• 2020-21 College Football title odds: Championship picks, predictions from proven expert who’s 40-22

    content_img

    and owned from 2015 to 2018, claiming every national title during that span. crashed the party during the 2019 season with a 15-0 title run. It's no surprise to see those three programs among the favorites in the current 2020-21 college football odds to win it all, with and the Tigers leading the way at +225, Alabama at +500 and LSU the fifth choice at +1000.

    and the are also strong contenders in the 2021 college football futures at +400, while , anchored by transfer quarterback , is in the mix at +800. Will one of the traditional favorites roll, or is there value in a long shot like (+2000), (+3000) or even USC (+5000)? Before locking in any 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship picks, be sure to . 

    A Nevada-based handicapper with more than 20 years of experience in the sports wagering industry, Nagel specializes in collegiate athletics. He was SportsLine's top college football analyst in 2018 and has been the top three for the past four seasons. He hit nearly 60 percent of his  against the spread last season and finished the year with a 7-1 mark on bowl picks. He also has a documented record of 40-22 on SportsLine prop-bet specials.

    Now, Nagel has studied damant his Arsenal can be a title challenger.Victory over Sheffield United at at Bramall Lane on Monday night would take Arsenal up to third, despite their poor start to the season. "We can be better in the table, we can play better each match," Emerthe William Hill 2021 College Football Playoff odds from every angle and released his top five picks to win the national title. The full list of best bets .

    Top 2021 college football national championship predictions

    Nagel is high on the Crimson Tide at +500. Alabama has been +250, +175 and +250, respectively, in the college football preseason national title odds over the past three seasons. Life without quarterback will certainly be an adjustment, but Nagel believes Alabama is worth a play at this price.

    Likely starting quarterback had valuable experience last season after Tagovailoa went down with a hip injury. Alabama also returns one of the nation's best backs in and has a defense that will be anchored by elite linebacker , who missed last season with an ACL injury. And with Nick Saban still at the helm, Nagel says you can't pass on this implied value.

    "It's never a good idea to count out the Crimson Tide, and never a bad one to consider a futures wagon his family.Mata has earned hero status at Old Trafford after joining from Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2014.But this season has been tough for Spaniard, and he has admitted that their current woes also makes it difficult for his family.He tolder on them at the appealing price of better than +400," Nagel told SportsLine.

    How to make 2021 college football title picks

    Nagel's other picks include a huge longshot with odds of nearly 30- Paulo Fonseca was delighted with the manner of their 4-0 win over Lecce.Cengiz Under, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov struck the goals.“The team trained very well over the last few days, so I was confident going into this gam1 that he believes has a legitimate chance of contending for the title. You can see who it is, and get all his picks, . 

    Clemson +225Ohio State +400Alabama +500Georgia +800LSU +1000 +1800Florida +2000 +3000 +3000Auburn +3000 +4000 +4000 +4000 +5000 +5000 +6000 +6000 +6000 +10000 +10000 +10000 +10000

    Continue reading  
  • College football expert picks, bowl predictions for Dec. 21, 2019: UAB covers against Appalachian State

    content_img

    College football bowl season is upon us, and Saturday features six of the 39 games, including a showdown between No. 19 and in the 2019 Las Vegas Bowl. According to the latest odds, the Huskies are favored by 3.5 in that game, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, will be without Lane Kiffin as they take on in the 2019 Boca Raton Bowl. Kiffin took the job, and his former team is now an eight-point underdog in the latest college football spreads, after the line opened at a field goal.

    With so many strong teams and tr Jim Ratcliffe chose to pass on a bid for Chelsea due to concerns around Stamford Bridge.Ratcliffe was looking for his INEOS group to move into English football and seizing control at Chelsea was a serious option.The group held preliminary talks witough matchups season.United finished 32 points behind champions City in sixth place, while Liverpool finished in second and won the Champions League.Shaw admits it hurt to see the success of United's rivals, but ensured supporters that it was a once-off campaign."across the board, you'll want to scope out the latest college football expert picks from SportsLine's before you make your predictions. The handicapping guru is on an amazing run with his .

    Sallee is a true insider -- a CBS Sports analyst, SiriusXM host, Heisman voter and consistently one of the top CBS Sports experts picking games against the spread -- and his best bets have helped bring in huge returns. He debuted with SportsLine in 2017 and has delivered in a big way, posting a winning record in his weekly college football best bets column since that point. He's rolling through this season, going a stunning 30-14-1 on his college football best bets thus far. Anybody who has been following him is way up.

    Now, he has turned his attention to college football bowl season and is sharing his most confident . . On Saturday, Sallee is backing as a 16.5-point underdog against No. 20 in the New Orleans Bowl.

    The Mountaineers have had a stellar season and were in contention to represent the Group of Five in the New Year's Six bowl games after winning the Sun Belt. However, they lost their head coach to a bigger program for a second consecutive season, w Walker had to go in goal for the closing stages of the match.The full-back replaced Claudio Bravo after the substitute goalkeeper was sent off during the 1-1 draw in Milan.Bravo was shown a straight red for a sliding tackle on Josip Ilicic outside tith Eli Drinkwitz taking the job after the conference championship game.

    Shawn Clark will take over as the interim head coach after serving as the offensive line coach under Drinkwitz and Scott Satterfield, but he'll have his work cut out against a stingy UAB defense. The Blazers are coming off a tough 49-6 loss to FAU in the Conference USA championship, but outside of that letdown against the Owls, UAB didn't give up more than 400 yards of total offense in a game this season.

    UAB allowed just 295.2 yards per game and opponents managed just 4.6 yards per play. Linebackers and combined for 27.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks this season, while defensive tackle had 11.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Look for that trio to push the pocket all night on and help keep UAB within the 16.5-point cushion.

    Sallee has also found two other he's high on, including a favorite that comes through in the clutch. You can only see who he's backing at SportsLine.

    Continue reading  
  • College football rankings: With LSU at No. 1, SEC dominates with four of top seven teams

    content_img

    The final edition of the CBS Sports 130, our comprehensive ranking of every FBS team, reflects the shake ups that come from a crazy bowl season. Still, there are no surprises as it pertains to the No. 1 team in the nation. That is LSU, which earned the top spot in our rankings heading into the postseason and retained it after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship by beating and by a combined 52 points.

    Clemson jumped ahead of thanks to its Fiesta Bowl semifinal win against the Buckeyes to finish at No. 2, and the top five was rounded out by Sugar Bowl champion and Rose Bowl champion . 

    With at No. 6 and at No. 7, the SEC is responsible for four of the top seven and five of the top 15 teams in the rankings. Both the SEC and the Big Ten have six teams in the top 25, by far the most among the he brink of signing with Manchester United.Tuttosport says United will complete a move for Mandzukic on Monday.The Red Devils have been in discussions with the Italian club over a deal for the Croatian, as they continue to negotiate a swap deal for Pconferences. The Big 12 and the AAC are the closest competitors with three teams each in the top 25. 

    The representation of the Group of Five reflect a season where the best teams from those leagues were right in line with the best teams in all of . The AAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt combined to have as many teams (six) in the top 25 of the final CBS Sports 130 as the combined totain international has just over a year to run on his current and has so far resisted to committing to new terms.Le 10 Sport says PSG have pulled back from plans of bidding for De Gea this summer. However, talks between both parties are continuing.PSGal of the Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC. 

    College football experts from CBS Sports and 247Sports contribute ballots each week, which are averaged together for our rankings. You can see the top-25 below, and 26-130 on our rankings page.

