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NCAA Football Tickets
Freshman QBs step up as Big 12 season winds down
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 19:42:34 GMT)
The final week of Big 12 play in 2017 might serve as a preview of what's to come in 2018. As many as five of the conference's 10 teams could have a freshman behind center this weekend, including title game hopeful TCU. Baylor, Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State could also ask a rookie quarterback to step up as the regular season winds down. For the Horned Frogs, Shawn Robinson became the first true freshman quarterback to start for coach Gary Patterson in his 17 seasons as the head coach in last week's 27-3 win over Texas Tech. Robinson — a 6-foot-2, 225-pound native of Desoto, Texas, who won the Gatorade Texas Player of the Year award in 2016 — was an underwhelming 6 of 17 passing for 85 yards

Emotional Baker Mayfield upset he won't be captain on senior day, but understands his punishment (Video)
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 15:52:36 GMT)
Some may scoff at Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley’s punishment for Baker Mayfield *only* being not starting and not being a captain on Saturday, but it was clear Monday night those things mean a lot to Mayfield. The Sooners’ senior quarterback, two days after his sideline display at Kansas, addressed reporters about it all and was very emotional. It was clear that not being a captain for his final home game at Oklahoma, which also happens to be senior day at Memorial Stadium, is really tough for him.

Tennessee Football: Head Coaching Search Hot Board
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
The inevitable finally happened. Tennessee has moved on from Butch Jones, following a blowout loss at the hands of Missouri. The only surprise here was how long John Currie waited to pull the trigger. With things now being official, we can now go full steam ahead into this coaching search. Buckle up, it’s sure to be a fun ride. Here’s my initial list of names to watch. They are in no particular order. Age: 54 Gruden gets his own category here. If this coaching search goes anything like the last one, the search will begin here. Gruden has been the dream for some Tennessee fans for nearly a decade now. The former Super Bowl winner has Tennessee ties (Gruden was a graduate assistant at Tennessee)

2018 NFL Draft Quarterback Stock Watch
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 17:57:00 GMT)
1. Josh Rosen, UCLA (32-52, 421 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs at USC): It’s hard to look more physically impressive than the UCLA junior looked on Saturday night—one scout in attendance told me it’s the best he’s seen Rosen. 2. Sam Darnold, USC (17-28, 246 yards, 0 TDs, INT): There were lots of cries that Darnold is overrated after he was a little up-and-down against the Bruins.

Michigan QB Brandon Peters in concussion protocol, not ruled out for Ohio State game (Update)
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 01:35:02 GMT)
On his radio show Monday night, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said QB Brandon Peters went through additional concussion testing Monday afternoon and was deemed “50 percent better.” His status for Saturday’s game against Ohio State is still unknown. “He (went through) testing and he was 50 percent better, he’s made great strides in the past 24 hours,” Harbaugh said. Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters is in the concussion protocol but has not been ruled out of Saturday’s rivalry game against No. 8 Ohio State.

Thorpe Award semifinalist Jeremy McDuffie to miss rest of Duke’s season
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 19:06:39 GMT)
Duke will be forced to navigate its way through the rest of the year, however long that is, without one of its top players on the defensive side of the ball. The football program announced Tuesday that Jeremy McDuffie suffered an injury to his right knee in this past Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech.  The junior safety will undergo surgery next Monday to repair unspecified damaged ligaments and miss what’s left of the Blue Devils’ season. At 5-6, Duke needs to beat Wake Forest this Saturday to become bowl-eligible.  The Blue Devils missed out on a bowl game last season after going to four straight for the first time in the program’s history. After playing in 24 games the previous two seasons,

UCF offensive coordinator Troy Walters named Broyles Award semifinalist
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:40:00 GMT)
UCF offensive coordinator Troy Walters made the 15-man cut of semifinalists for the Broyles Award, which honors the nation’s top assistant coach. Walters, a former Biletnikoff winner as a receiver at Stanford, helped engineer an offense that ranks No. 1 nationally in scoring offense. The No. 15 Knights average 48.6 points per game — a 19.8 point increase from last season’s average of 28.8 points per game. Last season, UCF defensive coordinator Erik Chinander was among the award nominees. Head coach Scott Frost was one of five finalists for the Broyles Award as an Oregon assistant in 2014. The winner will be announced Dec. 5. • Walters and the rest of the staff have been feverishly preparing for

Report: LSU victory would not save Kevin Sumlin’s job
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:07:04 GMT)
It was the 21-17 loss to Northern Illinois that pushed Shawn Eichorst out the door, but I wonder if it wasn’t a news item on the Tuesday before that game that convinced Nebraska stakeholders to replace their athletics director. The Big Ten released its 2020-21 football schedules on Sept. 12, four days ahead of Nebraska-NIU, and they featured Nebraska concluding each season against Minnesota — on a Saturday. For a program that shed all of its traditions in leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten, losing the Black Friday finale was the final cut of the string that connected the current program to any vestige of its past. Eichorst didn’t get Nebraska, and allowing the Black Friday game to be lost proved it.

