teams facing off against one another if Oklahoma hadn't lost to Texas. 

And with each passing week, it appears the loss to the Longhorns is more of an anomaly rather than a trend.

Baylor has had Oklahoma's number in recent years, but the fact remains the Bears have to play three currently top-15 opponents as determined by both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today coaches poll in 13 days. 

That's a tough stretch for anyone in college football, no matter how good or healthy a team may be. 

The schedules for other playoff contenders could boil down to one game. For Michigan State and Ohio State, the Nov. 21 meeting in Columbus is still paramount despite the sudden rise of Michigan. For Iowa, it could be the Big Ten Championship game. LSU and Memphis have tough remaining stretches, but they're also current clubhouse leaders in their respective conferences. If LSU is able to run over Alabama, there might not be anything it can't do. 

In the Big 12, any one of three undefeated teams has a chance to win the conference. Oklahoma is still in the race, too. No other Power Five conference has that same potential of cannibalizing itself out of the playoff. 

If Baylor does indeed drop a game in that stretch, the lack of a signature non-conference win and 13th game could once again shut the Bears out of the playoff. That would be a shame, considering this is likely Briles' best team ever in Waco. 

 

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

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Betting Odds, Football Pick

The Pittsburgh Panthers are one of few teams around that can claim a standoff in their recent rivalry with Notre Dame, splitting the last eight meetings outright, going 5-2-1 against the spread over that span. The Panthers will go off as home dogs when they battle the Irish Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field.

 

Point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 7.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 32.2-21.2 Fighting Irish

 

Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread

Notre Dame is 7-1 this season, 6-2 ATS, after topping Temple last week 24-20. The Irish trailed the pesky Owls late 20-17 but drove 75 yards to take a final lead, then stopped Temple's last drive with an interception to secure the victory. On the night, Notre Dame outgained the Owls 467-295 and outrushed them 168-107, but a pair of red-zone turnovers played a part in keeping the Irish from covering as 11-point favorites.

Three weeks ago, Notre Dame beat USC 41-31, covering six points, and just before that, it beat Navy 41-24, covering 13 points. And on the season, the Irish have outgained every opponent but one, six of them by at least 120 yards. With just one loss, that coming by two points at still-unbeaten Clemson, Notre Dame still has a shot at a national championship playoff berth.

 

Why the Pittsburgh Panthers can cover the spread

Pitt had won four games in a row but lost last week to North Carolina 26-19. The Panthers fell down 20-3 at the half and pulled to within one score with just under a minute to go but died there. On the night, Pitt played the Heels to a statistical tie, but three big plays went Carolina's way as the Panthers suffered their first conference loss of the season.

Prior to that, Pitt beat Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Syracuse consecutively, outgaining and outrushing three of them. The Panthers' only previous loss came on a 57-yard field goal at the buzzer at Iowa back in Week 3. And that defeat looks even better now, considering the Hawkeyes are still unbeaten.

 

Smart pick

The Panthers put on a nice little run to insert themselves into the ACC's Coastal Division race, but Notre Dame is the better team here, playing on the road, where the spread is a bit more amenable. Take the Irish, minus the points.

 

Betting trends

Notre Dame is 1-5 straight up and ATS in its last six games against Pittsburgh in November.

Notre Dame is 0-5 ATS in its last five games in November.

Notre Dame is 8-1 SU in its last nine games.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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NCAA Football Rankings 2015: Predicting First Official Playoff Standings

As we advance to November with plenty of games to remember, the College Football Playoff committee is set to release its first rankings Tuesday to much anticipation.

The Associated Press Top 25 is a good indicator, but it's certainly not the blueprint for which the 12-person committee orders teams. It's final rankings last year—its inaugural season—left out AP No. 4 Baylor Bears in favor of the Ohio State Buckeyes, which went on to win the title as the lowest among the four seeds. 

The CFP committee was established to add emphasis to the human element of selection unlike its polarized predecessor, the BCS, which accounted a complicated computer formula as one-third of criteria towards its standings.

The committee won't fully eliminate conflict, with 12 albeit esteemed experts deciding a champion’s fate. But this format has presented a refreshing and long-awaited change after 16 seasons with the BCS. 

With the first of six CFP rankings on the horizon before the field is narrowed to four, here’s a glance at which teams are in and out. 

These predictions reflect the teams that deserve to be ranked among the top four—not necessarily which will finish there. There are still championships to determine and upcoming head-to-head competition, as eight of the AP Top 10 have remaining games against fellow teams within those ranks. 

No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State is undefeated and the defending champion. It has been No. 1 since January, and there’s no dispute to including it in the top four. 

While they don’t boast the strength of schedule that LSU and Clemson do, and they haven’t been blowing out teams they way they were supposed to, the Buckeyes are arguably more talented than the 2014 team that won it all. Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports added perspective as to why Ohio State should be No. 1:

So even when this team doesn't play its best, it can still beat you by just being better at football than you are. 

It also has a coach in Urban Meyer who has proven to be one of the best coaches in the country. The man has won over 85 percent of the games he's coached (93.8 percent of his games at Ohio State!) for a reason. He's very good at his job. 

So, when you add it all up, Ohio State has better players and a better coach than just everybody else in the country.

The Buckeyes will be without starting quarterback J.T. Barrett in Week 10 vs. the Minnesota Golden Gophers in light of the sophomore's DUI arrest on Oct. 31. But because he was charged with a misdemeanor, Barrett will only miss one game and return to the team on Nov. 14 against Illinois, per Brett McMurphy of ESPN.

