College basketball preseason top 25: 25-21

It is the end of October so that means college basketball is right around the corner. What teams should be looked at as the best of the best? Here are the first five teams in the top 25 rundown:

25. Texas A&M Aggies

College basketball preseason top 25

Robert Williams (photo by draftexpress.com)

The Aggies were unable to make the postseason last year, but have some solid players that will change that this season. They return four scorers who averaged over 10 points a game and have some players that could make it in the NBA. Texas A&M will be aided by the 27th best recruiting class in the country according to 247sports.com.

Billy Kennedy has one of the best frontcourts in the country. Forward Robert Williams flirted with leaving for the 2017 NBA Draft, but elected to come back to school. He will be able to improve on his 11.9 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this year. Tyler Davis is the leading returning scorer at his center position, averaging 14.7 points per game last season. Add in D.J. Hogg, a versatile forward who averaged 12 points per game last season and the Aggies are a force to be reckoned with in their frontcourt.

The backcourt is what will be the issue for this team. Admon Gilder will help provide a coring punch at the two guard, but the Aggies need a point guard. They had to redshirt J.J. Caldwell last season, but he is back now from injury. He has promise, but hasn’t played any games due to last season being his first on campus. If he doesn’t pan out, Texas A&M can turn to Duane Wilson, a graduate transfer from Marquette. He averaged over 11 points per game in his first two seasons as a Golden Eagle, but saw that limited to under five last season. At the very least he will provide some veteran leadership to a team that has just one other senior on the roster.

This team is talented and could even make a run in the NCAA Tournament if they get favorable matchups. They will need to continue to pound the ball inside and physically dominate opponents to win, but they are well equipped to do so.

24. Gonzaga Bulldogs

College basketball top 25

Johnathan Williams (photo by draftexpress.com)

Gonzaga is coming off of their first appearance in the Final Four last season and still have some solid players from that roster returning. They will need to rely on these players as they don’t have a good recruiting class coming in. The Bulldogs ranked 121 in the recruiting rankings by 247sports. Luckily they still have Mark Few at the helm.

Few has two very good forwards to go to this season. Johnathan Williams is one of the most versatile and athletic players in the country and is poised for a big senior season. He is the only returning player that averaged double digits in scoring last season. Kilian Tillie saw limited playing time last season, but was on the bench a lot because of the good players in front of him. He needs to step up for the Bulldogs this season. With Zach Collins and Przemek Karnowski having moved on, the Bulldogs are extremely thin on the interior.

The guard spots will be solidified by two players who averaged over 20 minutes a game last season. Silas Melson will step into the shooting guard role and will succeed. He shot 39.9% from three point range last season. Josh Perkins will take over point guard duties after playing the two guard mostly the last two years. With Nigel Williams-Goss and Jordan Matthews not on the team any longer, Gonzaga will also be thinner at guard than they are most years.

This team is reliant on a lot of their young players to step up and help out the stars of Willams, Melson and Perkins, but Mark Few will get the job done, just as he always does.

23. Rhode Island Rams

College basketball preseason top 25

E.C. Matthews (photo by: draftexpress.com)

The Rams lost in the round of 32 last year and also lost Kuran Iverson and Hassan Martin after the season concluded. Those two players were key factors in their successful season last year, but the Rams will be just fine this season. They have 12 returning players, including four players who averaged more than 20 minutes a game.

Iverson and Martin were both frontcourt players so Rhode Island will need to find replacements for them. They have a junior college transfer in Ryan Preston will have to be a workhorse on the boards, as he only averaged 5.2 points per game at the JUCO level. The Rams’ biggest hope for good inside play rests in the hands of Cyril Langevine, who earned 13.2 minutes per game as a freshman. He is a good rebounder, but needs to stay out of foul trouble.

Rhode Island will be a guard-led team this season even more so than most years. The team is led by E.C. Matthews, who is one of the best seniors in the country. He averaged 14.2 points per game last year and will be asked to do much of the same this year. Jared Terrell. Stanford Robinson, Jarvis Garrett and Jeff Dowtin all got significant minutes last season and will help propel this team to the NCAA Tournament once again.

Dan Hurley’s squad doesn’t shoot the three very well, so they will need to get to the basket to be successful. With Hurley at the helm and Matthews back, the Rams should be able to win the Atlantic 10 and win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament.

22. Baylor Bears

College basketball preseason top 25

Manu Lecomte (photo by draftexpress.com)

Baylor lost their best player, Jonathan Motley to the NBA Draft. They would’ve been a highly ranked team with him, but still have some good players returning. Scott Drew will have this team contending in the Big 12, but they will likely fall short to a familiar foe once again.

In the frontcourt the Bears have Jo Lual-Acuil Jr who is seven feet tall and averaged 2.3 blocks per game last season. He had 35 starts and will start every game once again, but needs to score more points and grab more boards. Terry Maston and Nuni Omot are seniors who will have to take on bigger roles this season as well. Maston is an inside threat that can score in bunches, but is inconsistent, while Omot can stretch the floor a bit better and shoot from deep.