At last, Kansas State says QB Jesse Ertz is out for the season
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:48:00 GMT)
Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz (16) keeps the ball as he runs past Texas linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch (23) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Austin, Texas. Kansas State’s shroud of secrecy surrounding quarterback Jesse Ertz has been lifted with one game to go in the regular season. KSU coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday that Ertz will miss the Wildcats’ game against Iowa State and the team’s bowl game because of a knee injury.

Hendersonville football promotes defensive coordinator James Beasley to head coach
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:39:38 GMT)
Highlights from Hendersonville's 42-21 win over rival Gallatin. Longtime Hendersonville assistant James Beasley has been promoted to the Commandos’ next head coach, principal Bob Cotter told The Tennessean on Tuesday. Beasley, a 1998 Hendersonville graduate who has served as the defensive coordinator since 2009, replaces Bruce Hatfield, who stepped down earlier this month. “Being a former player here, it’s exciting to get the opportunity,” said Beasley, who played under Robert Lassiter from 1994-97. “I respect (Hatfield) a lot and all the things he did, and I want to continue to build on that and keep the program going the way it has been going.” Hatfield, a former assistant who replaced Robert

Success story? Texas bowl eligible for 1st time since 2014
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:53:41 GMT)
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Finally, Texas coach Tom Herman has some tangible evidence if he wants to declare his first season a success. The Longhorns are bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. No more having to fall back on clich?s about playing hard and being almost good enough to beat ranked teams. Texas finally beat a ranked opponent last week , pushing the Longhorns to 6-5 on the season. It was small step that could eventually prove to be huge for Herman and the entire program going forward. Herman got the job at Texas because Charlie Strong had three straight losing seasons. Strong's first 11 games mirrored Herman at this point, but after promising the program would not have another five-loss

Miami Hurricanes Matchup of the Week: Pittsburgh Panthers
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
One more game. That is all that remains of the 2017 regular season for the Hurricanes. Miami makes a trip up north to the giant ketchup bottle that is Heinz Field to take on the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. A victory secures Miami’s first undefeated regular season since 2002. With plenty of factors working against Miami, including a short week of preparation, chilly weather and a road game on senior day for Pitt, Miami does not have the luxury of taking this game for granted. One vs. One Matchup By all measures, it’s has been a miserable season for the Panthers, particularly on offense. The primary culprit for their struggles goes back to Pitt finding an answer at quarterback. Freshman

Should Chip Kelly choose Florida or UCLA? Coaches offer their advice
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:39:33 GMT)
Chip Kelly is a wanted man. The former Oregon and NFL coach likely has a decision to make about his next coaching stop: Florida or UCLA? Kelly, currently working as an ESPN college football analyst, met with Florida officials Sunday afternoon. When UCLA fired coach Jim Mora earlier that day, multiple industry sources said the school would pursue Kelly. A decision could come as soon as Monday afternoon. Both Florida and UCLA are attractive options for Kelly, who led Oregon to three Pac-12 titles, a national title game appearance, a Rose Bowl championship and a Fiesta Bowl championship in just four seasons as head coach. Both Florida and UCLA are located in talent hotbeds. Both have recently made

Stanford (mostly) has mind on Notre Dame matchup
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 02:36:25 GMT)
No. 21 Stanford will try to focus exclusively on No. 8 Notre Dame when the teams play at Stanford on Saturday. Yes, Stanford (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) will be facing Notre Dame (9-2) in a network-televised game between two ranked foes with Cardinal running back Bryce Love perhaps making his final statement for the Heisman Trophy -- if he plays. All that typically is enough to create tunnel vision, especially since it is the final regular-season game for both teams, with Stanford trying to finish the season unbeaten at home.

Will Michael Porter Jr. Return to Mizzou Next Year?
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:25:14 GMT)
Now that he is done for the year following back surgery, is there any reason for Michael Porter Jr. to turnt to Missouri next year?