Ohio State should be fine with backup Cardale Jones, who started the first seven games this year after leading the team to the title last year when Barrett went down with a season-ending injury.

The Buckeyes still face daunting road games against No. 6 Michigan State and No. 16 Michigan to finish the regular season, then possibly a Big 10 championship game, likely against No. 10 Iowa. 

So there’s certainly room for slip-ups. But the Spartans, Wolverines and Hawkeyes have all looked vulnerable this season, so Ohio State could certainly run the table and reach the playoff riding a horde of momentum.

 

No. 2 Clemson Tigers

Clemson has emerged as arguably the most complete team in college football. The Tigers rank fifth in FBS total defense (278 yards per game), 11th in scoring offense (40.6 points per game) and the complement has outscored opponents, 355-141. 

Quarterback Deshaun Watson continues to make a case for the Heisman Trophy, having completed 70 percent of his passes with 1,949 pass yards, 386 rush yards and 24 total touchdowns, including six scores in a Week 9 win over N.C. State.

The Tigers opened as 12-point favorites, per Odds Shark, in their final big hurdle Saturday against No. 17 Florida State Seminoles. The wide margin shows Vegas might believe Clemson is better than most think, per Clay Travis of FOX Sports:

If the Tigers survive, they finish the regular season against unranked Syracuse, Wake Forest and South Carolina, which are a combined 9-16. Clemson has won its last 36 games against unranked opponents, according to Aaron Beard of the Associated Press, and would eye an ACC title game in which it’ll be heavily favored, likely against No. 21 North Carolina Tar Heels. 

Of the four teams here, Clemson has the easiest path to the playoff. 

 

No. 3 LSU Tigers

If Clemson has the easiest road among these four, LSU assuredly has the most difficult. 

The Tigers face a daunting November with four games against SEC West opponents, three among the AP Top 25, starting with Saturday’s colossal matchup at No. 7 Alabama.

David Ching of ESPN encompassed just how strenuous a stretch the Tigers will weather:

Starting with Saturday's visit to Alabama, LSU will close the season with a four-game slate that ESPN's Football Power Index rates as the nation's most difficult remaining schedule. That same metric has LSU as an underdog in each of its remaining road games: at Alabama (40.4 percent chance of victory) and Nov. 21 at Ole Miss (41.6). And while it favors LSU to beat Arkansas and Texas A&M at home, those games aren't gimmes, either.

A one-loss SEC champion would seem likely to reach the playoff, which would potentially allow LSU a hiccup. But perhaps not against Alabama or No. 19 Ole Miss (which it faces on Nov. 21), as those two only have one conference loss and would hold a tiebreaker over LSU to win the West. 

The Tigers do have the nation’s best player, though. Running back Leonard Fournette is running away in the Heisman race anchoring an offense that shows continued improvement. After ranking last among SEC quarterbacks in passing, Brandon Harris has thrown for 716 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions the past three games. 

If Fournette continues his torrid pace and can lean more on the rest of the offense, the Tigers could go unbeaten.

 

No. 4 Baylor Bears

After being the first team out last year, Baylor has responded with the most productive offense in the country, scoring a whopping 61.1 points per game, up from its FBS-best 48.2 in 2014. 

But Stewart Mandel of FOX Sports indicated Baylor could be hindered by its same handicap as last year:

As dominant as Baylor has been, the committee explicitly weighs strength of schedule — and Baylor’s to this point is atrocious. Its six FBS opponents are a combined 16-32. The Bears also played FCS Lamar. 

Art Briles’ defiantly weak nonconference slate hurt his team in the final rankings and could here as well. But does that mean Baylor is fourth instead of second or something more drastic than that?

Baylor also lost starting quarterback and offensive catalyst Seth Russell for the rest of the season to a neck fracture. Replacing the FBS’ top-rated passer with true freshman Jarrett Stidham warrants alarming concerns—particularly given the Bears haven’t yet played under Stidham after a bye in Week 9.

Baylor was shunned last year with fellow Big 12 foe the TCU Horned Frogs, ranked sixth in the final CFP rankings and currently fifth in the AP Top 25. One will be eliminated from playoff contention when the two meet on Nov. 27 at TCU.

The Bears don’t have the pedigree of the other three teams, but they’ve done everything right to this point to deserve to be here.

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Jim Harbaugh Prescribes Player Pushups and Whole Milk for Pneumonia

Jim Harbaugh: full-time football coach, part-time self-medicator.

That's right. Over the years, the Michigan Wolverines coach has narrowed down a list of four at-home remedies, and he shared them on his radio show Monday night.

"I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk—whole milk," Harbaugh said via ESPN's Dan Murphy. "Three would be water. Four would be steak."

The second is what he admitted prescribing to a player with "a bit of pneumonia" this past weekend. That, and pushups.

[ESPN]

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4-Star Devin Bush Jr. Reveals Top 2: Can Michigan Beat FSU for Seminoles Legacy?

Linebacker Devin Bush Jr. favors a pair of college programs with three months remaining in his recruitment.

The 4-star prospect enters November with Florida State and Michigan out in front. He confirmed this top two with Bleacher Report on Monday afternoon shortly after sharing a photo depicting both Wolverines and Seminoles logos:

Bush Jr., a 5'11", 226-pound senior at Flanagan High School in Broward County, Florida, is the son of former Florida State defensive back Devin Bush. His father was a first-round NFL draft pick in 1995, two years after starting at safety for the 1993 Seminoles national championship team.