The Bears have a star in Manu Lecomte. The point guard from Belgium averaged 12.2 points and 3.8 assists per game. He will score more this season without Motley. He is also a big time playmaker. Jake Lindsey joins him in the backcourt and adds another good ball handler and three point shooter to the mix. King McClure, a good shooter, and Wendell Mitchell will backup Lecomte and Lindsay and fill in nicely.

This may not be a dream season for Baylor, but they will be solid and make their fifth straight NCAA Tournament.

21. Seton Hall Pirates

College basketball preseason top 25

Angel Delgado (Photo by zagsblog.com)

The Pirates have made the last two NCAA tournaments, but have yet to do much damage in them. This could be the year they break through. They are led by three really good seniors who will create a lot of matchup problems. They will have a top 50 recruiting class joining them this season.

Angel Delgado is one of the best players in the Big East and averaged a staggering 15.2 points and 13.1 rebounds per game. Not too many college athletes can handle him down low. Wing Desi Rodriguez can do a lot of things and averaged 15.7 points per game last season. Ismael Sanogo and Michael Nezi are great role players that mean more to the team than their numbers might indicate.

At guard Khadeen Carrington is a star senior. Las season he was the Pirates’ leading scorer averaging 17.1 points per game. He will be asked to play point guard, which is not his natural position. Myles Powell had a great freshman season averaging 10.7 points per game. The thought is that incoming freshman Jordan Walker will get limited minutes early, but could be the starting point guard by year’s end. At the very least he will provide some much needed depth for the backcourt.

Seton Hall has a veteran roster with multiple stars on it. They will advance past the first round of the NCAA Tournament if they stay healthy and their incoming recruits provide good depth.

 

For teams 20-16: click here

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College football coaches on the hot seat in 2017

With the college football season about to start there is a lot of excitement and hype, but for some coaches this season is a make it or break it year. If they don’t have good seasons they will be packing their bags and looking for new jobs. Here are the coaches that need to have good seasons:

Brian Kelly, Notre Dame

College football hot seat 2017

Brian Kelly (Photo by southbendtribune.com)

Kelly almost wore out his welcome with a 4-8 record last season, but it is hard to fire a coach a year after making the Fiesta Bowl. Overall in his time at Notre Dame he has made one New Year’s Six Bowl Game and one National Championship, while underachieving in other years.

His career record at Notre Dame is 59-31. That’s not good enough to be the head coach of one of the most storied teams of all time. It goes beyond the record with Kelly, as he has made fans cringe every time he yells at players and places blame on them rather than being accountable.

The Fighting Irish only have eleven starters returning from a team that wasn’t good last season. There hope to save Kelly’s job lies in winning a lot of the close games that they lost last season. Eight of their games were decided by one possession, with seven of them being losses.

A more detailed description of Kelly’s time at Notre Dame is laid out here. In order to save his job he needs to at least go 8-4 this season, which won’t be easy with teams like Georgia, USC and Stanford on the schedule.

Jim Mora, UCLA

College Football Hots seat 2017

Jim Mora (Photo by chatsports.com)

Mora has recruited a lot of talent to the UCLA campus, but they have not been able to capitalize on it. His total record at UCLA is 41-24 over five seasons, but last season really put a damper on things. The Bruins finished the year 4-8.

The saving grace for Mora may be that they give him a pass for last season based on how many injuries the team suffered. They were a better team than their record said and had quarterback Josh Rosen stayed healthy they would’ve been able to get to a bowl game. Even if they give him a pass for last season he needs to produce a good season again this ye

Only 10 starters return to the team, which could make things difficult on Mora. They still have a lot of talent, but players who didn’t play much last year will need to help out more.

Mora likely needs to win about eight games to feel somewhat comfortable after the season. Making a bowl game would be a good way to get back on track, but may not be enough to save his job.

Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

College football hot seat 2017

Rich Rodriguez (Photo by fanspeak.com)

He is entering his sixth year at Arizona and had a pretty successful start to his time in the desert. He made four straight bowl games including the Fiesta Bowl in 2014. The problem is that the program has gone down hill from there.

Following the 2014 season, the Wildcats are 10-15, including a 3-9 record last season. The record has been bad and Rich Rod, who is no stranger to criticism, has been criticized for leaving players in while visibly concussed, but has said he errs on the side of caution.

The good news is that 14 starters return this season, which should help them improve on their record from last season. In the Pac-12 though there aren’t too many easy wins to be had. They do get the benefit of playing Cal and Oregon State in their crossover games.

Rodriguez needs to make a bowl game this season to save his job. Anything less than that and he may be fired.

Todd Graham, Arizona State

College football hot seat 2017

Todd Graham (Photo by alchetron.com)

With an eight win season and two ten win seasons in his first three years, Graham was also a coach that got off to a hot start. Since his third year, he has not had a winning record in any season. He has a career mark of 39-26, which includes a record of 11-14 over the last two seasons.

Graham has been seen as a job-jumper and will leave a school at a moments’ notice for a perceived better opportunity. He likely doesn’t have too many offers on the table at this time, but if he isn’t loyal to a school, why should a school be loyal to him?

Eleven starters return for him, but his team had a 5-7 record last season. Running backs Kalen Ballege and Demario Richard are good players, but they lack the same level of talent they had just a few years ago. Their schedule is tough, which won’t do Graham any favors.