Virginia Tech loses starting DE Vinny Mihota for rest of 2017
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 12:11:56 GMT)
For the second straight week, Virginia Tech has lost a starting member of its defense. The school confirmed in a press release that Vinny Mihota will miss what’s left of the 2017 season because of a knee injury. The defensive end suffered the injury in the Week 12 win over Pittsburgh. This is the second consecutive season Mihota’s year has ended prematurely because of injury as he missed last year’s bowl game with a lingering shoulder issue that required surgery. “I share Vinny’s disappointment that he’ll miss the rest of the season,” a statement from head coach Justin Fuente began. “But based off last offseason, I also know no one will rehab more diligently than Vinny to get back on the field
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 18:49:07 GMT)
The Fort's own Jim_S isn't putting up with pervasive gloom and doom. He identifies issues and solutions in this podcast with senior editor John Borton. Jim_S discusses not only Michigan's recent loss at Wisconsin and upcoming game with Ohio State, but also how the Wolverines can work through their present shortcomings. He gives historical perspective on the three seasons under Jim Harbaugh, and looks ahead to the 2018 season as well as around him at the finish of the 2018 recruiting class. Here's the podcast…

UCLA's Josh Rosen isn't ready to look beyond this season just yet
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 01:25:00 GMT)
Josh Rosen lay on the practice field Tuesday morning, awaiting his turn as reporters completed an interview nearby. He sprawled his arms on the warm artificial turf, his face pointed directly toward the bright morning sky. He wasn’t basking in the glow of what might be his final days as UCLA’s quarterback. “I just want to go to .500 and then ultimately push to 7-6,” Rosen said, words he probably never anticipated uttering when he arrived in early 2015 as the hotshot freshman who was expected to elevate a surging program toward greater heights. It never happened. Not even close. His coach was recently fired and his team holds a 5-6 record heading into its final home game of the season Friday against

UT Vols: Email links Butch Jones to tight end Daniel Helm's departure from Tennessee
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 11:00:02 GMT)
Tennessee interim head coach Brady Hoke talks after the Vols lost 30-10 to LSU Daniel Helm had been gone from Tennessee for almost a year when his father sent an email to then-UT chancellor Jimmy Cheek. The last paragraph of Steve Helm’s message read: “I made sure we got Daniel out of there before (Butch) Jones put him in a place where Daniel might have knocked him out. Then, my great straight A kid would have an assault charge. If a member of that football team does finally lose it with Jones and an assault charge is filed, we will provide authorities with everything we know as we will not let that man ruin a young kid’s life.” 'I made sure we got Daniel out' Helm said Cheek never responded.

Former SEC quarterback savoring HBCU experience at Grambling
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 23:28:03 GMT)
DeVante Kincade was bouncing around a humid basketball gym in August, wiping sweat from his forehead while trying to sink 3-pointers. Grambling's senior quarterback was about to help lead a football practice on hardwood courts after torrential downpours the night before had left the Tigers' practice fields unplayable. This scene would certainly be unlikely at most Southeastern Conference schools - many have indoor football practice facilities.

Our Week 13 college football expert picks: Are TCU and Oklahoma on a Big 12 title game collision course?
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 16:17:00 GMT)
The final week of the college football regular season is here, and it's a slate full of interesting matchups and storylines.Our panel of nine...

The College Football Playoff has turned the Heisman into an afterthought
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 20:06:22 GMT)
SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports' Paul Myerberg breaks down the hottest college football headlines for Week 13. Not to ruin the surprise, folks, but Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is going to win the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 9 barring an event so unforeseen that it doesn’t even register as reality. That take isn’t coming from a voter (I don’t participate in any awards voting) but rather someone who has two functioning eyes, a television set and an Internet connection. There is no Heisman race this year, just as there really wasn’t one last year when Lamar Jackson had it wrapped up by midseason nor the year before when voters basically shrugged their shoulders and gave it to Derrick Henry because

Big 12 defense isn't as bad as you think
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 15:05:16 GMT)
Seth Walder Brian Burke Close Senior Analytics Specialist at ESPN Former consultant to NFL teams Pioneer of football analytics Follow on Twitter The incessant knock against the Big 12 this fall has been that the conference doesn't play defense. According to FPI, that criticism is vastly overstated. It's not that the teams in the Big 12 play the best defense or that the conference has stout units across the league. The Big 12 just isn't the worst at it -- not in the Power 5 -- and other conferences seem to skate by for their respective weaknesses by comparison. One way to make this comparison is to look at the average Football Power Index (FPI) ratings for every defense in a conference, which

No. 22 Northwestern faces overmatched Illinois
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:57:32 GMT)
For Illinois, it is a chance to avoid a 10-loss season and go into the offseason with something positive. The in-state Big Ten Conference rivals meet Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., and the direction each is headed couldn't be more opposite. While the No. 22 Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten) are certainly playing their best football, the Fighting Illini (2-9, 0-8) have been wiped out by a perfect storm of injuries, inexperience and ineptitude.