An eight-year professional football career featured two Super Bowl appearances, and Bush Sr. now serves as head coach at Flanagan. He actually hosted a Michigan satellite camp in South Florida this summer, creating another interesting dynamic in his son's decision-making process.

"I didn't pick Florida State because I wanted my son to play football behind me. I picked Florida State when I came out of school because Florida State was for me," Bush Sr. told Safid Deen of the Tallahassee Democrat. "He'll make the best choice for him and he'll do what's right for him. If it's Florida State, then I'm more happy for him—not me."

Bush Jr. also has a sister in the Seminoles' athletics community. Deja Bush is a freshman outfielder on Florida State's softball squad.

Aside from natural family allegiances to the university, Bush Jr. is extremely comfortable with Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher and his assistants. The Seminoles extended a scholarship offer last December and have maintained consistent contact during the past year.

"I talk with the coaching staff daily," he told Gerry Hamilton of ESPN.com. "They are a winning program, they will always be a winning program and they aren’t far from home."

Bush Jr., rated 11th nationally among inside linebackers in the 2016 recruiting class, carries nearly 50 offers.

Michigan, part of this pursuit since February, stands out among dozens of alternatives beyond the Sunshine State.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh hosted him in Ann Arbor for a third time last month when the Wolverines welcomed Northwestern to town. Michigan secured a third straight shutout victory that weekend and impressed the Bushes.

“I think they’re real people,” Bush Sr. told Sam Webb of Scout.com. “Every time we come to visit it has been the same. Harbaugh seems like a real player’s coach. ... If you’re going to play for him and do your job, he is going to be for you."

Bush Sr. is already prepared to send two of his players—defensive backs Josh Metellus and Devin Gil—to Ann Arbor next year. The Flanagan seniors committed to Michigan in June, providing some personal pull for Bush Jr. in the Wolverines' recruiting class.

His October trip occurred in an unofficial capacity, so it leaves the door open for an official visit later this season. Bush Jr. expects to return on Nov. 28 for Michigan's highly anticipated matchup with Ohio State, according to Tom VanHaaren of ESPN.

The Wolverines, like Florida State, currently boast a top-10 class in this cycle. Michigan already has a few potential linebackers on board, but none rate higher in composite rankings than 3-star in-state pledge David Reese.

Bush Jr. would become the program's highest-rated linebacker commit under Harbaugh. The Wolverines certainly seem to be gaining crucial momentum at the right time.

"I’m more familiar with everything now with it being so far from home," Bush Jr. told Hamilton. "Watching the coaching staff and watching the players work, everything is going well and in the right direction for them. I feel like over the years, they are going to be a top-three-or-four team."

His 247Sports Crystal Ball favors Florida State, the projected choice for 63 percent of experts. Michigan follows behind with 30 percent of predictions, while Auburn rounds things out with the final 7 percent.

Although the Tigers didn't crack Bush Jr.'s top two, Auburn remains in this mix. He is set to spend an official visit at the university later this month when it plays Georgia, per VanHaaren.

Bush Jr. earned All-State honors last season, according to Andre C. Fernandez of the Miami Herald. He tallied 67 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 10 games as a junior.

“He’ll make some plays and I’ll say, ‘How did he see that? How did he do that?'” Bush Sr. told Fernandez. “He’s one of my favorite players to watch not just because he’s my son, but just because of the way he affects the game and he makes his teammates better.”

He was named a Butkus Award semifinalist on Monday, placing him in consideration as America's top high school linebacker.

 

Tyler Donohue is a National Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Tyler via Twitter @TDsTake.

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Christian Pryor Arrested: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Christian Pryor, a walk-on freshman on the Fresno State football team, was arrested Monday after being connected to a post on Yik Yak that threatened gunfire on campus, according to Jim Guy of the Fresno Bee.

The anonymous post, which also included a photo of the Henry Madden Library on Fresno State's campus, read, "the time is here. @3PM I will release my frustrations. Tired of dirty looks, get rejected, nd being talked about bc how I dress. My choice of weapon M4 Carbine...”  

Pryor later posted on Twitter, “it sounds like a joke but be safe," in response to a worried tweet from another person's account.

Investigators tracked down the IP address of the post and were able to link it to Pryor, arresting him and booking him into Fresno County Jail on the charge of making a criminal threat. Fresno State police Chief David Huerta told Guy investigators got a confession in the incident. 

Pryor, 18, could be facing federal charges, and the FBI was involved in the investigation. 

He has not appeared in a game for Fresno State this season.

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Duke Blue Devils vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Odds, Football Pick

North Carolina owns 22 victories in its last 25 football rivalry meetings with Duke, but the Blue Devils have won two of the last three meetings outright as underdogs. In a game that will help decide an ACC division title the Tar Heels host shell-shocked Duke Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.

 

Point spread: Tar Heels opened as eight-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (Line updates and matchup report).

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 32.4-32.2 Blue Devils

 

Why the Duke Blue Devils can cover the spread

College football sees travesties of justice every now and then, but none worse than what Duke experienced last week, losing at Miami on a multiple-lateral, multiple-infraction, botched-call kickoff return for a score on the final play of the game. The biggest concern for the Blue Devils right now is their mental health after such a debacle.

Duke fell behind to the Hurricanes early 14-0, giving up one Miami score on a fumble in the end zone, but it battled back all day and finally took a 27-24 lead on a short Thomas Sirk touchdown run with just six seconds left on the clock. Then came the most egregious case of poor football officiating since the NFL's Fail Mary, and after a botched review the Devils discovered they had lost 30-27.