In order to keep his job, Graham needs to improve on their 5-7 record last season. That may not be quite good enough, but is the minimum that needs to be done for him to keep his job.

Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

college football hot seat 2017

Kliff Kingsbury (Photo by si.com)

A lot of people liked the hire of Kliff Kingsbury at the time. He was a young, energetic coach that had broken records as a quarterback at Texas Tech. In his four years he has just two bowl appearances with the Red Raiders.

Kingsbury has an overall record of 24-26 and a terrible 13-23 record in conference play. The offense has been good, but the defense is unable to stop anyone and that will be Kingsbury’s downfall, unless a miracle happens this season.

Ten starters return, but Texas Tech will need a new quarterback because Patrick Mahommes left early for the NFL. The offense will likely take a huge step back, while the defense won’t get much better. They have challenging non-conference games against Arizona State and at Houston and haven’t ever gotten more than four conference wins in a season under Kingsbury.

For Kingsbury to return to Lubbock in 2018 he needs to make a bowl game and win at least four conference games in doing so. This is a tall task with the roster turnover and the Red Raiders will likely be looking for a new coach.

Brett Bielema, Arkansas

College football hot seat 2017

Brett Bielema (Photo by whnt.com)

Bielema was a great steal of a hire from Wisconsin, but has not done well at Arkansas. They are in a very tough SEC West, but have not been consistent. Unlike other coaches on this list, Bielema has been fairly consistent after his first season in Fayetteville.

He started with a record of 3-9 and has finished with at least seven wins every year since. That brings his total record to 25-26. What’s worse is his 10-22 record against the SEC in that time. While making bowl games is good, a record that bad in conference can’t be tolerated for too much longer.

Austin Allen returns at quarterback and the offense should be solid. The defense brings back five starters, but the unit wasn’t particularly good. They have one tough non-conference game against TCU. Other than that they need to capitalize on an SEC West that has some teams that are relatively down right now. This includes: Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Texas A&M.

It is more than possible for this team to win seven or eight games this year. That will be good enough to bring back Bielema for another year. If the Razorbacks somehow fail to make a bowl game this season, he may be on his way out.

Butch Jones, Tennessee

college football hot seat 2017

Butch Jones (tampabay.com)

The question for Butch Jones is: How patient can a die hard fan base be? Two straight 9-4 seasons aren’t bad, but it’s not up to Tennessee’s expectations. They haven’t been able to win the SEC East, which has been down the last several years. This is unfortunate timing, but it’s a make it or break it year for Jones.

Jones started the Volunteers off with a 5-7 record, but has followed it up with three straight bowl appearances. His overall record at Tennessee is 30-21, but the record in conference play is just 14-18. Doing a lot of the same would be good at most programs, other than the lousy conference record, but it just doesn’t cut it for the Volunteers.

Tennessee has 12 starters back from last year’s team, which includes some talent. The problem is replacing Josh Dobbs. Dobbs was a great dual-threat quarterback, who bailed them out of a lot of close games last season. Through the first five games of the season, four of those were won because they had a poised quarterback in Dobbs down the stretch. A couple of guys are battling for the position, but none will be as effective as Dobbs in their first season.

The schedule provides some tough games against Georgia Tech, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and LSU. They won’t lose all of them, but will lose some. Jones needs to get them to eight wins to feel safe, but even eight wins can’t quell a rabid bunch of fans and boosters: Just ask Bo Pelini.

Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

college football hot seat 2017

Kevin Sumlin (Photo by bleacherreport.com)

Sumlin is on the hot seat at some point in every season. After a big win, the Aggies can’t fathom being without him. After losing games down the stretch, his seat gets warm.

Out of all the coaches on this list, Sumlin has the best record, when taking into account his circumstances, at 44-21. This is impressive, but he also has a winning record in the tough SEC West at 21-19. He has never missed a bowl game at Texas A&M and never finished with fewer than eight wins.

The Aggies have had to deal with a lot of transfers over the past few seasons, but have talent. Armani Watts is one of the best safeties in the country, while Christian Kirk is a wide receiver that might be drafted in the top ten of the 2018 NFL Draft. The problem could be quarterback play, which has been hit hard by the transfers.

They have a tough non-conference game at UCLA, then have to go back to battle the SEC West, Florida and South Carolina. Eight wins should again be good enough to save Sumlin’s job, but with how inconsistent his hot seat is, nothing is for certain.

Other notable power five coaches whose seats could be hot with a bad season: David Beaty (Kansas), Dave Doern (NC State), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest), Steve Adazzio (Boston College), Mike Reilly (Nebraska), Gary Anderson (Oregon State), Barry Odom (Missouri).

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Best 2018 NFL Draft prospects: Wide Receivers

Wide receiver was a position that was highly sought after in the 2017 NFL Draft, but there are some good players in the upcoming class too. Here are guys who will be at the top of draft boards at the wide receiver position come next April:

Deon Cain, Clemson

Deon Cain (Photo by: zimbio.com)

Cain has been overshadowed by all of the great Clemson receivers of the past few years, but it is now his time to shine. Mike Williams and Artavis Scott are gone and Cain will be the primary outside receiver for the Tigers.