    RankTeamRecordPrevious115-012Clemson14-133Ohio State13-124Georgia12-255Oregon12-276Florida11-267Alabama11-288Oklahoma12-24911-2121011-391110-4111211-2151311-214149-4131511-3101612-216179-4171810-3191913-12020 11-22221 11-3212212-2182311-227248-532258-523Biggest movers  Somehow, someway we always end up with Texas A&M on the edge of the top 25. The next step in the hype routine is to label the Aggies as a darkhorse in the SEC West in July and then tune in eagerly to see if they can disrupt the balance of power in college football's fiercest division. To be fair, Texas A&M did have one of the toughest schedules in the country, so maybe this was a 9-win or 10-win team with an 8-win schedule.  Another candidate for offseason hype, the Vols capped a strong finish to the season with a tough bowl win against . Prior to the postseason, our voters were still a little hesitant with Tennessee just outside the top 40, but a full-season review has them as oneollowing a successful trial spell which saw the goalkeeper train alongside England internationals Nick Pope, Joe Hart and Tom Heaton. He joins from Hellerup IK.“It's just great to be here. To train with the first team is a great experience," he tol of the biggest movers in the rankings.  Confidence is surging about the future with Jimmy Lake after the Huskies totally dominated Boise State in Chris Petersen's farewell. After taking a step back in 2019, look for Washington be right back in the Pac-12 North title race in 2020.  A strong season for Troy Calhoun's squad was capped with a Power Five win against in the bowl game. The Falcons' only losses this season were to Boise State and Navy, and now they join those teams in the high 20s of the CBS Sports 130.  Our voters had the Trojans at No. 25 going into the postseason, well positioned to make a jump up with an impressive win against Iowa. Instead, the Hawkeyes put USC in a blender and rolled to a 49-24 Holiday Bowl win. That has the Trojans going the other way, falling to the edge of the top 30. A disappointing performance in the Pac-12 Championship Game was followed by another against in the Alamo Bowl. Utah fans know this year's team was better than those performances, but last impressions are lasting and our rankings have Kyle Whittingham's team falling from the ranks of the top 10.
    Continue reading  
  • Miami QB Jarren Williams should command transfer market respect after solid debut season

    content_img

    When the news broke that former quarterback , I had two initial reactions. One was that it was positive news for Miami's offense because King is an ideal fit for what new offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee likes to do with his offenses. The second was wondering what it would mean for ex-Hurricanes starter .

    Miami had a lot of problems in 2019, but Jarren Williams wasn't one of them. Williams, a four-star member of Miami's 2018 class from Lawrenceville, Georgia, was something of a surprise last year. With handling a lot of the starting duties for Miami in 2018 and a high-profile transfer like coming in from last summer, not many were giving Williams a shot at winning the starting job with the Hurricanes going into the fall. He did, though. And all things considered, he played well.

    This is why I believed Manny Diaz would be well-served to do everything he could to keep Williams in Coral Gables. It doesn't look like he will, however, because it was announced on Thursday that . Now, entering the portal and transferring are two very different things, but I believe we've seen Williams take his last snap as a Hurricane. If other coaches saw what I saw from Williams last year, there won't be any shortage of interest in him.

    If we look at Williams' raw stats from 2019, they don't blow anybody away but are still impressive for a redshirt freshman. He completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,187 yards (7.9 yards per attempt) with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions. If we delve deeper, we find that Williams' numbers could have been substantially better if he'd been afforded more help.

    According to Sports Info Solutions, 106 FBS quarterbacks threw at least 200 pass attempts last season. Of those 106, Williams' completion rate of 61.2 percent ranked below the middle of the pack at 61st. Completion percentage isn't always the best indicator of a QB's accuracy, however, but thankfully SIS also has a stat called on-target rate. It's exactly what it sounds like -- as it describes the percentage of a quarterback's throws that were on-target and catchable.

    Williams had an on-target rate of 77.2 percent in 2019. On its own, that tied for 18th (along with Mike Glass) among those 106 QBs. But more importantly than the number itself, or where Williams ranked, is the difference between his on-target rate and his completion rate. Williams' on-target rate was a full 16 percent better than his completion rate. Of the 106 FBS QBs with at least 200 pass attempts last season, only one had a more considerable disparity between their completion percentage and on-target rate. That was , who had an on-target rate of 75.2 percent while completing only 56.2 percent of his passes for a 19 percent difference (so maybe it wasn't his fault at Michigan, either).

    QuarterbackComp.%On-Target %Difference

    Shea Patterson, Michigan

    56.2

    75.2

    19.0%

    Jarren Williams, Miami

    61.2

    77.2

    16.0%

    ,

    53.2

    69.2

    16.0%

    ,

    53.8

    68.6

    14.8%

    ,

    48.3

    63.0

    14.7%

    , ULM

    61.3

    75.9

    14.6%

    ,

    55.1

    69.5

    14.4%

    ,

    59.6

    73.9

    14.3%

    ,

    59.2

    73.4

    14.2%

    ,

    65.8

    7ola not to get too cocky over Leroy Sane.The Manchester City manager was adamant on Friday that Sane would not be leaving for Bayern."For a long time they have been talking about their interest in Leroy Sane," said Guardiola. "(But) next season he ca9.9

    14.1%

    Things didn't get better for Williams when Miami tried to push the ball down the field. Here's a breakdown of the difference in Williams' completion rate and on-target rate based on the distance of Williams' passes. An air yard, for those unaware, is a simple stat. Ever of academy graduates have been thrown in the deep end by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.And Mata says it is the responsibility of United's old guard to guide them through tough times.He said: "We have young players coming through and sometimes I sy yard a ball travels past the line of scrimmage is an air yard. So, if the line of scrimmage is the 20 and a pass is completed at the 27-yard line, it traveled 7 air yards.

    Air YardsAttemptsComp. %On-Target %Difference

    All

    276

    61.2

    77.2

    16.0%

    0+

    206

    58.3

    77.7

    19.4%

    5+

    165

    55.2

    74.5

    19.3%

    10+

    105

    51.4

    72.4

    21.0%

    15+

    55

    47.3

    67.3

    20.0%

    20+

    30

    36.7

    50.0

    13.3%

    As the table shows, Williams was still relatively accurate with his passes until he was asked to throw further than 20 yards, which is where his accuracy fell off a cliff. Of 109 QBs to throw at least 30 pass attempts of 20+ air yards, Williams' 50 percent on-target rate tied for 57th overall; so while it wasn't great, it was still about average. That is, by no means, a horrible place to be for a freshman.

    The table also highlights that past 20 yards or closer, his receivers didn't do him many favors overall.

    So what explains this difference? Well, Miami's receivers couldn't catch, is the simplest way to put it. Of the 130 FBS teams, Miami's receiving corps ranked 117th nationally in on-target catch rate (number of catchable balls receivers catch) at 80.2 percent. Only seven Power Five schools had a lower rate, with Michigan coming in 129th nationally at 75.2 percent (again, sorry, Shea Patterson). Here are the worst Power Five schools:

    SchoolOn-Target Catch Rate

    Michigan State

    80.4%

    80.4%

    Miami

    80.2%

    79.5%

    79.2%

    79.1%

    TCU

    78.5%

    77.7%

    NC State

    77.0%

    Michigan

    75.2%

    Williams did all of this playing behind an offensive line that didn't do him many favors, either. According to , Miami's offensive line ranked 121st nationally in sack rate overall, as well as 117th in sack rate on standard downs and 120th on passing downs. Now, offensive lines are easy to blame when it comes to allowing sacks, as it's seen as their job to protect the quarterback. The truth is that the quarterback is nearly as culpable as the offensive line in most cases, so Williams is not free of any blame himself. As a freshman, there were plenty of times he took too long to see the play and get rid of the ball, and that's soetired England goalkeeper Rob Green has enjoyed taking the mick out of himself - thanks to Chelsea's media team.Green has enjoyed filming a mock doco about his celebration after winning the Europa League final against Arsenal - in full kit.The 39 yeamething all quarterbacks need to work on.

    Still, Miami's offensive line only ranked 71st nationally in line yards, and it ranked 124th nationally according to a metric of my own that I'm developing to rate offensive lines. So, no matter which way you want to look at it, Miami's offensive line did not perform well in 2019.

