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  • 4 winners and 4 losers from Week 12 in the NFL
    Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images The Saints and Broncos gave us something truly memorable, in all the wrong ways. There was something special in the air around the NFL this weekend, and it was the inescapable smell of excrement coming out of Saints vs. Broncos. It permeated the entire football weekend, and it was so beautiful it brings me to tears. Good football is rote. Every season ... read more
    Source: SBnation.com
    1 hour ago
  • 3rd FSU game nixed; Duke to host Miami instead
    Florida State will have its scheduled game called off for the third straight week as the team deals with issues related to COVID-19. Duke, which was set to play FSU Saturday, will host Miami instead. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    10 hours ago
  • Sports world reacts to Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller making history
    With the Commodores down specialists, Fuller went from Vandy's soccer pitch to the football field. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    16 hours ago
  • College Football Playoff picks after Week 13
    Alabama and Notre Dame solidify spots in the top four, while Ohio State's CFP hopes might be dashed. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    16 hours ago
  • Source: Texas OT Cosmi turns focus to ’21 draft
    Texas' Samuel Cosmi, considered the No. 2 draft-eligible offensive tackle for the 2021 NFL draft, is opting out of the rest of the 2020 season, a source confirmed to ESPN. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    17 hours ago
  • Source: WR Marshall latest from LSU to opt out
    LSU's Terrace Marshall Jr., listed as the No. 4 draft-eligible wide receiver by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., is opting out of the remainder of the season, a source told ESPN. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    17 hours ago
  • Lawrence: Love of Clemson makes leaving tough
    Clemson's Trevor Lawrence again added an "if" to the prospect of leaving for the NFL, but he said Saturday felt just a little bit different, knowing this would probably be his last time playing at home. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    17 hours ago
  • AP Top 25 college football poll reaction: What’s next for each ranked team?
    The top of the AP Top 25 college football poll remains the same, but there's plenty of movement in the back half. Here's what's next for each ranked team. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    18 hours ago
  • Alabama football and Mac Jones look unbelievable | In the Booth with Joel Klatt
    Joel Klatt recaps a wild day of football in Week 13, including how Alabama looks like “the class of college football” heading into the home stretch, how it’s tough to keep Mac Jones out of the Heisman discussion, and why the Big Ten needs to get rid of their 6-game minimum requirement to make the conference championship game to ensure the best chance of landing a team in the College ... read more
    Source: foxsports.com
    18 hours ago
  • Romain Grosjean’s engineered miracle
    Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images How on earth did anyone walk away from this?! If you watch enough sports you’ll see some horrific injuries. I’ve seen David Busst’s leg explode, watched Erik Karlsson’s Achilles tendon severed by a skate blade and winced at dozens of ACL tears. Professional sports are played with such speed and violence that they also serve as terrible reminders of the sheer fragility ... read more
    Source: SBnation.com
    20 hours ago
  • Who has the best chance to make the College Football Playoff?
    The Allstate Playoff Predictor breaks down which teams have the best chance to make this season's CFP. ... read more
    Source: ESPN.com News
    21 hours ago
  • Let’s talk about the Utah monolith
    Photo credit: Utah Department of Public Safety Now that the Utah monolith has disappeared, why did we all find it so interesting in the first place? On November 18th, an airborne survey of bighorn sheep* in the Utah desert turned up something completely unexpected: a silver monolith, buried in the desert. This is not the sort of thing one tends to find in the middle of nowhere ... read more
    Source: SBnation.com
    22 hours ago
  • Megan Rapinoe Reacts To Historic College Football Moment
    College football history was made on Saturday afternoon. Vanderbilt kicker Sarah Fuller became the first woman to play in a Power 5 college football game. Fuller did not attempt any field goals, but she kicked off to start the second half. Fuller’s kick was a good one, as it squibbed down the right sideline, making it un-returnable. The kickoff return team had to fall on the ball at roughly the ... read more
    Source: The Spun
    23 hours ago
  • Former Michigan State football coach Mark Dantonio’s favorite moments with the Spartans
    Former Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio leaned on the late Bear Bryant to help him make his decision to retire in February 2020. ... read more
    Source: sports.yahoo.com
    1 day ago
  • Cordeiro accounts for 2 TDs, Hawaii beat Nevada 24-21
    Chevan Cordeiro passed for 246 yards and a touchdown and scored on a 2-yard run in the fourth quarter and Hawaii beat Nevada 24-21 on Saturday night. Cordeiro was 26-of-32 passing without an interception and had 15 carries for 62 yards. Calvin Turner had 10 receptions for 77 yards and a TD for Hawaii (3-3 Mountain West Conference). ... read more
    Source: sports.yahoo.com
    1 day ago

Saban VS Meyer: A Rivalry Reignited

Saban vs Meyer has become one of college football’s most fascinating rivalries. In 2009, Nick Saban appeared to have the permanent upper hand as Alabama stopped top ranked Florida and Tim Tebow from gaining a third national title in three years. The next day, Urban Meyer was hospitalized and within a few weeks, he retired and left the SEC. With Alabama winning three championships in four years and Meyer going to the Big Ten Conference, it seemed as if the intensity of the rivalry had faded.