Last season Cain had 724 receiving yards and nine touchdowns, but will likely see that increase when he is the primary target this season. He will have to deal with an unproven quarterback this season, but his talent should show through no matter who the starting quarterback ends up being. At 6′ 1″ tall and 210 pounds Cain has good size, but will likely not be taken until the second round.

Cain has flashed potential, but he needs to have a solid and consistent season of production to prove he is worth of an early pick. The big games for Cain to prove himself are: Auburn, Louisville, Virginia Tech and Florida State.

Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

The favorite to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2018 NFL Draft is Christian Kirk. He has dealt with a lot of different quarterbacks during his time at Texas A&M and will have to again this season.

With Trevor Knight completing around 50% of his passes, Kirk still put up good numbers last season. He had 928 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. One of his biggest things he needs to work on is consistency, but that is partially on the quarterback. He’s 5’11”, which isn’t great, but he uses his athleticism well, making him capable of playing on the outside.

Kirk is looking to maintain his draft stock going into this season. The Aggies will play some big games this season to allow Kirk to show off his skills. They play UCLA, Alabama, Florida, Auburn and LSU.

Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Ridley is also in contention to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. He has been a key on Alabama’s offense, even though they run the ball a lot, with 161 catches in two years.

In 2016, Ridley caught 72 passes for 769 yards and seven touchdowns with freshman Jalen Hurts as his quarterback. Hurts is not known as a thrower and Ridley will likely be catching passes from him this season. His best game last season was against Kentucky, when he caught 11 passes for 174 yards and two scores. He creates great separation and has good speed, but like other receivers in this class, needs more consistency.

Ridley will be going up against some good secondaries this season and doing well in these games could push him to the top of draft boards at the wide receiver position. The Crimson Tide play Florida State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU and Auburn, which gives Ridley some great competition to go against.

Equanimeous St. Brown, Notre Dame

Equanimeous St. Brown (Photo by: usatoday.com)

St. Brown isn’t on a lot of peoples’ radars, but he should be. He only played a little bit his freshman season, but came on strong last year.

He finished the 2016 season with 961 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. St. Brown has great size for an outside receiver, but needs to add some strength to his 6’4″ frame. He adds a big play threat and averaged 16.6 yards per reception. He will have a new quarterback to work with this season, but should be able to have a solid season.With another year of good production, his size and big play ability will entice an NFL team to take him early in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Notre Dame is always on television, which will give him the most chances to be seen by NFL executives. The Fighting Irish will play Georgia, North Carolina, USC, Miami and Stanford, which all give St. Brown some top level competition to play against.

Courtland Sutton, SMU

Sutton is another receiver that, had he come out for the 2017 NFL Draft, would have been selected early. He has an interesting story and started his career at SMU as a defensive back before emerging as a great receiving threat.

Like St. Brown, Sutton has great size which entices NFL minds. He’s 6’4″ and 215 pounds and has dominated his competition in the AAC. He totaled 1,246 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016 and saw his draft stock rise continually throughout the year. His redshirt junior year promises to be one filled with good stats and success.

SMU doesn’t have the luxury of playing too many great defenses so Sutton will need to make the most of his chances in 2017. The Mustangs play TCU, Cincinnati, Houston and Memphis.

James Washington, Oklahoma State

James Washington (Photo by: tulsaworld.com)

While everyone else on this list are dealing with some sort of quarterback issue, Washington doesn’t have to worry about that. His partner in crime Mason Rudolph decided to come back to school and they should both put up great numbers this season.

Washington has gotten better every season he has been in Stillwater. Last season he had 1,380 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. His most notable game from 2016 was against Pittsburgh. He finished that game with 296 receiving yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions.

The dynamic duo will have a few opportunities to prove themselves against good competition this season with games against Pittsburgh, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas.

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

National Signing Day 2017: SEC

The SEC dominates National Signing Day seemingly every year. This page will be updated throughout the day. Here are how the teams look right now:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Commitments: 24, 5*: 3, 4*: 19, 3*: 1, Other: 1

Nick Saban has assembled another great class. Athlete Dylan Moses (who will most likely play linebacker), offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris are some of the best players for the Tide. Harris is supremely talented, but it is a loaded backfield that may not offer much playing time. Alabama recruited a lot of offensive play-makers this season. There a lot of good recruits still considering Alabama.

Top Prospects Signed: ATH Dylan Moses (5*), RB Najee Harris (5*)

2. Georgia Bulldogs

Committed: 26, 5*: 4, 4*: 17, 3*: 5, Other: 0

Kirby Smart has put together a great first full class for the Bulldogs. Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson and Safety Richard LeCounte are among the best players in the class. In the next few years, Georgia should be dominant in the trenches and well on their way to SEC East superiority.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Isaiah Wilson (5*), S Richard LeCounte (5*)

3. LSU Tigers

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 16, 3*: 7, Other: 0

In Ed Oregeron’s first class, he has helped LSU stay prominent in recruiting. He has a lot of secondary and quarterback help on the way. Corner Kary Vincent is one the best players in the class for the Tigers. Quarterbacks Lowell Narcisse and Myles Brennan have different styles, but should help out with LSU’s offensive struggles.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Austin Deculus (4*), CB Kary Vincent (4*)

4. Texas A&M Aggies

Committed: 24, 5*: 0, 4*: 9, 3*: 15, Other: 0

The Aggies have a lot of players coming in this class. Quarterback Kellen Mond is a highly touted player and may get a chance to get on the field, with all of the transfers out of College Station. He leads a class with a lot of wide receivers. Linebacker Anthony Hines is going to be a difference-maker for the Aggie defense.