    Yet, despite playing behind an offensive line that did not play well and with receivers who had trouble catching passes, Williams managed to put up respectable numbers for a freshman quarterback in 2019. All of which bodes well for his future as a college quarterback.

    A future that looks like it will belong to another program at the moment.

    Continue reading  
  • College football recruiting: USC, Florida State among teams navigating muddy waters in early signing period

    content_img

    National Signing Day has always been a pivotal day in measuring and predicting the success of a college football program. But ever since the NCAA instituted an early signing period in December, the stakes of the day have heightened for programs in transition.

    Postseason coaching changes are inevitable. In the past, those changes could be made with plenty of time to make up ground before February. Now, with upwards of 75% of the pool of FBS signees ending their recruitments in December, coaching changes and lingering job security questions can cripple a recruiting class and put a program in a hole unlike anything we saw with the previous system.

    With the December signing period only two weeks away, we give you the recruiting outlook of a few programs in coaching transition or uncertainty that face some unique challenges.  

    USC has been recruiting with what was perceived to be a lame-duck coach off of an underwhelming 2018 season throughout the 2020 recruiting cycle. This is expected to be a relatively small class for USC, and 247Sports ranks the Trojans at No. 67 nationally in the team recruiting rankings. That's not going to cut it regardless of the circumstances. As of this writing, Clay Helton's future at USC remains in doubt but is trending positively. The holding pattern regarding Helton's tenure over the last two years and the decision at hand has cut into USC's recruiting clout and neutered a recruiting heavyweight.

    If and when Helton is retained, expect a spike in commits with players like four-star wide receivers and both poised to commit with some clarity. You could also see USC make a run at four-star safety , a commit who is monitoring some assistant coach movement himself. But ultimately, even if this USC class climbs from its current status at 11 commits and finishes near 20, it would take a furious finish for the Trojans to even approach the top 25 under Helton during this cycle. There's also this: appears to be in pursuit of offensive coortr Cech is happy for Jose Mourinho over his move to Tottenham.Chelsea fans have been left disgruntled after Jose Mourinho took over as manager at one of their local rivals.But Cech insists: “He's a great manager," said Petr Cech when asked about Modinator Graham Harrell and were Harrell to leave after Helton is retained, that could trigger another hurdle for USC to overcome Philip Billing could yet earn a return to the Premier League.Bournemouth are weighing up a swoop for Huddersfield midfielder Billing, says the Mirror.The Danish star, 23, is up for grabs this summer after the Yorkshire outfit's relegation from the top flight last term.Cherries boss Eddie Howe is a big admirer of Billing, who arrived at Huddersfield in 2013 as a youth player back in 2014.this cycle.  

    If USC were to make a change, depending on the weight class of the hire (think Urban Meyer or James Franklin), you could see USC's ceiling rise significantly, even within a limited window. This is trending towards a band-aid class in a year of uncertainty.

    Currently ranked 18th nationally, Florida State is recruiting at an adequate level given the transition underway. There have only been three decommitments since Willie Taggart's firing and the rest of the class remains in wait-and-see mode. With 17 commits currently in the fold, Florida State has room to creep up to 25 with a full class. It is looking increasingly unlikely that Florida State has a coach in place before this weekend, one of two key official visit weekends remaining before signing day. Assuming a hire is made by the weekend, a new coach would have plenty to address.

    During his two recruiting cycles at Florida State, Taggart failed to sign a quarterback out of high school. It's a damning statement but at least he left a good one behind in Sandalwood High School QB . He's considered a leader within the class and he would be the primary priority for the new coach not only to ensure he gets to Tallahassee, but as a means of stabilizing the rest of the class. Taggart also failed to sign an offensive skill player in the 2019 cycle, so that is likely to be a target area for the new staff as well. However, the biggest hole left by Taggart is also the biggest hole he inherited: offensive line. Taggart failed to get the line fixed quickly and a new staff may be wise to mine the junior college and transfer market to find some immediate relief at an area that has plagued the Seminoles for three seasons.

    Most importantly, Florida State just needs to get the recruiting engine humming again. It's been over a month since ready to cut loose more veteran defenders after Stephan Lichtsteiner confirmed his departure yesterday.The Swiss is leaving Arsenal after one season — and he could be followed by Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal, says The Sun.Gunners boss Unaie Taggart was fired. The current staff has been forced into stall mode as it waits out a new hire, and every day that passes is another missed opportunity to address the roster holes in Tallahassee.

    Chris Petersen has built his programs at and Washington on "OKGs," or Our Kind of Guys. He's recruited to his culture and prioritized character. He's elevated Washington's recruiting reputation, but in recent years it has felt like the Huskies hit their collective head on a recruiting ceiling. Perhaps it's the contrast against the pace and energy of Mario Cristobal's recruiting efforts at , but where a top 20 class once looked like an upgrade at Washington now looks like a governor on what the Huskies can accomplish in the national context.

    With the announcement that Jimmy Lake has taken over as the head coach at Washington, you may see a similar burst in recruiting energy that you saw at when Lincoln Riley was handed the keys from Bob Stoops. Riley turned recruiting up a notch and results on the field followed. Lake has a similar youthful, energetic approach with a competitive fire. Don't be surprised if you find Washington creep up towards Oregon's recruiting pace with Lake at the helm.

    Lake's promotion solidifies Washington's standings with all of its defensive commits and it could help the Huskies get a guy like former commit and four-star defensive back back in the fold. You could see a boost on the offensive side of the ball as well, but that's where some uncertainty creeps in. Until Lake offers clarity with his offensive coordinator spot, others will continue to try to poach four-star WR . And one of Washington's top targets, former USC TE commit , is scheduled for an official visit and may need some answers before committing. Assuming those answers aren't far behind, a recruiting bump is more likely in 2020 than a dip.

    You can criticize plenty about the Chad Morris tenure at Arkansas, but you'd certainly have a tough time dismissing recruiting as a point of emphasis for him. Despite a bad first year on the field, Morris brought in a top 25 class and went on to see a big chunk of that group contribute right away. He had the Razorbacks off to a respectable start to the 2020 cycle as well before the season started to go south. As we stand now, Arkansas is ranked 116th in the 247Sports team recruiting rankings and it has seen 12 decommitments this cycle, eight of those coming since Morris' dismissal.

    With only six commitments remaining in the class, whoever takes over as head coach will have probably the biggest hill to climb of any incoming regime. Consider that Arkansas isn't a state that produces enough homegrown talent to fill out a class, much less whether this kind of storm. Predictably, Arkansas has lost all eight of its Texas commits that Morris, a former Texas high school coach, had accumulated. More problematic is that Morris had landed a big solution to his quarterback conundrum in the form of his son, , one of the most prolific passers in Texas. Chandler now looks likely to land at Oklahoma.

    So as a quick recap, nearly 80% of the total expected FBS signees are projected to be off the market by Dec. 20. Arkansas, with only two weekends remaining to host recruits before the early signing period, has yet to hire a coach. As a program, Arkansas has to lean on out-of-state recruiting, only has six prospects currently committed and needs to find a quarterback. Good luck.

    Continue reading  
  • Virginia snaps losing streak to Virginia Tech in Commonwealth Cup, wins ACC Coastal title

    content_img

    has ended the long, painful drought in the Commonwealth Cup, taking down No. 24 in Charlottesville on Friday afternoon. The win is one of the biggest in program history, not only for snapping a 15-game losing streak to the Hokies, but also because it clinches Virginia's first-ever ACC Coastal Division championship. 

    The Cavaliers' thrilling 39-30 win had everything for a rivalry that's been increasingly testy with each additional Hokies win. The atmosphere in Scott Stadium was electric from kickoff to conclusion as Virginia saw a first-half lead disappear in the third quarter only to roar back with a strong fourth quarter. 