But that spark reignited during last year’s Sugar Bowl, in which Meyer’s fourth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes defeated the top-ranked Crimson Tide by a score of 42-35 to advance to the first College Football Playoff Championship Game (which it ultimately won 42-20 over Oregon).

“Alabama did not look like the more talented team,” recalled Tommy Duff, Editor of The Kickoff newsletter, which covers the world of college football. “With that game, Meyer bridged the perceived talent gap with Alabama and the SEC. Since Meyer came to Ohio State, the Buckeyes appear to be on an even footing, which is not to say that the league is as good as the SEC, but Ohio State is as strong of a program as any in the country. After embarrassing losses to LSU and Florida in the past, people previously said things like, ‘OSU may be 12-0 in the Big Ten, but they’d be 8-4 if they were playing in the Southeastern Conference.’ That perception has changed with Meyer. Ohio State ended 2014 by winning the championship with their third string quarterback.”

Saban pointed to poor team chemistry and the timing of NFL Draft grades as an excuse for the Sugar Bowl loss, saying he believes some of his players were more focused on avoiding injury than advancing to the national championship game.

Even Paul Finebaum, speaking at this week’s SEC Media Days, said that the Southeastern Conference may be overrated.

“Paul Finebaum bases his observations on whether a team is going to win another national championship,” Duff said. “In the SEC, there could be 11 teams, top to bottom, who go to a bowl game this year. Just because the best team in the conference lost a playoff game last year does not mean a death spiral.”
Duff said the SEC may actually be stronger this year because of the likely reemergence of the Tennessee Volunteers under 3rd year Head Coach Butch Jones and traditional powerhouses expected to be competitive.

“We don’t know what the direction of Florida will be under first year Coach Jim McElwain, but expectations are high in Knoxville for the first time in years. Keith Marshall at Georgia was even more highly touted than Todd Gurley coming out of high school. All of the spotlight at LSU continues to shine on sophomore RB Leonard Fournette, but success for the Tigers will undoubtedly rest on improvement made in the quarterback position,” Duff said.

The state of Alabama continues to make a strong showing in the playoff hunt. The Kickoff has Auburn ranked pre-season at #3 and Alabama at #5. The difference between those in-state rivals? Certainty at the quarterback position.

“Auburn is expected to make a very strong showing this year with Jeremy Johnson as the starting quarterback, plus Will Muschamp joining as defensive coordinator. Alabama has the same problem they had last year: they haven’t announced a starting QB,” Duff said.

“It’s not who Saban ultimately picks, it’s the fact that there’s no standout leader. Jacob Coker was supposed to be the handpicked successor to AJ McCarron, but he couldn’t beat out Blake Sims, who is now gone. Redshirt freshman David Cornwell was highly recruited, but he’s not elite and has never taken a snap in a college football game. In contrast, Johnson at Auburn, we’ve seen him start an SEC game, and he’s better than the quarterback they had last year who took them to the BCS National Championship Game in 2014. Johnson has long been considered to be a star in the making: a pocket passer with a cannon, solid accuracy, and the ability to scramble when the play breaks down. It was telling when former AU great and current co-OC Dameyune Craig stated that he expects Johnson to break most of his passing marks in 2015.”

The question marks are not to suggest that Alabama will experience a bad season – just, perhaps, not the all-out domination we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in recent years.

“I expect Alabama will win 10 or 11 games minimum and finish the season as a Top 10 team,” Duff said.

The Crimson Tide, well aware of the changed perception, will certainly use the talk as motivation to earn respect. Will we see a rematch between Nick Saban and Urban Meyer at the end of the season? Time will certainly tell. OSU starts their season Sept. 7th against Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg (8 pm on ESPN) while the Crimson Tide face the Wisconsin Badgers Sept. 5th at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (8 pm on ABC).

With all three signal callers returning, Meyer has a tough decision to make. Neither Barrett nor Braxton Miller participated in the spring game, leaving Cardale Jones the chance to make the most of the opportunity. Jones was inconsistent during the spring game, leaving the door open for either Barrett or Miller to reclaim their starting QB slot this fall.

Beyond individual games to be played, Saban and Meyer are locked in a battle of records. Both coaches have won a national championship at two different schools. Meyer’s overall head coaching record in college football stands at 141-26, Saban’s at 177-59-1, but for now, Saban edges Meyer with four national titles to three. Urban Meyer’s goal headed into this fall will be to even things up a bit. With Meyer being 13 years younger than Saban, there’s a good chance he may eventually catch up and surpass the Alabama coach.