Top Prospects Signed: QB Kellen Mond (4*), LB Anthony Hinds (4*)

5. Auburn Tigers

Committed: 21, 5*: 0, 4*: 11, 3: 7, Other: 3

The Tigers have a good recruiting class, which they will be expecting to help win the SEC West with. Former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham will be joining the Tigers from JuCo and will hopefully solve the issues at the position. Their best offensive line recruit Calvin Ashley is a tackle who will be looking to get on the field from day one.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Calvin Ashley (4*), QB Jarrett Stidham (4*)

6. Tennessee Volunteers

Committed: 27, 5*: 1, 4*: 6, 3*: 20, Other: 0

Butch Jones has put together yet another impressive recruiting class. Five-star offensive tackle Trey Smith is one of the best in the class and will likely start the season as a starter. Linebacker Maleik Gray will help out with some of the losses they suffer on defense.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Trey Smith (5*), LB Maleik Gray (4*)

7. Florida Gators

Committed: 20, 5*: 0, 4*: 13, 3*: 6, Other: 1

Florida has struggled to find good offense, but they don’t have too many skill position players in this class. They need to hit on the ones they did sign. Their best recruit is offensive tackle Tedarrell Slaton, which should help the offense out. Wide receiver Daquon Green is going to have to step up and be the play-maker Florida so desperately needs.

Top Prospects Signed: OT Tedarrell Slaton (4*), WR James Robinson IV (4*)

8. South Carolina Gamecocks

Committed: 21, 5*:0, 4*: 9, 3*: 11, Other: 1

Will Muschamp is doing a great job of recruiting for South Carolina. Corner Jameyst Williams is committed, but may be flipped. He will help out a secondary that isn’t near the top in the SEC. Shi Smith will give the Gamecocks a weapon at the wide receiver position.

Top Prospects Signed: CB Jamyest Winston (4*), WR Shi Smith (4*)

9. Kentucky Wildcats

Committed: 24, 5*: 0, 4*: 5, 3*: 18, Other: 1

Mark Stoops helped the Wildcats be one of the most improved teams in the country. The defense wasn’t great, so Kentucky emphasized that in this recruiting class. Secondary players Yusuf Corker and Tyrell Ajian will both be expected to produce in the coming years.

Top Prospects Signed: CB Yusuf Corker (4*), S Tyrell Ajian (4*)

10. Mississippi State Bulldogs

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 10, 3*: 13, Other: 0

The Bulldogs got a bowl win, but it was a lackluster season otherwise. Coming into the fold will be a lot of defensive players. Brian Cole and Montez Sweat are both JuCo players who will likely help the Bulldogs immediately.

Top Prospects Signed: S Brian Cole (4*), DE Montez Sweat (4*)

11. Arkansas Razorbacks

Committed: 26, 5*: 0, 4*: 8, 3*: 15, Other: 3

Arkansas doesn’t have the best class, but they targeted a lot of offensive players in the class. Brandon Martin is a great JuCo wide receiver that will catch passes from Austin Allen next season. Quarterback Daulton Hyatt is expected to be the future leader of the team.

Top Prospects Signed: WR Brandon Martin (4*), Daulton Hyatt (4*)

12. Missouri Tigers

Committed: 23, 5*: 0, 4*: 0, 3*: 20, Other: 3

Missouri doesn’t look like they will be in an SEC Championship Game any time soon. Defensive line has been a huge target for this class. Defensive tackles Walter Palmore and Rashad Brandon both are great hauls for the Tigers.

Top Prospects Signed: QB Taylor Powell (3*), Rashad Brandon (3*)

13. Ole Miss

Committed: 21,  5*: 0, 4*: 8, 3*: 11, Other: 2

Ole miss is usually a lot higher in these rankings as of late, but this year was a down year for recruiting. Wide receiver D.D. Bowie and Linebacker Breon Dixon are both great finds for Ole Miss.

Top Prospects Signed: OLB Breon Dixon (4*), WR D.D. Bowie (4*)

14. Vanderbilt Commodores

Committed: 20, 5*: 0, 4*: 1, 3*: 13, Other: 6

The Commodores find themselves in a familiar position at the bottom of this list. Defensive end Dayo Odeyingbo and linebacker Colin Anderson will need to help make the Vanderbilt defense elite to win football games.

Top Prospects Signed: LB Colin Anderson (3*), DE Dayo Odeyingbo (4*)

 

ACC Signing Day- Here

Big Ten Signing Day- Here

Big 12 Signing Day- Here

Pac-12 Signing Day- Here

 

Week Eight College Football Picks

Rob Doerger and Joe DiTullio make their picks for every FBS college football game this weekend.