    Like most Virginia wins, the star of the day was . The senior quarterback completed 20-of-33 passes for 311 yards and a score while also leading the team in rushing with 164 yards and two touchdowns. Perkins has been one of the best players in the ACC all year so it was no surprise to see Bronco Mendenhall continually hand the ball to the team's most dynamic playmaker in the game's most important moments.  

    As you might expect given the importance of the win for Virginia fans, the victory was followed by a pretty epic field rush. 

    The ACC Coastal has been a roller coaster recently, producing seven different champions across the last seven years. The ACC has been playing in two divisions since 2005, and this stretch since 2013 has not only seen every team win the Coastal Division crown but The Netherlands have beaten England to reach the Nations League final.Captained by Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk, the Oranje scored twice in extra-time to seal a 3-1 victory. A Kyle Walker own goal and Quincy Promes gave Holland the advantage after Matthin Mount has revealed he has put in extra training with Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.Mount has enjoyed an impressive start to his first-team career with the Blues, receiving his second call-up to the England last week.And Mount has been taking full ajs De Ligt cancelled out Marcus Rashford's opener in regulation time.Ronald Koeman's side will now play Portugal in the final on Sunday.five of them (, , Miami (FL), Pitt and now Virginia) were first-everStoke City striker Saido Berahino is ready to sign with Zulte Waregem.Berahino is trialling with the Belgians and has quickly impressed teammates and coaching staff.The striker featured in the 1-1 preseason draw with Willem II on the weekend and rema division championships. Prior to 2013, every division title was won by either Virginia Tech or . 

    Continue reading  
  • Eastern Michigan vs. Akron odds: 2019 college football picks, best predictions from model on 109-75 run

    content_img

    The Eagles will keep gunning for the postseason when faces the in an inter-division MAC matchup on Tuesday night. Eastern Michigan comes off consecutive losses, but senior quarterback Michael Glass and the offense can put up points. The defense allows plenty of yardage but can take the ball away, and the 0-9 Zips midfielder Aaron Ramsey is set to join his new Juventus teammates on Sunday.Ramsey is due to join Juve formally at the end of next month when his Gunners deal expires.He is already in Turin and expected to join the Scudetto celebrations at the Juventhaven't scored a touchdown in more than a month.  Kickoff for Tuesday's MACtion is set for 6 p.m. ET at Infocision Stadium. The Eagles are 17-point favorites in the latest Eastern Michigan vs. Akron odds, while the over-under for total points scored is 46.5, down a field goal from where the line opened. Before locking in any Akron vs. Eastern Michigan picks, be sure to see the predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.

    The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have seen huge returns. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $4,000 for $100 players on its top-rated against the spread. 

    The model enters Week 12 of the 2019 season on a strong run, going 109-75 on all its top-rated college football picks this season. Anybody who has been following it is way up. Now, it has analyzed . We can tell you it's leaning under, and it also says one side of the spread has all the value. That one is only available at SportsLine. 

    The model knows the Eagles are 13-4 against the spread in their last 17 games following an against the spread loss, and they fell to 43-14 last week as one-point underdogs. Glass has 16 touchdown passes this season and topped 275 yards in six of nine games. Eight different players have caught at least 14 passes for EMU. has a team-high 39 catches, has 36, and Alfred Williams leads the school in yardage with 456.

    EMU also is 4-1 against the spread in its last five after scoring fewer than 20 points in its previous game. The defense should be able to make big plays against a Zips team that is second-to-last in FBS with 23 turnovers and has allowed 40 sacks. Seven different players have posted interceptions for the Eagles, while defensive end has five of the unit's 14 sacks.

    But just because the Eagles have the edge in talent doesn't mean they will cover the Akron dent Fabrizio Corsi admits Ismael Bennacer is on his way to AC Milan.Corsi expects a deal to soon be settled."Something's still missing between his representatives and Milan, but I don't think it's anything big," he told Calciomercato.com.“They're vs. Eastern Michigan spread on Tuesday.

    The Zips are 5-2 in their past seven Tuesday games, and defending the pass is the strength of the defense. Akron allows just 187.8 yards per game through the ai seeing Harry Wilson prove his quality on-loan with Derby County.Beale, now with Rangers, always knew Wilson would be a late developer."When I first came to Liverpool he was in the U16s and a little winger. Very quick, quite shy. Lovely left foot," hr, ranking 19th in FBS. The unit also ranks 62nd in the nation in total defense at 390.1 yards per game, and the Zips' strength could cancel out Eastern Michigan's. The linebackers are the foundation, with junior ranking third in the nation with 108 tackles and sophomore tied for 10th with 93.

    Akron's offense has struggled, but junior quarterback is experienced and has strong targets to work with. has 463 yards and three touchdowns, averages 21.3 yards per reception, and has 31 receptions and averages 25.6 yards on kick returns.  

    Continue reading  
  • College football expert picks, predictions for Week 9, 2019: Texas covers the spread against TCU

    content_img

    With dozens of games kicking off as part of the Week 9 college football schedule on Saturday, proven college football expert picks can go a long way. And since Week 9 collegelieve PSG will not sell them Neymar.El Chiringuito de Jugones reports Barcelona directors feel it's impossible for them to sign Neymar. They believe PSG won't accept any of their offers and, out of pride, would prefer to let him join Real Madrid.The football spreads coming in all shapes and sizes, there are plenty of tough calls to make. Top-ranked , for example, is laying 31.5 points at home against . But with star quarterback (ankle) sidelined, can the Tide roll to a huge win behind backup ? Or are Nick Saban and company in for one of the biggest upsets of the season? Before making any Week 9 predictions on that game or a matchup with a tighter line like vs. (+1), look at the Week 9 college football best bets from handicapper Barrett Sallee, given the red-hot run he's been on.

    Sallee is a true insider -- a CBS Sports analyst, SiriusXM host, Heisman voter and consistently one of the top CBS Sports experts picking gampions League round 16 return-leg against Atletico Madrid.Atletico will arrive on Merseyside defending a 1-0 lead."I think we know the style of play of Atletico," said Adrian. "We have to prepare in the next few days as well as possible to try to keames against the spread -- and his best bets have helped bring in huge returns. He debuted with SportsLine in 2017 and has delivered in a big way, posting a winning record in his weekly college football best bets column since that point. He got 2019 off to a blistering start alder Rodri.Marca says Guardiola 'only has interest' in one Atletico Madrid player - Rodri.City are expected to add to their squad this summer and Rodri has been rumoured to be the successor of Fernandinho, who is now 34 and is picking up injuries mors well, going a stunning 17-6-1 in his best bets thus far. Anybody who has been following him is way up.

    Now, he has turned his attention to Week 9 and is sharing his most confident college football expert picks over at SportsLine. We can tell you Sallee is picking No. 15 (-1) to cover against . 

    Oddsmakers are anticipating an extremely tight matchup because Texas has dropped two games and barely survived a 50-48 shootout against in Week 8. But a closer look at Texas' schedule shows that the Longhorns have fallen to two of the nation's best, No. 2 and No. 5 , with both setbacks coming by just one score. 

    Texas still has quarterback , who has put up Heisman-caliber numbers: 2,057 passing yards, 21 touchdowns and three interceptions. And while the Longhorns' defense has struggled, a date with TCU should be just what the doctor ordered. The Horned From have dropped three of their last four games straight-up and have averaged just 20.5 points over their last two matchups.

    Sallee has also found two other college football picks he's high on, including a must-see underdog he says will win outright in Week 9. You can only see who he's backing at SportsLine.

    Continue reading  
  • Houston QB D’Eriq King breaks one of Tim Tebow’s impressive college touchdown records

    content_img

    quarterback made history on Thursday night against when he tossed for a touchdown and ran for another in the same game. That makes it the 15th consecutwere unable to shut out their fierce rivals Everton in midweek, but they did run away with the game with a 5-2 win.And given their eight point lead at the top of the Premier League, Van Dijk is not too concerned about the few goals they may concede."ive game in which King has achieved that feat, officially breaking Tim Tebow's record for most consecutive games with at least one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown.