For fans of college football, it sure will be fun to watch him try.

The Kickoff publishes 23 issues a year (17 weekly issues during the season and an additional six monthly issues during the off season). For a limited time, get a 17 week email Subscription for just $20, at https://thekickoffstore.com/subscriptions/

 

2015 Heisman Odds: The Favorites to Win

The Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Trophy.

It’s impossible this early to predict who will win the 79th Heisman Trophy for his work in the 2015 college football season, but The Kickoff has a few thoughts on the leading candidates to have their name called in Times Square this December.

Tommy Duff, Editor of The Kickoff, said the uncertainty of who will be the starting quarterback for defending national champion Ohio State against Virginia Tech on Sept. 7th alone makes it tough to prognosticate. The starting quarterback chosen by Urban Meyer will almost certainly begin the season as a Top 5 contender for the Heisman, which typically goes to a running back or quarterback.

J.T. Barrett was the Big Ten POY last year, but as of now, he is not the favorite to land the starting job,” Duff said. “He still has three years of eligibility left and may have to wait his turn. Bovada gives him odds of 25/1 to win the Heisman.”

Senior Braxton Miller told The Columbus Dispatch this week that he plans to return this season as a fifth-year senior, suggesting he’s best positioned for success and the Heisman as “the best athlete in college football.” Unless something changes, however, chances are we won’t see much of Miller in his final year of eligibility. As of July 7, Bovada has his odds at 10/1 to win the Heisman.

As for Ohio State Junior Cardale Jones, how much can one predict when you have only started three games? According to odds makers, a whole lot when you look at the opposition in those three games (Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon). Bovada gives him odds of 20/1 to win the Heisman.

Some other favorites in the mix at this stage in the preseason (given odds of 25/1 or better by Bovada) include:

  • Trevone Boykin (QB, TCU… 6/1) “Arguably one of the frontrunners for the 2015 trophy, but it will be difficult to meet the expectations he set in 2014.”
  • Nick Chubb (RB, Georgia… 10/1) “One wonders what Chubb can do with a full season as the starter. He was brilliant in his freshman year.”
  • Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Ohio State… 7/1) “With 3 potential candidates fighting for the starting QB position, Elliott is the one Buckeye on this list who is firmly entrenched as the starter.”
  • Leonard Fournette (RB, LSU… 14/1) “Can you say hype? Fournette has gotten it since the moment he stepped on campus last year. Though he started slowly, he gradually grew to meet the insane expectations.”
  • Derrick Henry (RB, Alabama… 16/1) “Henry will no longer have to share carries, and barring injury, his numbers will explode in Lane Kiffin’s offense this season.”
  • Jeremy Johnson (QB, Auburn… 10/1) “Another case of a QB receiving attention who has a limited resume. The fact is that Johnson was outstanding during the time he did play, and will get even better on a stacked Auburn team.”
  • Cody Kessler (QB, USC… 12/1) “Kessler turned the corner in 2014, putting together AA type numbers. Second year in Sarkisian’s system should pay off in Kessler’s last season.”
  • Samaje Perine (RB, Oklahoma… 20/1) “Set the NCAA single game rushing record last season as a freshman with 427 yards. Somewhat underrated because of the number of stud underclassmen at position.”
  • Paul Perkins (RB, UCLA… 20/1) “Underrated RB had been overshadowed by Brett Hundley, but this year he will be the main attraction in the UCLA backfield.”
  • Dak Prescott (QB, Miss State… 12/1) “For much of 2014, Prescott was the assumed leader in the Heisman race. We think it will be difficult to repeat those numbers with the loss of talent around him.”
  • Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson… 16/1) “The hype is justified when it came to Watson in 2014. His impact was felt from the moment he stepped onto the field; a game-changer who will improve in 2015.”
  • Connor Cook (QB, MI State… 25/1) “Cook has been a steadying hand at Michigan State. If the Spartans continue their winning ways Cook could be in contention late in the season.”
  • Everett Golson (QB, Florida State… 25-1) “One wonders what to expect from Golson as he transferred for his final year. 5th year transfers rarely pick up their new system and mesh with teammates without growing pains.”

The July issue of The Kickoff included our watchlist of every potential Heisman candidate, along with Tommy’s commentary on each of the players. This is exactly the type of content we put together in the newsletter to inform our readers as you size up your favorite teams and players throughout the season.

We produce 23 issues a year (17 weekly issues during the season and an additional six monthly issues during the off season). For a limited time, get a 17 week email Subscription for just $20, at https://thekickoffstore.com/subscriptions/

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