Duke outgained and outrushed the Hurricanes, and let's face it, should have won the game. Prior to that the Blue Devils had won four in a row, with three covers. At 3-1 in ACC play Duke isn't dead yet, but it needs a victory this week to stay alive in the divisional race.

 

Why the North Carolina Tar Heels can cover the spread

The Heels are one of the hottest teams in the country, with seven wins in a row, including five covers, after winning at Pitt last Thursday 26-19. Carolina spotted the Panthers an early field goal, then scored the game's next 20 points to take control. On the night the Heels outrushed and outgained Pitt, and rather easily covered as one-point road favorites.

Two weeks ago UNC beat Virginia 26-13, although it couldn't quite cover at 13 points. Before that the Heels walloped Wake Forest 50-14, covering 17 points and upset Georgia Tech outright in Atlanta 38-31, winning that game as six-point dogs.

At 4-0 in conference play, with a win over one contender and this home game against another, North Carolina owns the inside track in the race for the Coastal Division crown.

 

Smart pick

The Heels own an edge on offense, but the Blue Devils own the edge on defense. Also, Duke is 9-2 ATS its last 11 times out as an underdog. And college kids are usually pretty good about putting what happened last week behind them. Take the Dukies, plus the points.

 

Betting trends

North Carolina is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 games after consecutive wins.

Duke is 3-17 SU in its last 20 games against North Carolina.

Duke is 7-0 ATS in its last seven games on the road.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes Betting Odds, Football Pick

Ohio State owns nine straight wins in the “rivalry” with Minnesota, but the Gophers are 3-2 against the spread over the last five meetings and gave the eventual national champions a good battle last season. The Buckeyes shoot for a 9-0 start when they host Minnesota at the Horseshoe Saturday night.

 

Point spread: Buckeyes opened as 23-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 41.0-20.6 Buckeyes

 

Why the Minnesota Golden Gophers can cover the spread

The Gophers showed well in their first game after losing head coach Jerry Kill to retirement last week, coming within about a foot of upsetting Michigan, losing 29-26. Trailing by a field goal late, Minnesota drove to the Wolverines' 1-yard line, but poor clock management and an unimaginative call on the last play of the game resulted in disappointment.

On the day, Minnesota outgained Michigan 461-296 and covered as a 10-point home dog.

Two weeks ago the Gophers lost to Nebraska 48-25, but that game was closer than the score might indicate. And just before that Minnesota beat Purdue 41-13. If the Gophers could generate a run game this week and avoid turning the ball over, they could keep this one close.

 

Why the Ohio State Buckeyes can cover the spread

OSU is 8-0 on the season and still favored to repeat as national champions following a 49-7 victory at Rutgers two weeks ago. The Buckeyes then had last week off.

Ohio State only led the Scarlet Knights 7-0 well into the second quarter and 21-0 at the half, then scored four more unanswered touchdowns and held Rutgers off the board until just 13 seconds remained in the game. On the night, the Buckeyes outgained the Knights 528-293 and covered as 23-point favorites. But then again, it was Rutgers.

Three weeks ago Ohio State beat Penn State 38-10, covering 17 points. So after failing to cover five games in a row the Buckeyes have covered their last two times out.

 

Smart pick

The winner of this game is probably not in doubt; Minnesota just doesn't have enough to pull off the upset here. But the Gophers have been a good play as dogs recently, going 2-1 ATS this season when getting points and 11-4 ATS over the last two-plus seasons. Ohio State, meanwhile, is only 3-5 ATS this season and 1-4 ATS at home, dealing with inflated point spreads. The smart money here resides with Minnesota, plus the points.

 

Betting trends

Minnesota is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games after a loss.

Ohio State is 29-0 SU in its last 29 games after consecutive ATS wins.

Ohio State is 12-0 SU in its last 12 games in November.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

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Michigan State Spartans vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Odds, College Football Pick

They needed a minor miracle to do it, but the Michigan State Spartans ran their recent road record to 15-3 outright and 13-5 against the spread with that crazy win/cover at Michigan a few weeks ago. The undefeated Spartans shoot to stay that way when they visit Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers Saturday afternoon.

 

Point spread: The Spartans opened as 4.5-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 29.0-26.6 Spartans

 

Why the Michigan State Spartans can cover the spread

MSU is 8-0 headed for its showdown with Ohio State later this month after holding off Indiana two weeks ago 52-26. The Spartans then had last week off.

Michigan State only led the pesky Hoosiers 31-26 well into the fourth quarter, then scored three touchdowns in the last five minutes of the game to secure the victory and the unlikely cover as a two-touchdown favorite. On the day, the Spartans outgained Indiana 540-389, as quarterback Connor Cook threw for 398 yards and four scores without a pick. They won time of possession by a lopsided 39-21 margin.

Three weeks ago, MSU got lucky to beat the Wolverines 27-23 on that fumble return for a score on the last play of the game, but the Spartans outgained Michigan that day by 156 yards and were going to cover anyway as seven-point road dogs.

 

Why the Nebraska Cornhuskers can cover the spread

Big Red is 3-6 SU and 4-5 ATS in its first season under new head coach Mike Riley, suffering perhaps from a case of the curse of Bo Pelini. Nebraska just lost at Purdue last week 55-45, outgaining the Boilermakers on the day but turning the ball over five times. And the 10-point deficit was the largest of the Huskers' six losses this season; the first five came by a total of 13 points.

On the season, Nebraska has outrushed six of nine opponents and outgained its last three foes.