    Tebow's previous FBS record at was 14 games, which King ti City have signed midfielder Callum Connolly on a season-long loan from Everton.The deal was completed the morning after the two clubs met in the second round of the Carabao Cup.Former England youth international Connolly, draw from his time with Everton.The former Ajax captain had a year at Goodison Park before leaving for Werder.He told Spox: “It also had something positive, because otherwise I would not be with Werder Bremen now. Moreover, I had no clear plan, be 21, did not play in the gamed for last week in a loss to . He wasted no time breaking the record, using a 75-yard air strike in the first quarter followed with an impressive 35-yard scamper to the end zone in the second to pass the Gators legend.

    Through three games this season for the Cougars, King -- one of the most electric players in college football over the last couple of seasons -- had recorded 434 yards passing and 196 yards rushing with nine total touchdowns to boot.

    Continue reading  
  • College Football DFS for Week 3: Top DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy CFB picks, lineups

    content_img

    When was the starting quarterback at , his responsibilities were relatively minimal. He primarily needed to distribute the football to a group of uber-talented skill position players, avoid turnovers and keep defenses on their toes with his running ability. However, since being replaced by and transferring to , Hurts has taken his play up a notch in a high-octane offense, much to the delight of anyone using him in DFS tournaments and cash games on FanDuel and DraftKings. Hurts has 591 yards passing with six touchdowns and 223 yards rushing with three more scores on the ground in his first two games and is looking like a Heisman candidate who will be a regular in college football DFS lineups all fall. But on Saturday, college football DFS players will have to weigh whether or not game flow will work in Hurts' favor with Oklahoma favored by 23.5 at . So before you make your Week 3 college football DFS picks, be sure to check out the optimal college football DFS strategy from DFS millionaire Mike McClure.

    McClure has won nearly $2 million in his career as a DFS professional, and he uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every snap of every game, taking factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best DFS values and create optimal lineups for sites like DraftKings and FanDuel that he shares only with members at SportsLine.

    On August 24, McClure was all over wide receiver Cedric Byrd. The result: Byrd had a mind-blowing 14 catches for 224 yards and four has stunned him after their 4-0 thumping of Southampton.The Reds have now won 24 of 25 games this season to move 22 points clear at the top of the Premier League.Liverpool have now taken 100 points from a possible 102 and, when told none of the assetouchdowns as Hawaii upset . The following week, he had running back (12/205/3) in his FanDuel lineup. Anybody who has followed McClure has seen some huge returns. Now he's turned his attention to Saturday's action in Week 3.

    For Saturday, one of McClure's top college football DFS picks is quarterback . The transfer was given immediate eligibility at Ohio State and he's assumed the starting role for the No. 6 team in the nation. In Week 3, the Buckeyes will take on as 16.5-point road favorites and Fields should be able to take advantage against a Hoosiers defense that gave up 28 points or more in all but one Big Ten game last season. Fields has completed Chris Eagles on a one-year deal.The 33-year-old played 17 games for United and passed more than 100 appearances for both the Clarets and the Trotters.He left Ross County by mutual consent in April 2018 after five months with the Scottish Premiership 76 pernder Issa Diop says Europe is a realistic target this season.After seeing West Ham waste opportunities to finish in the top seven last year, the No23 wants to avoid the same mistakes this time around.“Europe qualification has to be our target, it hcent of his passes and racked up 561 yards of total offense with nine total touchdowns in his first two starts, making him a a must-start in Week 3 college football DFS.

    Part of his optimal CFB DFS strategy also includes rostering running back . After putting up 969 yards from scrimmage with nine touchdowns as Justice Hill's backup in his true freshman season, Hubbard is now the top option in the Oklahoma State offense and he's making the most of it.

    Hubbard is averaging 7.8 yard per carry and has rushed for 265 yards and four touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season. Now Oklahoma State will travel to , where they're installed as 14-point favorites this weekend. With the Cowboys expected to win comfortably but not in a complete rout, that sets up Hubbard to see plenty of touches on Saturday to keep the clock moving hopefully without him being pulled because the score got out of hand.

    McClure is also targeting a player capable of putting up tournament-winning numbers because of a dream matchup in Week 3. Picking him could be the difference between winning your college football DFS tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. 

    Continue reading  
  • The Monday After: Pain in both defeat for Tennessee, victory for USC among college football reactions

    content_img

    What is Tennessee football? It's a question Vols fans have asked themselves too often in recent years, as there hasn't been a clear answer for over two decades now.

    In 1998, Tennessee football was a program that had just produced one of the greatest quarterbacks in football history, and even though he was gone, it was still able to win a national title. The Vols won the first championship of the BCS era, and it was the sixth (recognized) title in program history. They'd also won back-to-back SEC titles. It felt like the sky was the limit.

    Now, 20 years later, it's hard not to wonder if 1998 was the limit. There would be four more SEC East titles over the next decade, but the Vols haven't won an SEC championship since, and they certainly haven't won a national title. 

    Since Phil Fulmer stepped down following the 2008 season, Tennessee fans have been waiting for the next Fulmer, a coach to take their program back to the top. They haven't found him. The likes of Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley and Butch Jmark.Schmeichel produced a stunning performance on Saturday night to record a clean sheet on his 50th outing for his country, an appearance that saw him match Andy King as City's most-capped player.The 32-year-old stopper made four high-class saves tones occasionally showed flashes of promise, but that's all they ever amounted to -- sometimes not even that. Since 2009, the first season without Fulmer, Tennessee has gone 62-63, and nobody has been able to come close to his level of accomplishment.

    Of course, there's one thing current coach Jeremy Pruitt has accomplished as Fulmer did but the rest were unable to replicate: losing a nonconference game to an opponent from outside the Power Five. When Tennessee fell to Georgia State 38-31 at Neyland Stadium on Saturday, it was the first time the Vols had lost to a school from the current Group of Five since Wyoming came to Neyland and beat them 13-7 on Nov. 8, 2008. That loss came days after Fulmer announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season.

    That came 10 years after 1998, and now, just over a decade later, there's that same kind of existential dread surrounding the Tennessee program. No logical Vols fan came into 2019 thinking Tennessee was going to challenge Georgia for the SEC East crown and head on to Atlanta to topple Alabama. There were legit questions and concerns about this 2019 team following Pruitt's debut season. It was a season that provided glimmers of hope for the future (wins at Auburn and over a Kentucky team that finished 10-3), but the season ended with a couple of duds against Missouri and Vanderbilt (the Vols were outscored 88-30 in those two games).

    An experienced quarterback and a strong 2019 recruiting class (No. 13 nationally, though No. 7 in the SEC) had Tennessee fans thinking 2019 would be different. Sure, there'd be problems, and there was still a long way to go, but those problems weren't supposed to be so apparent in a home opener against Georgia State. That long way to go wasn't supposed to look so long so quickly.

    But then Georgia State happened.

    Georgia State happening makes 1998 feel like it was a lot longer than 21 years ago, and it's not getting any closer. That 1998 season took place four to five years before current high school juniors (the players coaches spend the most time recruiting) were born. That 1998 season took place 15 seasons before the Georgia State program even came into existence. 

    So what is Tennessee football? In 1998, it was a program that won a national title. On Saturday, it was a program that lost to Georgia State. The answer lies somewhere in between, and the longer it takes to find it, the more likely it'll be an answer Tennessee fans would prefer to avoid.

    Fun Fact of the Week

    OK, so this fact might not be very fun for Tennessee fans, though it is interesting. The coach of the Georgia State team is Shawn Elliott. The team's offensive coordinator is Brad Glenn, and Saturday's win over Tennessee was Glenn's first game as the Panthers play-caller. Elliott hired Glenn this offseason from Western Carolina after last year's OC, Travis Trickett, left to join the West Virginia staff during the offseason.