ACC Power Rankings: Week 13
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
As the ACC has joined the SEC in SoCon Challenge week, Week 12 was not terribly interesting for the casual ACC fan. For the more invested one, Virginia Tech needed a late touchdown to hold off Pitt, Duke finally beat someone in-conference besides North Carolina, Louisville made Syracuse look like an FCS team (while Florida State, North Carolina and Clemson played actual FCS teams), Miami held off Virginia in a dangerous trap game, and N.C. State fumbled away a game against Wake. Let’s talk finales! 1. Miami 10-0 (7-0) The Canes look to cap off an undefeated regular season with a win at Pitt, a matchup in which they’ve won three straight. After another uneven performance against Virginia, the

Eating with Ed
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
I thought I was down in the Bayou for a hurricane or something. O starts off with some praise for the way the team handled the weather on Saturday, including the special teams work and the defensive stops on 4th down. 20 seniors will be honored on senior day. The typical praise for A&M, with an interesting nugget that A&M QB Nick Starkel grew up in Mandeville as a close fried of Orgeron’s own sons. Then it’s on to questions. A lot of this presser was getting O to give some quotes about the seniors for various profiles running between here and the game, so lets start on the D-Line Christian LaCouture - “We had to go at a home visit, had to rerecruit him. He was leaving last year. So glad he stayed

Indiana at Purdue Preview
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
It is rare to think of the Bucket game as a big game. I mean yes, it is a rivalry. We all want to win the Bucket and beat IU, but it has rarely meant much nationally. The only year where it decided the Big Ten title was 1967. Only twice, in 1979 and 2007, have both teams gone to a bowl game after it (although both would have gone in 1967 had there been more bowls and if the Big Ten allowed more than just the conference title winner to go). If you look at recent history Indiana has clinched bowl bids in each of the last two seasons, while Purdue did the same in 2002, 2011, and 2012. That’s just clinching a bowl berth though. Getting to six wins is often not a huge achievement, especially with

Dot Commentary: Which is the best Big Ten rivalry trophy?
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 00:04:15 GMT)
Thanksgiving week means Rivalry Week in college football, and Rivalry Week means trophies. The Big Ten in particular is known for its rivalry trophies, which are battled for as the season winds down–especially during the final week of the regular season. Some trophies are newer than others, but they all have some sort of back story that makes each one unique. With so many taking center stage this weekend, the only logical thing for the team of Tom Dienhart and Alex Roux to do is choose which one they like best. So whether you’re meal prepping or waiting for that Thanksgiving food baby to pass, have fun reading, learning and disagreeing with the answers to this question: Which is the best

Ohio State vs. Michigan, who will win?
(Wed, 22 Nov 2017 17:30:31 GMT)
The Buckeyes and Wolverines matchup in Week 13 and Dr. Saturday predicts who's going home with the win.

The Top Whatever: Rosen isn’t to blame for UCLA being UCLA
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
There was so little happening this week in college football that I can do something weird and overdue here: actually pay attention to a player. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen lost a 28-23 rivalry defeat to USC in which he looked good and sometimes amazing while his team won or lost at random rates. That sums up Rosen’s entire career. Rosen came in a five-star, can’t-miss prospect from a powerhouse in California, St. John Bosco. Rosen never sat on the bench, starting as a freshman and playing well enough to elicit slobber-worthy commentary from scouts. He threw for 3,669 yards and 23 TDs, looked as beautiful as he was supposed to, and got UCLA to an 8-5 record. Rosen also had a hot tub in his dorm

Alex Hornibrook, Wisconsin’s offense fight through adversity again to improve to 11-0
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
MADISON—Prior to Saturday’s 24-10 victory over Michigan, it was not hard to become wrapped into the severity and gravity of the game. I was blessed enough to play the game of football for 14 years, but the importance of yesterday’s game was almost palpable. You could feel it as the game began to play out. The ebbs and flows of the game brought the crowd to their feet, and back down to earth when things didn’t go as planned. Luckily for the Badger faithful, the players’ emotions weren’t as volatile. That was evident after redshirt sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook threw his 13th interception of the year, as Wisconsin’s offense then proceeded to put together back-to-back touchdown drives totaling

4 arguments for Clemson as CFP No. 2 (and 3 against)
(Tue, 21 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT)
For: Clemson has the highest-ranked win of any ranked team Every game matters. Beating Auburn in Week 2 counts as a win over No. 6 Auburn, regardless of how much War Eagle stock we all sold after Auburn hit two losses. Miami and Oklahoma had top-10 wins by bigger margins, and OU’s was on the road, so the overall quality of these wins can be argued any way you like. But based just on who beat whom, Clemson’s got a point here. This also gives Clemson a big leg up over Georgia, which got whooped by Auburn. Against: Has any ranked team lost to a worse team than Clemson did? If every game matters, shouldn’t the Tigers’ loss to Syracuse just look uglier and uglier? Cuse is now 4-7 and has given up

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