Away Home Location Rob Joe
Miami Virginia Tech Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA VT Miami
Troy South Alabama Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL Troy South Alabama
BYU #14 Boise State Albertsons Stadium, Boise, ID Boise Boise
South Florida Temple Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA USF USF
San José State San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA SDSU SDSU
Oregon California Memorial Stadium , Berkeley, CA Cal Cal
North Texas Army Michie Stadium, West Point, NY Army Army
Massachusetts South Carolina Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC Umass So. Car
UCF Connecticut Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT UCF UCONN
Central Michigan Toledo Glass Bowl, Toledo, OH Toledo Toldeo
Miami (OH) Bowling Green Doyt Perry Stadium, Bowling Green, OH Bowling Green BG
Indiana Northwestern Ryan Field, Evanston, IL NW NW
#10 Wisconsin Iowa Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA Buzzcuts Wisconsin
NC State #7 Louisville Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY Louisville Louisville
Oklahoma State Kansas Memorial Stadium , Lawrence, KS OK St Ok St
Texas Kansas State Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS Kansas St Texas
Rutgers Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN Minnesota Minnesota
Syracuse Boston College Alumni Stadium , Chestnut Hill, MA Syracuse Syracuse
Ohio Kent State Dix Stadium, Kent, OH Ohio Ohio
Hawai’i Air Force Falcon Stadium, Usaf Academy, CO AFA AF
Akron Ball State Scheumann Stadium, Muncie, IN Akron Akron
Colorado Stanford Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA Stanford Stanford
#22 North Carolina Virginia Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, VA UNC UNC
Memphis #24 Navy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD Navy Navy
Illinois #3 Michigan Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI Michigan Michigan
Margin of Victory 46 34
Purdue #8 Nebraska Memorial Stadium , Lincoln, NE Nebraska Nebraska
TCU #12 West Virginia Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV WVU WVU
Idaho Appalachian State Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC App St App ST
Tennessee-Martin Georgia State Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA GSU GSU
Buffalo Northern Illinois Huskie Stadium, DeKalb, IL NIU Buffalo
#6 Texas A&M #1 Alabama Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL Alabama TAMU
Eastern Michigan #20 Western Michigan Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI WMU WMU
Prairie View Rice Rice Stadium, Houston, TX Rice RICE
Tulane Tulsa Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK Tulsa Tulsa
#19 Utah UCLA Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA UCLA UCLA
Middle Tennessee Missouri Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field, Columbia, MO Mizzou Mizzou
Colorado State UNLV Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV UNLV UNLV
Charlotte Marshall Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, WV Marshall Marshall
#17 Arkansas #21 Auburn Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL Auburn Auburn
Oregon State #5 Washington Husky Stadium, Seattle, WA Washington Washington
Louisiana Tech Florida Intl FIU Stadium, Miami, FL LT LT
Old Dominion Western Kentucky L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green, KY WKU WKU
UTEP Texas San Antonio Alamodome, San Antonio, TX UTSA UTSA
East Carolina Cincinnati Nippert Stadium, Cincinnati, OH Cincy Cincy
#11 Houston SMU Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, TX Houston Houston
Louisiana Lafayette Texas State Bobcat Stadium , San Marcos, TX ULL ULL
Michigan State Maryland Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD Mich St MSU
Mississippi State Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY Kentucky UK
Tennessee State Vanderbilt Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville, TN Vandy Vanderbilt
Georgia Southern New Mexico State Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM GSU GSU
#2 Ohio State Penn State Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA OSU OSU
#16 Oklahoma Texas Tech Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX OK Oklahoma
#23 Ole Miss #25 LSU Tiger Stadium , Baton Rouge, LA LSU Ole Miss
Louisiana Monroe New Mexico University Stadium , Albuquerque, NM New Mexico NM
Washington State Arizona State Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ Wash St WAZZU
Fresno State Utah State Romney Stadium, Logan, UT Utah St Utah St
Wyoming Nevada Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV Wyoming Wyoming
Gameday Guest Picker (Tuscaloosa) Kenny Chesney Shaun Alexander

College Football Week Six Picks

Rob Doerger and Joe DiTullio (personalities on the DiTullio and Doerger College Sports Show) make their picks for all week six FBS college football games.