    Elliott hired Glenn because he was familiar with him, as they'd worked together before. They were  both members of the 2007 Appalachian State staff. You might remember the 2007 Appalachian State team as the one that went into The Big House and beat Michigan.

    Let this be a lesson to Power Five programs who haven't won a national in over 20 years: stop scheduling teams with Shawn Elliott and Brad Glenn on their coaching staff.

    Pyrrhic Victory of the Week

    One thing that makes sports so powerful is that sometimes not ts he's focusing on his current job.Raul was tipped for the senior job by former Real GM Jorge Valdano."My relationship with Jorge has always been special," he said."Next week will be 25 years since I debuted with Real Madrid and it's a column with aeven victory can help you escape a feeling of doom. If you don't believe me, ask USC right now. There wasn't a coach entering the 2019 season on a hotter seat than USC's Clay Helton, who is very much in need of a successful season if he's going to keep his job. So while Saturday night's (narrow) victory over Fresno State was a good start for the Trojans, it came at a very expensive price.

    Starting quarterback J.T. Daniels left the game with a knee injury in the first half, and all worst fears were realized on Sunday when it was announced that Daniels had torn his ACL and meniscus. Daniels will miss the rest of the season, and now Helton must find a way to not only win enough games to keep his job but do so without his starting QB. And it's not like the Trojans looked great before Daniels got hurt either.

    Helton described the injury as "gut-wrenching" after the game, and it's hard to disagree with his assessment. Particularly when Helton's job status now rests on the shoulders of Kedon Slovis, a freshman who came on in relief of Daniels. Slovis' performance wasn't poor, but it was clear new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell didn't want to put too much on the freshman's plate. He completed six of the eight passes he threw for 57 yards but had an interception.

    And why is Slovis the lone option for the Trojans right now? Well, he beat out redshirt sophomore Jack Sears, the 105th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2017, for the backup job. Sears has since entered the transfer portal.

    Slovis won't have a lot of time to settle in, as the toughest part of USC's schedule comes in the first half of the season. Starting this week, the Trojans begin a five-game stretch that will see in the top five best players in the world.For tonight's Europa League final, Hazard could well be plying his final game for the Blues ahead of an expected move to Real Madrid. "Hazard is a player of instants, but decisive instants. It is what we havthem play Stanford, at BYU, Utah, at Washington and at Notre Dame. It's a five-game stretch that could very well decide Helton's fate.

    Meltdown of the Week

    For the first 30 minutes of the game, Kendal Briles seemed like a savior to Florida State fans. The new offensive coordinator's Seminoles offense scored 31 points and had 358 yards of offense in the first half, averaging a ridiculous 10.8 yards per play. It was a pace that was nearly impossible to maintain over 60 minutes, and that's precisely what happened.

    The problem is things went too far in the other direction. The second half saw Florida State total 68 yards of offense and average 2.3 yards per play while being shutout. That was very helpful to Boise State's comeback bid, which they finished, rallying from a 31-13 deficit late in the first half to beat Florida State 36-31 in Tallahassee.

    TV Analyst of the Week

    I don't get the ACC Network on my cable package. I'd prefer to have it, but oddly enough, I wasn't all that upset when I couldn't watch No. 1 Clemson destroy Georgia Tech on Thursday night. I did, however, become somewhat distraught when I couldn't watch Wake Forest and Utah State on Friday night, and I became downright inconsolable on Saturday night when I learned I had missed this.

    If this is what "Mark Richt: TV Personality" is going to be, I hope he never returns to a sideline.

    Whoopsie of the Week

    Back on Aug. 22, just over a week before Tulsa was to open its 2019 season on the road against No. 18 Michigan State, running back Corey Taylor made a bold prediction. He felt he and his teammates would have a strong day against a Michigan State defense that's proven to be difficult to run against over the years.

    "With the offensive line that we have, those are great guys, so 100 yards apiece (for Taylor and fellow Tulsa RB Shamari Brooks), at least, and 5 (yards) per carry is pretty reasonable," .

    Well, that's not how things went. Tulsa lost to Michigan State 28-7 on Friday night, and Taylor finished with -1 yards on 7 carries. Brooks bested him, managing 0 yards on 6 carries. As a team, Tulsa managed to rush for -73 yards on 25 carries. Yes, that's a negative symbol in front of the 73, not a typo or a smudge on your screen.

    Thoughts and Prayers of the Week

    May the memory of St. Francis punter Ryan Oliver live on forever in our hearts and minds.

    Bad Beat of the Week

    This could have gone to anybody who had the under in No. 4 Oklahoma's 49-31 win over Houston on Sunday night, but I think the worst beat of the weekend had to be Northwestern (+6.5) at No. 25 Stanford. The Wildcats trailed the Cardinal 10-7 with the ball and only 30 seconds left in the game when this happened.

    That's a Stanford cover, folks. Of course, considering this was a game between Stanford and Northwestern, you've only yourself to blame if you bet anything but the under anyway.

    Scholarship of the Week

    Nevada upset Purdue 34-31 on Friday night with the help of a walk-off 56-yard field goal by freshman Brandon Talton. The 56-yarder was the longest walk-off winning field goal in the history of the Mountain West, and it had a far more significant impact for Talton. The walk-off winner also allowed him to walk-off his status as a walk-on, as he was rewarded with a scholarship after the game.

    College Football Playoff Projection of the Week

    Because it's never too early, right?

    1. Clemson2. Alabama3. Oklahoma4. Ohio State

    Until the next Monday After!

    Continue reading  
  • Nebraska vs. Colorado odds, predictions: 2019 college football picks from proven model on 52-31 run

    content_img

    The look to keep their positive momentum going when they play host to No. 25 as they kick off the second week of the season. First-year coach Mel Tucker is looking to take the Buffaloes back to a bowl for the first time since 2016, while second-year coach Scott Frost has a similar undertaking at Nebraska, which also last went to a bowl game three years ago. The game will kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET from Boulder, Colo. The Buffaloes defeated the Cornhuskers 33-28 in their last meeting on Sept. 8, 2018. The Cornhuskers are 4.5-point favorites in the latest Nebraska vs. Colorado odds, while the over-under for total pointsn 3-0 on BBC One on Sunday to reach the Women's World Cup quarter-finals.The figure is 40.5% of the available audience and breaks the previous best for a women's football game of 6.1m for England's win over Scotland on 9 June.There was also an additi scored is 63.5. Before making any Nebraska vs. Colorado picks of your own, be sure to see the college football predictions from SportsLine's proven projection model. 

    The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times, and those who have followed it have mpton defender Claus Lundekvam is confident they'll stay up.Lundekvam, a pundit for Norwegian channel TV2, was at the Etihad Stadium to see Saints' 3-1 defeat to Manchester City and the 2-1 defeat to Everton was the first game he has seen at St Mary'seen massive returns. Over the past four years, this proprietary computer model has generated a jaw-dropping $4,530 profit for $100 bettors on its top-rated spread picks.

    The model enters Week 2 of the 2019 college football season on a blistering 52-31 run on all top-rated picks. It also called (-3.5) covering against and (-34) covering against in Week 1. Anybody who has been following it is way up.

    Now, the model has dialed in on Nebraska vs. Colorado. We can tell you it's leaning under, and it has a strong against the spread pick that hits in well over 60 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine.

    The model has taken into account the play of Nebraska sophomore quarterback , who returns after a record-breaking freshman season that saw him make 11 starts. He set several records, including passing touchdowns by a freshman (17), total offensive yards by a freshman (3,246) and completion percentage by a freshman (64.6), including an 86.2 completion percentage in a game against .