The Huskers lost to BYU on a Hail Mary at the buzzer, in overtime at Miami, on a touchdown with 10 seconds left against Illinois and on a field goal with five seconds left against Wisconsin. They also had a failed two-point conversion that would have forced overtime against Northwestern. Realistically, Nebraska is only about a half-dozen plays from being 6-3 or even 7-2.

 

Smart pick

Michigan State is living a bit of a charmed life, winning several close games this season, while the Huskers seem snakebit. Also, the Spartans have outgained each of their last four opponents by at least 100 yards. Take MSU here, playing on the road, where the spread is more manageable.

 

Betting trends

Michigan State is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games after a win.

Nebraska is 7-0 SU in its last seven games after consecutive losses.

Michigan State is 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS in its last seven games against Nebraska.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, and all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

SEC Football Q&A: Is Alabama or Florida the Better 1-Loss Team?

It seems like only yesterday when the entire SEC made the trek to Hoover, Alabama, for SEC media days with every team filled with hope. 

Now, November is here, which means it's time for the stretch run in a wild and unpredictable SEC.

Who's the best one-loss team? Who will be sitting at home this Christmas? Which coordinators could be moving on after this season?

Those questions are answered in this week's edition of SEC football Q&A. 

It's Alabama for sure, although the gap isn't as wide as some in Crimson Tide nation probably think it is.

I love what Alabama has done this year in its secondary. Not only has new secondary coach Mel Tucker prevented the Crimson Tide from giving up big play after big play—Alabama is fourth in the SEC in passing plays of 10 or more yards (57)—but their cornerbacks and safeties have become difference-makers.

Eddie Jackson moved from corner to safety during the offseason and is tied for the conference lead with five interceptions. Freshman Minkah Fitzpatrick has picked off two passes for touchdowns, and freshman safety Ronnie Harrison has stepped in to become a force for the Crimson Tide.

That, along with the progression of Jake Coker—which my colleague Chris Walsh detailed here—has me believing in the Crimson Tide. We know they can run the football well behind Derrick Henry, and Coker has developed quite a chemistry with young receivers Calvin Ridley and ArDarius Stewart.

Florida is solid too, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. 

What really impresses me about the Gators is that they had success on the ground last week versus a Georgia defense that had been playing well against the run coming in. That was the one thing that Florida hadn't done well all year long.

Treon Harris is still adjusting back to the starting role, and the schedule sets up well for him to gain some momentum down the stretch heading into the showdown with Florida State and the postseason. 

Alabama is the better one-loss team, but it's a close race. If the two meet in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta this December, it should be quite a showdown.

 

There are eight teams in the conference that are currently not bowl-eligible—Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Missouri, Arkansas and Auburn. I'll go ahead and etch Georgia and Tennessee in for sure and eliminate Vanderbilt and South Carolina, because with three wins each, there's simply not enough schedule left for the Commodores or Gamecocks to get to the six-win plateau.

So what happens with the rest?

Kentucky is 4-4 with games against Georgia, Vanderbilt, Charlotte and Louisville left. Even if the Wildcats lose to the Bulldogs, it's safe to assume that they'll win at least two of their final three. So they're in.

Auburn is also at 4-4 and has an easy win over Idaho to get to within one game of bowl eligibility. Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama are all left on the schedule too, with the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide both at home. The Iron Bowl will be tough, but it's hard to trust the Aggies and Bulldogs at this point. The Tigers will win at least one of those and get to a bowl.

Missouri and Arkansas, however, could be fighting for one bowl spot when they square off on rivalry weekend in Fayetteville, but both have plenty of work to do simply to get to that point.

Arkansas (4-4, 2-2 SEC) has back-to-back road trips to Ole Miss and LSU before finishing up with Mississippi State and Missouri. At best, the Razorbacks will win one of their final three before the regular-season finale. If they're not careful, though, they could drop all three and lock up a sub-.500 season before Thanksgiving.

Missouri (4-4, 1-4 SEC) is in a similar situation. The Tigers have Mississippi State, BYU and Tennessee before the showdown with Arkansas. Getting one of the next three could be tough, especially given the current state of the Tiger offense—a unit that hasn't scored a touchdown in 13 quarters.

I'll say that both Arkansas and Missouri lose their next three games, don't get to .500 and join South Carolina and Vanderbilt below the .500 mark. That should keep them out of bowl games. But there are 80 open bowl slots this year not including the two reserved for the College Football Playoff National Championship. So if there aren't 80 bowl-eligible teams, some 5-7 teams could get lucky.

 

I actually mentioned two in our coaching carousel video earlier in the week—Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to Virginia Tech and Crimson Tide offensive line coach Mario Cristobal to Miami.

Smart has to be getting a little antsy after spending the better part of a decade as a "hot shot" coordinator in Tuscaloosa, and he seems like a perfect fit for Virginia Tech. He's a defensive-minded coach, a tireless recruiter and can get the Hokies back to their glory days quickly if given the chance.

Cristobal, a Miami native, is a natural for the Hurricanes job. His time as FIU's head coach didn't end well, but he has likely learned a lot under Nick Saban and can step right in and win the battle for attention in Miami.

Outside of those two, it wouldn't surprise me at all if Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt gets a job somewhere. Could it be one of the jobs that's currently open? I don't see him as the top pick, but there are plenty of dominoes left to fall, and I think Pruitt would be well-served taking a head coaching job at a smaller school to learn the ropes like Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn did at Arkansas State.

Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin could also jump ship, but it really depends on which jobs open up. He's on the second year of a three-year deal at Alabama, but is mostly living off of the USC buyout money. He has the luxury of picking and choosing the right fit this offseason, or sticking around Tuscaloosa for one more year and seeing how the dominoes fall after the 2016 season.