Away Home Location Rob Joe
Georgia Southern Arkansas State Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR GSU GSU
Temple Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis, TN Memphis Memphis
Western Kentucky Louisiana Tech Joe Aillet Stadium, Ruston, LA WKU WKU
#3 Clemson Boston College Alumni Stadium , Chestnut Hill, MA Clemson Clemson
Tulane UCF Bright House Networks Stadium, Orlando, FL UCF UCF
SMU Tulsa Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, OK Tulsa SMU
#19 Boise State New Mexico University Stadium , Albuquerque, NM Boise Boise
Cincinnati Connecticut Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT Cincy Cincy
East Carolina South Florida Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL USF USF
Southern Mississippi Texas San Antonio Alamodome, San Antonio, TX S. Miss So Miss
TCU Kansas Memorial Stadium , Lawrence, KS TCU TCU
Iowa Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN Minnesota Iowa
Maryland Penn State Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA Penn St PSU
Texas #20 Oklahoma Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX Oklahoma Oklahoma
Notre Dame NC State Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, NC ND ND
LSU #18 Florida Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Gainesville, FL LSU LSU
Auburn Mississippi State Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MS Miss St Auburn
Georgia Tech Pittsburgh Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA Pitt Ga Tech
Bowling Green Ohio Peden Stadium, Athens, OH Ohio Ohio
Miami (OH) Akron InfoCision Stadium, Akron, OH Akron Akron
Toledo Eastern Michigan Rynearson Stadium, Ypsilanti, MI Toledo Toledo
#6 Houston Navy Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, MD Houston Houston
Iowa State Oklahoma State Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK OK State Ok State
Ball State Central Michigan Kelly/Shorts Stadium, Mount Pleasant, MI C. Mich CMU
Indiana #2 Ohio State Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH OSU OSU
Purdue Illinois Memorial Stadium , Champaign, IL Illini Illinois
Texas State Georgia State Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA GSU GSU
Charlotte Florida Atlantic FAU Football Stadium, Boca Raton, FL FAU FAU
#25 Virginia Tech #17 North Carolina Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC UNC UNC
Kent State Buffalo UB Stadium, Buffalo, NY Buffalo Buffalo
Air Force Wyoming War Memorial Stadium , Laramie, WY AF AF
Army Duke Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, NC Army Duke
BYU Michigan State Spartan Stadium , East Lansing, MI BYU BYU
#9 Tennessee #8 Texas A&M Kyle Field, College Station, TX Texas A&M TAMU
#21 Colorado USC Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA USC USC
Vanderbilt Kentucky Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY Kentucky UK
Hawai’i San José State CEFCU Stadium – Home of the Spartans, San Jose, CA SJSU SJSU
Massachusetts Old Dominion S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA Umass ODU
Northern Illinois Western Michigan Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, MI WMU WMU
Fresno State Nevada Mackay Stadium, Reno, NV Nevada Nevada
Syracuse Wake Forest BB&T Field, Winston-salem, NC Wake Wake
Marshall North Texas Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX Marshall Marshall
#1 Alabama #16 Arkansas Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR Bama Bama
Idaho Louisiana Monroe Malone Stadium, Monroe, LA ULM ULM
#4 Michigan Rutgers High Point Solutions Stadium, Piscataway, NJ Michigan Michigan
Margin of Victory 44 32
Texas Tech Kansas State Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS Kansas St TTU
Georgia South Carolina Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC Georgia Georgia
#5 Washington Oregon Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR Washington Washington
Florida Intl UTEP Sun Bowl, El Paso, TX UTEP UTEP
#23 Florida State #10 Miami Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, FL Miami Miami
California Oregon State Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR Cal Cal
Arizona #24 Utah Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, UT Utah Utah
Utah State Colorado State Hughes Stadium , Fort Collins, CO Col St Col State
UCLA Arizona State Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ UCLA UCLA
Washington State #15 Stanford Stanford Stadium, Stanford, CA Stanford Stanford
UNLV San Diego State Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego SDSU SDSU
Gameday Guest Picker (College Station, TX) Dude Perfect Dude Perfect

College Football Bracketology September 27, 2016

Four weeks into the season for college football and there has been a lot of pandemonium. There are a lot of games left on the schedule, but enough have been played that we can start to predict the teams that will make the College Football Playoff. These rankings will not project future wins or preseason rankings, but rather what teams have accomplished on the field.

Teams in the Playoff:

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0)

The Crimson Tide have won all four of their games so far this season. Their wins over USC and Ole Miss are impressive and they steamrolled both Kent State and Western Kentucky. Ole Miss was their toughest competition, only winning by five points, but Alabama had the game won for much of the fourth quarter. They did, however, need a great comeback to beat Ole Miss. Alabama has their flaws as a team, but their resume speaks for itself.

2. Louisville Cardinals (4-0)

Louisville has the Heisman Trophy front-runner in Lamar Jackson and they have had a very impressive season. They got easy wins over Charlotte, Syracuse and Marshall. In addition to these wins they also blew out Florida State when they were ranked number two in the country. Because of their good win against Florida State and their large scoring differential, the Cardinals deserve the number two spot, if not the top spot.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (3-0)

Norman, Oklahoma got a lot quieter after Ohio State demolished the Sooners 45-21 two Saturdays ago. The Buckeyes were off this weekend, but played really well the first three weeks of the season. Their win in Norman was one of the few great road wins of the young season. Ohio State’s defense has looked good so far and will need to continue to step up in Big Ten play.

4. Houston Cougars (4-0)

The Cougars got a big week one win against Oklahoma to really solidify their status as a CFP contender. They also beat the Cincinnati Bearcats, in a trap Thursday night game, Texas State and Lamar. Houston will have to hope that Oklahoma does well the rest of the year to make their win look better. Their game against Louisville later in the season might be a CFP play-in game.

First Four Out:

5. Stanford Cardinal (3-0)

They might only have three wins on their schedule, but Stanford has played some good competition so far. They beat Kansas State and UCLA on the road, and beat USC at home for solid wins. Because they have played no cupcakes they find themselves pretty high on this list. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier, as they travel to Washington for a Friday night match-up with the Huskies.

6. Texas A&M Aggies (4-0)

Some may not like the Aggies being so high on this list, but they beat an up and coming Arkansas team and a UCLA team that should get better as the season goes on. They also got a big win at Auburn (which is Clemson’s best win thus far), to help put them atop the SEC West standings with Alabama. The Aggies should get an easy win against South Carolina this weekend, which doesn’t really help their case, other than avoiding a loss.