    The Cornhuskers have had their way with the Buffaloes through the years, winning five of the last seven games in the series and are 7-2-1 in the last 10 games at Boulder. When Nebraska is ranked, the Cornhuskers are 21-1 against Colorado. The Cornhuskers have also amassed the fifth-most wins all-time, going 898-388-40 (.692) since starting football in 1890. Second-year coach Scott Frost is in charge of turning around the program and is 5-8 at Nebraska after going 19-7 at Central Florida, including a 13-0 mark in 2017.

    One of Nebraska's top weapons is freshman wide receiver Wan'dale Robinson (5-10, 190). He made a big first impression in the season opener by leading the Huskers in all-purpose yards (131), while starting his Nebraska debut against . He had four carries for 21 yards, caught three passes for 33 yards and returned three kickoffs for 77 yards. 

    But just because the Huskers started strong does not guarantee they will cover the Nebraska vs. Colorado spread on Saturday.

    That's because Colorado appears to be vastly improved as well. Senior quarterback opened the season with a strong performance against in-state rival , completing 13-of-20 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns. He set 13 Colorado records a year ago and, for his career, he has completed 582-of-936 passes for 7,134 yards and 48 touchdowns.

    Another big reason the Buffaloes are a force to be recko.Marca says Getafe have made the youngster their No1 target for the winter market.Alena will leave Barca in the New Year after recognising he has little chance of first team football this season under coach Ernesto Valverde.Getafe will face stiff comned with is sophomore running back (6-0, 195), who also had a big day against Colorado State. Fontenot entered the season as the frontrunner to take over duties at tailback and did not disappoint, rushing 19 times for 125 yards and three touchdowns.

    Continue reading  
  • Referee becomes star of 2019 Rose Bowl by plucking balloon out of air with sick vertical

    content_img

    Over the nexrton midfielder Andre Gomes has revealed how he "pushed himself to the limit" in order to accelerate his return from injury.Gomes returned to action against Arsenal on Sunday, just 112 days after suffering a fracture dislocation to his right ankle."It few months, as college football comes to an end and draft season heats up, you're going to hear a lUEFA Champions League clash against Napoli.The Reds are set to face a tough test against the Italians, who they have played in the competition in recent years.And they could be without their key left back Roberston, who suffered a knock in their mostot of buzz words about measurables and which players are freak athletes. But what happens when a game official states his case to lead all competitors in the vertical jump? Because that's what we could be talking about here with a referee showing tremendous ups and agility while snagging a rogue balloon right out of the field of play during the Rose Bowl between No. 6 and No. 9 . 

    Now, who knows what this balloon was doing or what its intent was. It could have just been harmless, but there's no way to know that for sure. This balloon could have easily been more malevolent, ready to gickly impressed his new teammates.McTominay is full of praise for his tackling ability.He said, "We were watching on the side and it's absolutely ridiculous the way it looks like he's diving in, but he's so controlled in the way that he does it.“Heet in the path of a pass and destroy the sanctity that is the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Thank goodness we have an official who cares about respecting the game enough to get that balloon out of there before it causes harm. 

    But seriously, those aren't bad ups by someone who many analysts and experts don't consider to be an elite athlete. That's the work of a gym rat, folks. Now if that official can just work on his reads and instincts. 

    Continue reading  
  • Coaching carousel winners and losers: New grades for every hire ahead of the 2019 season

    content_img

    We jumped the gun when  It seemed perfectly logical to grade all the hires two days before the Early Signing Period on Dec 17, 2018. Then -- beginning Dec. 30 -- 10 coaches were fired/retired/moved in the space of 19 days.

    There was an who sign in the early period with one coach, only to find themselves with a new coach in a matter of days. The presumption that early signing day would force schools to hurry up and tidy up their coaching situation just didn't happen in Year 2.

    More than a quarter of the 28 coaching changes occurred after the early signing date. That total number of coaching changes is the most since after the 2015 season (29).

    Since things were thought to be wrapped up nice and tidy last month, Temple hired its second coach and Dana Holgorsen dropped from Power Five to Group of getting a (big) raise. that half the jobs in FBS have turned over at least once since Nov. 2016.

    Now, it's time to regroup, reconsider and regrade. Here (again) are the winners and losers from this year's coaching carousel. This time we mean it.

    * Names with an asterisk indicate new hires and grades following the Early Signing Period.