Gut feeling: Cristobal, Smart and Pruitt all leave, while Kiffin sticks around for Year 3 in T-Town.

 

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics are courtesy of cfbstats.com.

Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Rankings 2015: Week 10 NCAA Standings and Top 25 Team Records

Did you think Week 9 of the college football season brought twists and turns? Just wait for Week 10.

After another wild weekend of action that followed along with the rest of the Saturdays this fall, we're due for more of the inevitable surprises in Week 10. Perhaps nothing will top—or bottom—the insane, controversial finish between the Miami Hurricanes and Duke Blue Devils, but Saturday's action will shake up the College Football Playoff outlook in one way or another.

Before we take a look into some of the teams trending upward heading into Week 10, however, let's take a look at where the teams fall in the Associated Press Top 25, Amway Coaches Poll and Bleacher Report Top 25:

Teams on the Rise

Florida Gators

After an offseason coaching change, drastically low expectations and a shocking suspension to a star player (quarterback Will Grier), the Florida Gators keep on churning forward with their eyes set on the SEC Championship Game.

They took their last big step in Jacksonville, thoroughly dominating the Georgia Bulldogs and embarrassing their SEC East rivals for the second straight year. The Gators are an incredible 7-1 on the season, with their only loss being a 35-28 defeat on the road against the unbeaten LSU Tigers.

All that stands between Florida and a trip to Atlanta is a meeting with the mighty Vanderbilt Commodores, who are fresh off a 34-0 loss against the Houston Cougars, as Joe Schad of ESPN.com noted:

A look forward at the rest of the Gators' schedule shows that head coach Jim McElwain could take his team to Atlanta with one loss while being smack-dab in the middle of the CFP race. After Vandy, Florida will travel to South Carolina before rounding out the season at home against Florida Atlantic and Florida State.

After that, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see the Gators give whoever prevails in the SEC West a serious test in Atlanta.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels

The crazy finish from the Miami-Duke game over the weekend may not have impacted the CFP race, but it did shake up the ACC Coastal Division.

With the Blue Devils' loss, North Carolina is now the lone unbeaten team in the division—and thus controls its own destiny for a trip to the ACC title game. The Tar Heels still have to face Duke, along with Miami, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State—but they're undoubtedly in the driver's seat.

What's more, North Carolina entered the Top 25 in all three polls this week for the first time all season, but don't tell the players. Head coach Larry Fedora gave his thoughts, per the team's Twitter account:

North Carolina's football program has been mired in mediocrity over the last couple of years, but a scheme change on defense has transformed it from mediocre to formidable. Defensive coordinator Gene Chizik's unit has given up fewer than 20 points in all but one of its games, and that lone exception was a 38-31 win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets' highly potent offense.

Don't be surprised if the Tar Heels are around in early December to give Clemson or Florida State a fit in the conference title game.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Week 10 Predictions: Picking Top 25 Games Against the Spread

With a record around .500 against the spread but a goal of 57 percent, I need to start throwing Hail Marys. 

My normal underdog-heavy approach is beneficial in the long term, but it constrains how well I can do most weeks. It's not like every single dog will cover in a ranked game.

At some point, I need to cut my dogs with a decent amount of favorites, then hope I get lucky and lay the right sides. One big week would put my goal within striking distance.

In Week 10, I'm taking my shot.

As always, feel free to chime in below with your opinions or questions about the picks. I'll explain my rationale beneath each game, but of course, we can always dive deeper. Just remember to keep it civil and that no one here hates your team.

The line is our only enemy.

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College Football Rankings 2015: Power Ranking All 128 Teams for Week 10

The calendar has shifted to November, where the temperatures really start to fall across the country. However, college football is just heating up and should provide plenty of warmth to get us through the rest of the season.

This past weekend wasn't the greatest on paper, mostly due to five of the top seven teams in our previous rankings having a bye, but that didn't stop the actual games from producing some surprising results. These are reflected in the latest Bleacher Report power rankings.

Bleacher Report's power rankings are comprised of an average of five sources: B/R's weekly Top 25, the Associated Press Top 25, the Amway Coaches Poll, ratings guru Jeff Sagarin's computer rankings and the author's personal rankings for every FBS school. The top 50 teams are broken down individually, while the rest of the 128 FBS teams are summarized in a few easy-to-digest chunks.

Check out where everyone ranks after nine weeks, and then give us your thoughts in the comments section. 

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ESPN 30 for 30 'Gospel According to Mac': TV Schedule and Documentary Preview

The Colorado Buffaloes haven't been relevant in college football for over a decade, but fans can enjoy happier times during the upcoming 30 for 30 documentary The Gospel According to Mac, which airs Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.

The focus of director Jim Podhoretz is Bill McCartney, the most successful coach in Colorado history. In 13 years under McCartney, the Buffaloes won 93 games and captured their only national title, which came in the 1990 season. Kordell Stewart, Michael Westbrook, Eric Bieniemy, Alfred Williams and Jay Leeuwenburg are among his former players who went on to NFL careers.

Listening to how McCartney transformed Colorado from an also-ran into a national powerhouse for a short time will be compelling on its own. This clip offers a brief glimpse into how McCartney's charisma and determination worked wonders on the recruiting trail, per ESPN Films 30 for 30:

Of course, Colorado's on-field success will only be part of the story.