7. Clemson Tigers (4-0)

Clemson hasn’t looked great all year, but has gotten better as the season has gone on. Their win over Auburn looks better as Auburn beat LSU this weekend. Dabo Swinney’s side just escaped a dangerous game against Georgia Tech as well. Their other two wins are unimpressive, but they got the job done. Their game this weekend against Louisville could certainly bolster them in to the top four.

8. Wisconsin Badgers (4-0)

The Badgers have had a surprising start to their season so far. They throttled Michigan State this week and beat LSU in the opener for some impressive early season wins. The problem for Wisconsin has been playing down to their competition, but so far they have gotten away with it. Wisconsin travels to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan this weekend, which should show everyone a lot about both teams.

Next Four Out:

9. Michigan Wolverines (4-0)

A lot has been made about how easy Michigan’s early schedule has been, but their win over Colorado is looking a lot better after the Buffs beat Oregon this week. Beating Penn State by 39 in their Big Ten opener also looks good. This weekend’s game against Wisconsin could propel the Wolverines into the top four.

10. Tennessee Volunteers (4-0)

Tennessee hasn’t looked good this season, but have won all of their games. Beating Virginia Tech at Bristol Motor Speedway was a decent win to pair with their most recent victory over the Florida Gators. Both sides were banged up, but the Volunteers came out on top. The committee may show some of their subjectivity by saying the Volunteers haven’t looked good, but with a lot of football left to play, the Volunteers can still improve. They have another big SEC East clash this weekend against Georgia.

11. Florida State Seminoles (3-1)

Yes, Florida State got blown out by Louisville. That doesn’t take away from the rest of their games so far. They beat Ole Miss, who looks like they can still compete for the SEC West despite two losses, and South Florida, who is a solid team from the American Conference. The Seminoles play a trendy UNC team this weekend.

12. Baylor Bears (4-0)

The Bears swept their non-conference slate, as they usually do, because they didn’t schedule any decent teams. They make the twelfth spot on this list because they beat Oklahoma State this week, who despite losing to Central Michigan, should still have a good year. Their next two games, against Iowa State and Kansas, won’t help them look any better, but if they lose, their playoff chances are gone.

What’s Next For LSU?

Stacy Revere/ Getty Images

Stacy Revere/ Getty Images

Les Miles has been on the hot seat since the end of last year, and after the heartbreaking loss against Auburn, the seat got too hot.

On Sunday, Les Miles was fired and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was also relieved of his job. Ed Orgeron will be the interim coach of the LSU Tigers the rest of the season.

So what is next for the LSU football program?

In the short term, interim head coach Orgeron needs to get his football team focused on winning the SEC West. Year in and year out, the SEC West is one of the hardest divisions in college football and the LSU Tigers are always in the hunt. That needs to be the prime objective for Orgeron and his football team. The first step to doing that is to rebound against the Missouri Tigers this Saturday.

The Missouri offense has been putting up a lot of points and also features the second-leading passer in college football. Drew Lock, through four games, has already thrown for over 1500 yards and has 14 passing touchdown. The Missouri offensive line has kept Lock pretty clean in the first four games, as opposing defenses only have one sack on Lock.

Courtesy of LSU Sports.net

Courtesy of LSU Sports.net

That number might be a little bit higher after Lock leaves Tiger Stadium on Saturday night. The LSU Tiger defense features the nation leader in sacks. sophomore Arden Key, who has 6.5 sacks. It will be near impossible to beat LSU at home, at night and after a heartbreaking loss. The LSU Tigers should win these game rather easily.

Winning the SEC West will be a whole lot harder. As of Week 5, LSU is fourth behind Alabama (A team they have not beaten since November 5, 2011), Texas A&M and Auburn. So, the Tigers of LSU have some work to do if they hope to get Atlanta and play in the SEC Championship game.

In the longer term, LSU needs to find a new head coach and to find a good one fast. Nick Saban and Les Miles were the last two hires for this job. LSU has to get a coach with a big name and a coach that will win early and often. Les Miles leaves LSU as the winningest head coach in school history. He finished with a record of 141-55.

So who do I think LSU could get?

Courtesy of CBS Sports

Courtesy of CBS Sports

I think the first candidates would be the Stanford head coach David Shaw and the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. LSU has enough money to pay both of those candidates. Shaw has done a great job with Stanford and would only make sense for a SEC school to try and bring him to the southeast.

And Mike Tomlin is probably one of the only NFL coaches now that I could see making the move to the college level. He will definitely connect with the players and could definitely keep recruits at LSU and take some from other schools. He can also make a new recruiting pipeline in the state of Pennsylvania for the LSU Tigers.

Courtesy of AP

Courtesy of AP

They could also give one of the great college football coordinators a promotion. If they are looking for a more offensive-minded coach, look no further than Lane Kiffin. Kiffin has been waiting for the perfect head coach spot since September 28, 2013, and LSU is that perfect head coach spot. He would already be in a state to recruit in and he has his two pipelines to California and Alabama. Those three states continually pump out great high school talent.

Another option is Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables. He is one of the great defensive minds in college football. And has produced many top college defenses. He is also a great recruiter. His high-energy attitude helped him to become the National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com.

Whoever they pick to become the next LSU head football coach will have huge shoes to fill.

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