A February 1989 article by Rick Reilly for Sports Illustrated documented the number of legal issues plaguing the Buffaloes in the late 1980s, which he went so far as to call a "crime wave." By Reilly's count, more than 24 of McCartney's players were arrested between 1986 and early 1989 alone.

But in the article, Theo Gregory, then an academic coordinator for the Colorado athletic department, discussed some of the socioeconomic and racial factors at play in Boulder, Colorado—factors that still resonate today across the country:

If you're a black football player here, you're ethnically a minority because you're black, socially a minority because you're an athlete, culturally a minority because you might come from the projects, economically a minority because you can't afford to drive a BMW and physically a minority because you're bigger than everybody else. Somebody racially slurs you, and you might have a tendency to overreact.

Colorado wasn't the first, nor will it be the last to bend NCAA rules and/or see its players break the law en route to glory on the field. In fact, that aspect of the documentary won't be altogether dissimilar from previous 30 for 30 documentaries Pony Excess and The U, which focused on SMU and Miami's football programs, respectively.

What will set The Gospel According to Mac apart from other 30 for 30 entries is the focus on McCartney's personal and family life.

In 1988, McCartney's daughter became pregnant by Sal Aunese, who was then the Buffaloes' starting quarterback. Kristy McCartney gave birth to the child in April 1989, five months before Aunese died of stomach cancer.

Near the end of his coaching career and in retirement, McCartney's involvement with Operation Rescue and the Promise Keepers has also become extremely polarizing. Operation Rescue is a staunch anti-abortion Christian organization, while the Promise Keepers, founded by McCartney in 1990, looks to "ignite and unite men to become warriors who will change their world," according to its website.

Johnette Howard also recounted in an October 1994 piece for the Washington Post the extent to which McCartney proselytized an anti-gay lifestyle:

McCartney irks non-Christians by speaking of restoring America to Jesus. He's spoken to Operation Rescue members and other anti-abortion groups. He's called gays "stark raving mad" and undeserving of the same legal rights as "people who reproduce." At a 1992 news conference he conducted at a university lectern while wearing a Colorado emblem on his shirt, he also called gays "an abomination against Almighty God" and confirmed he'd joined Colorado for Family Values, a group that supported Amendment 2, the so-called "anti-gay rights" measure recently struck down by the Colorado supreme court.

In December 1992, Adam Teicher described in the Kansas City Star (via the Chicago Tribune) that handbills made the rounds on the Colorado campus depicting McCartney and Adolf Hitler side by side, such was the anger toward the coach:

The depth of hostility toward McCartney has little to do with football. The coach, a devout evangelical Christian, has been charged by critics with using the power of his position to further his beliefs and whip up an atmosphere of religious intolerance.

[...]

University President Judith Albino has received about 2,000 phone calls by office tally and about 600 letters on McCartney, more than on any other subject. They have been split between canonizing him and firing him.

In December 2014, Michael Weinreb caught up with McCartney for an article on Grantland. According to Weinreb, McCartney had toned down his role in the Promise Keepers. However, he maintained his stances regarding marriage and homosexuality.

Whether you agree with McCartney's views or not, rarely do you see a head coach at a major college so publicly committed to his religious beliefs. Imagine seeing one of today's top coaches compared to Hitler as a result of his devotion to a certain cause.

McCartney is undoubtedly a controversial figure, making The Gospel According to Mac a highly anticipated addition to the 30 for 30 series.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Bowl Projections 2015: Latest CFP Predictions Before 1st Rankings Reveal

A lot will change as the season progresses, but the first look at the College Football Playoff rankings will be telling.  

With a high number of undefeated teams heading into November, the selection committee will have to take a deeper look at resumes for all involved. Teams like Iowa and Oklahoma State, who haven't gotten much respect in polls, could end up higher in the minds of these voters. The same could be said for one-loss teams with obvious talent, such as Alabama, Stanford and Notre Dame.

While the next couple of months should settle some of the debates—like Baylor vs. TCU, Ohio State vs. Michigan State and so on—here is a look at predictions for the top four teams in the first CFP poll of the year. These are not guesses for how the semifinals will look in January but instead what would happen if the season ended today.

 

1. Clemson

It is important to avoid a letdown, but Clemson has done everything expected of it so far this season.

Sophomore quarterback DeShaun Watson has been excellent this season as both a passer and a runner, currently ranking second in the country in total QBR behind only Trevone Boykin. The entire team is showcasing a lot of balance, and it is seemingly getting better as the year progresses.

Brian Fremeau of Football Outsiders calculated Clemson as No. 1 in FEI, which accounts for drive efficiency based on opponent and game flow:

Notre Dame is No. 2 on the FEI list, Top 10 in most polls and still in consideration for the playoffs. Clemson beat the Fighting Irish head-to-head, giving the Tigers arguably the best single win of any of the contenders at the moment.

Amazingly, the toughest game left on the schedule is likely this week against Florida State. Then again, the spread indicates it might not even be that close, with Clemson opening as a 12-point favorite, according to Odds Shark.

There might be teams with better history, but Clemson has been the most impressive team in the nation this season.

 

2. LSU

Things could certainly change after this week with LSU going on the road to face Alabama. However, there is no denying the Tigers have been one of the top teams in college football so far this season.

The offense starts with running back Leonard Fournette, who leads the country with 1,352 rushing yards and is likely a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Alabama coach Nick Saban praised his upcoming opponent, per NOLA.com's Jerit Roser:

Fournette's running has helped LSU earn great wins over Florida and Mississippi State as well as dominant showings against disappointing teams like Auburn and South Carolina. The SEC certainly isn't as deep as it has been in recent years, but staying undefeated is still noteworthy in this conference.

Things will obviously get tougher for the Tigers going forward—not only with a battle against Alabama, but also with matchups against Ole Miss and Texas A&M. If they survive this gauntlet, they will have to also win the SEC Championship Game. At the moment, however, the resume is good enough to be considered one of the best teams in the nation.

 

3. Ohio State

The big story over the past week is J.T. Barrett's suspension after his arrest Saturday, which left Cardale Jones to regain a starting spot at quarterback. What hasn't been discussed quite as much is how well the Buckeyes have played as a team in recent weeks.

After a few close calls earlier in the year, Ohio State dominated a solid Penn State team and easily cruised to victory against Rutgers. No matter who is under center, the offense will be fine with playmakers like Ezekiel Elliott and Braxton Miller. The defense also still has the great defensive line that helped shut down Oregon in last season's title game.

Although any accomplishments from 2014 shouldn't be considered in rankings for 2015, the talent absolutely can't be ignored.

A weak schedule to this point could push Ohio State out of the No. 1 spot in the rankings, but it should be safely in the playoff field based on what it has done to this point. Games against Michigan, Michigan State and potentially Iowa would be tough challenges, but the Buckeyes should be up to the task.

 

4. Baylor

This isn't any form of anti-Big 12 bias, but instead the backloaded schedule for both Baylor and TCU. Both contenders still have to face Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and each other. If one of them makes it out undefeated, there is no question it should be in the playoffs.

The problem to this point is both teams have done little besides beating up on weaker opponents.

That said, Baylor has done a better job this year in the role of bully. The Bears have the No. 1 offense in the nation at 61 points per game and had an easier time with SMU and Texas Tech than TCU. Neither team had much trouble against either West Virginia or Iowa State.

The issue going forward is whether Baylor will be able to stay as strong without starting quarterback Seth Russell. The junior is out for the season with a neck injury, although the coaching staff is confident in backup Jarrett Stidham, per ESPN's Joe Schad:

Baylor could drop if the offense struggles, but for now there is no reason to punish a team for what might happen.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for year-round sports analysis. 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Kansas vs. Texas Complete Game Preview

Hoping to erase the memory of another bad loss, the Texas Longhorns get the Kansas Jayhawks at home in Week 10.

Just when it looked like the Longhorns had figured it out, they go and let Iowa State manhandle them. The Cyclones shut out Charlie Strong's team by a 24-0 margin, marking the first time since 1961 that the Horns dropped a goose egg against an unranked opponent.

Texas' issues were wide-ranging, but the eyes are back on the quarterback position. Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes combined for just 85 passing yards on 22 attempts, which wouldn't even be considered an efficient day for a running back.

According to the Longhorn Network, Heard will get the start again in a great spot. The Kansas Jayhawks, his Week 10 opponent, are 0-8 and rank near the bottom of the Big 12 in almost every statistical category. Following its 62-7 plastering at the hands of Oklahoma, David Beaty's squad is just trying to play with pride every week. 

Date: Saturday, November 7

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Location: Royal Memorial Stadium; Austin, Texas

TV: Longhorn Network

Line: Texas -29, according to Odds Shark

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Virginia Tech Football: What Hokies Must Fix During Bye Week

Two big things happened with the Virginia Tech Hokies football team last week. First, the Hokies actually won a football game. Second—and most importantly—legendary head coach Frank Beamer announced his retirement on Sunday after 29 years in charge at his alma mater.

Tech, now at 4-5 (2-3) on the season, hopes to become bowl eligible for the 23rd consecutive season in order to send Beamer out on a winning note.

For the Hokies to get back to a bowl, some things need to be fixed during the team's current bye week. 

Here are four areas Virginia Tech must improve in order to finish the season strong and make sure Beamer goes out the way he deserves—as a winner.  

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N'keal Harry to Arizona State: Sun Devils Land 4-Star WR Prospect

The Arizona State Sun Devils just acquired a brand-new target, one their quarterbacks will certainly be happy about throwing to. 

Wide receiver N'keal Harry out of Chandler, Arizona, announced Monday he's joining up with head coach Todd Graham's team next season, per Ralph Amsden of ArizonaVarsity.com:

Devils Digest provided a few comments from Harry's announcement:

The 4-star recruit is the top-rated prospect coming out of the state of Arizona, according to 247Sports' composite rankings. He also is the 16th-best wide receiver in the nation and 99th among all class-of-2016 products in the country. 

In his junior year, Harry recorded 30 receptions for 657 yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games, according to Rivals. At times, it looks like the ball is glued to his hands, as Harry's making this one-handed grab in Baltimore shows, per C-TownRivals:

At 6'4", 210 pounds, Harry is an exceptional route-runner with enough agility to use in order to lose his defender. With solid speed, he can also outrun the secondary when it comes to those long go routes. While watching him play, one can see him blow by countless defenders. You can watch some of his highlights courtesy of Hudl.

Harry also put in a great performance at the Rivals Camp Series in Las Vegas. 247Sports showed the outing that helped put the wide receiver on the map:

He is not going to be able to simply outrun Division I talent, and his defenders will not always be smaller than him—like they might have been in high school. Harry will have to perfect his game in the air, working on body control to go up and win those aerial battles, but he will have plenty of time to hone his craft in what can become a standout stint in the NCAA.   

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

N'keal Harry to Arizona State: Sun Devils Land 4-Star WR Prospect

The Arizona State Sun Devils just acquired a brand-new target, one their quarterbacks will certainly be happy about throwing to...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

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