    Winners TeamCoachGradeAnalysis Ryan DayAUnderstand that Ohio State football is bigger than any Ohio State coach. So when Urban Meyer was replaced with a 39-year-old with no full-time head coaching experience, that made perfect sense. Buckeyes officials who watched Meyer (and Zach Smith) drag the program into the quicksand are many of the same ones who thankfully saw something in Day. It became clear as the season went on Day was being groomed to replace Meyer. I knew Day was the next coach at Ohio State after the TCU game in September; there was a calm after Day's third game as interim coach … and some trepidation that Meyer was moving back in to take over. Les MilesABoth sides go into this relationship with their eyes wide open. Athletic director Jeff Long wanted to create a splash. Les wanted a job. It's really as simple as that. Yeah, Kansas stinks, but not for long. Long created that splash landing a national championship coach. At 64, Miles understands the ask is 6-6 (bowl eligibility). That's a lot different than the expectations at LSU. There is already buzz around Kansas. Recruits should follow. Hugh FreezeAIf the question is: 'What is the quickest way for Liberty to join a conference and play for championships?' then Hugh Freeze is the answer. Despite his moral shortcomings, the dude can call a hell of an offense and has beaten Nick Saban twice. Just like Miles at Kansas, Freeze will create buzz and get the Flames on "SportsCenter." You'll have to ignore the euphemisms. Freeze continues to say he "dishonored" and "inconvenienced" his wife. C'mon, dude. You left Ole Miss after lawyer Tom Mars discovered you were calling an escort service. Oh yeah, and there are major violations at Ole Miss. "Whatever the cynics might say, it makes perfect sense that Liberty would be willing to give Hugh a second chance," Mars told CBS Sports. Jake SpavitalA"Spav" has coached Johnny Manziel, Kyler Murray and Will Grier at Texas A&M and West Virginia. That's two Heisman Trophy winners and the Mountaineers No. 3 career passer. Texas State remains off the college football radar. The Bobcats were 122nd in total offense. That will change in a hurry under Spavital. Manny Diaz*AThis is about as good a result that could be expected after the shocking retirement of Mark Richt on Dec. 30. Diaz left Temple after only 18 days to come back home. It's hard to blame him for leaving Temple. Born in Miami, Diaz's dad was mayor of the city. For the last three seasons, he was Richt's defensive coordinator. Diaz has hit the ground sprinting being aggressive in the transfer portal and calling all of it The New Miami. Neal Brown*A-It's about time. Brown, 38, had been mentioned for so many jobs over the years it became a cliche. A Power Five job opened up at the right time after Dana Holgorsen left for Houston. Brown will keep the offense humming. He comes to town with three consecutive seasons of 10+ wins. Brown is also the answer to a trivia question: Who was the next coach to call plays after Mike Leach at Texas Tech? Brown introduced his version of the up tempo spread under Tommy Tuberville in 2010. Dana Holgorsen*A-A lot of folks see this hire as some sort of coup. Holgorsen had fallen out of favor at West Virginia. In many ways, he got out of town ahead of the posse. Going from Power Five to Group of Five is no disgrace. He landed at a place where he had a history. Case Keenum led the nation in total offense with Holgorsen as his QB coach and offensive coord Milito insists Lionel Messi hasn't peaked.Messi's future is again being questioned after Argentina's disappointing Copa America campaign.However, Milito has scoffed at claims his friend is past his best.He told Marca: "Noooo. There'll be Leo for a winator. As the favorite of uber-booster Tilman Fertitta, Holgorsen will keep Houston's offensive tradition humming. Mel TuckerB+It's strange that a couple of former Georgia coordinators are separated by 44 miles in the state of Colorado. Joining Mike Bobo (at Colorado State) is Tucker, who has been on the cusp of a Power Five job for years. To get to Boulder, he spent 10 years in the NFL, one year with Nick Saban and three with Kirby Smart. There might be some slight disappointment Colorado didn't land a sitting head coach, but Tucker is the closest thing to it. CU has chosen to defensive with the hire, which is a statement in the offense-happy Pac-12. Matt WellsB+Red Raiders everywhere were hoping for a more well-rounded coach. They may have gotten it in Wells. Kliff Kingsbury not only couldn't coach defense but couldn't find anyone who could for his staff on a consistent basis. Wells is well-respected having led Utah State to five bowl games. His defenses finished in the top three in the Mountain West in four of his six seasons. Mike LocksleyB+Nick Saban's career car wash unit produced another success story. From the staff that gave us Mario Cristobal, Steve Sarkisian, Lane Kiffin, Billy Napier and others, Locksley is the latest assistant to rehab his career in Tuscaloosa. Bama's former co-offensive coordinator will forever be known as the guy calling the plays in Tua Tagovailoa's first season. We should never forget Locks allegedly punched an assistant at New Mexico or was sued by a former executive assistant for sexual harassment. (That matter has been resolved.) But we should also remember everyone gets a second chance. Bottom line: Locksley is one hell of a recruiter and play caller. He has deep roots at Maryland and was the winner of the Broyles Award (top assistant). Eli DrinkwitzB+Solid hire. Drinkwitz, 35, has a national championship ring from Auburn in 2010. He then followed Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State. There is nothing on his resume to suggest the Mountaineers won't keep dominating the Sun Belt. NC State's offense got better in each of Drinkwitz's three seasons as coordinator. In 2018, the Wolfpack had the second-best offense to Clemson in the ACC. Scott SatterfieldBTom Jurich, Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino did their best lately to burn Louisville athletics to the ground. Satterfield was the next-best choice after Purdue's Jeff Brohm turned down Louisville. He is considered a top-flight up-and-comer who was mentioned in almost every coaching search east of the Mississippi. Appalachian State won three straight Sun Belt titles under Satterfield. Geoff CollinsBThe former Temple coach and Florida DC got a seven-year deal from Georgia Tech. He'll need that long to clear out a roster full of Paul Johnson's option running backs, quarterbacks and offensive linemen. Three of Johnson's starting offensive linemen weighed less than 285 pounds. Ouch. Techsters everywhere will love Collins. He'll deliver having coached under George O'Leary and Chan Gailey. Will HealyBI met Healy in January at the College Football Playoff National Championship. He was literally making the rounds chatting up sports writers to get his name out there. It worked. Healy is well-known in the industry having taken Austin Peay from a 1-45 four-year run to 8-4 in 2017. Rod Carey*BAnybody who takes this job has a lot to live up to. Matt Rhule took the program from dregs to conference championship in four years. Geoff Collins kept things going. Manny Diaz took the job for 18 days. Temple just has to accept that any coach who succeeds is likely to move on -- quickly. The Owls were lucky to get Carey, offensive coordrco Silva for his magnificent debut season.The Frenchman collected Everton's Player of the Year award and split the Players' Player of the Year award with Idrissa Gueye."The manager did a lot, he did everything for me," Digne told evertontv. "I work inator for the 2012 Northern Illinois squad that went to the Orange Bowl. (He actually coached that game after Dave Doeren left for NC State.) Carey has never had a losing season as a head coach. Jamey Chadwell*BThis seems like a seamless transition after Joe Moglia retired on Jan 18. Chadwell was the Chanticleers' interim coach in 2017 after Moglia stepped down for medical reasons. A year later, Chadwell moves up again after coordinating the offense in 2017-18. He has eiy.BILD says the 30-year-old forward is fed up with his role under manager Niko Kovac after beginning the last five games as a substitute. And Muller, who has attracted serious interest from Premier League clubs in the past, is open to a move to Englaght years' experience as a Division II coach. The Chants haven't had a winning season yet in FBS. Mack BrownB-Mack is one of my favorites. He deserves another shot at 67. But is it just me, or did AD Bubba Cunningham paint himself in a corner by not seriously considering anyone else? Brown has a history with UNC, but with Clemson taking off and leaving the rest of the ACC behind, shouldn't that be the No. 1 consideration? Five years from now, UNC will probably be better off, but will it be any closer to Clemson? Jim McElwainB-There is no discernible connection to the Chips for a guy who has a home in Montana and had his greatest success at Colorado State. Mac did spend a season as Michigan's receivers coach as well as three seasons at Michigan State. Thomas Hammock*B-The negative: Hammock has never been a coordinator. The positive: It may not make a difference. NIU didn't have much time or much of choice after Carey bolted for Temple. Hammock is a former Huskies running back who has been nothing but a RB coach at NIU, Minnesota, Wisconsin and with the Ravens. Since the 1976 Steelers, the 2018 Ravens are the only NFL team to average 190 yards on the ground over a five-game stretch. Jury is still out TeamCoachGradeAnalysis Mike HoustonC+The results on FCS coaches moving up to FBS are mixed. The hope here is that Houston (coming from FCS powerhouse James Madison) is better than Mike London (a failure at Virginia after coming up from Richmond). The Pirates have a long way to go in a top-heavy AAC. Chris KliemanC+See above for Klieman. The difference here is North Dakota State's coach is replacing one of the best college coaches of all-time (Bill Snyder). Much will be expected. It is somewhat concerning that Klieman runs a pro style in the wide-open Big 12. Klieman better be able to get a quarterback -- today -- with Texas and Oklahoma set to dominate the league for years. In his favor, Klieman has been recruiting three-stars and winning championships in Fargo. That's basically the Snyder philosophy. Chip Lindsey*C+In the space of about a month, Lindsey went from being Auburn's offensive coordinator to Kansas' offensive coordinator to Troy's head coach. Such was the whirlwind of this silly season. Les Miles had Lindsey for 37 days. During that time, Lindsey helped land junior college QB Thomas MacVittie. There was a report Lindsey was actually fired at Auburn. The Tigers fell off offensively in 2018 and tied for their worst record (8-5) since 2012. Tyson HeltonCClay Helton's youngest brother gets his first shot as a head coach. Tyson coached quarterbacks at USC in 2016-17 and Tennessee last season. In his only season as the Vols' play caller and quarterbacks coach, they were 96th in passing and 122nd in total offense. Walt BellCI'm not the only one who doesn't know much about Bell. He reached his highest profile taking over play-calling duties late in Florida State's season. At 34, Bell is the nation's second-youngest coach. Tom ArthCThe Zips had tired of Terry Bowden. I'm not sure that Tennessee-Chattanooga's former coach is the answer. Art was 9-13 in two seasons with the Mocs after going 40-8 at Division III John Carroll. Why did Akron tire of Bowden, again? Scot LoefflerC-Urban Meyer set the tone at Bowling Green in the early 2000s as a fun, offensive factor in the MAC. Mike Jinks just about killed that vibe. A long-time assistant, Loeffler gets his shot after coming over as Boston College's OC. LosersTeamCoachGradeAnalysis Gary AndersenFThe Aggies replaced one of the top, rising coaches (Wells) with a retread. Not only is Andersen a retread, he's walked out on Wisconsin and Oregon State. Somehow, Utah State hired back a coach who was only 26-24 in his first go-round with the Aggies before leaving in 2012. In a 30-year coaching career, Andersen has stayed at one place (Utah) longer than four years. In those 30 years, he's been at 10 different schools. Utah somehow hired him three different times. Career record: 57-61. Good luck, Aggies.More winners and losers

    Loyalty, what a concept. That's what Brohm showed when turning down his alma mater (Louisville) for arguably a worse program. In two seasons, Brohm is only one game above .500 (13-12). He is a combined 2-4 against Wisconsin, Iowa and Northwestern in the Big Ten West. There's a lot of work to be done but the future is bright. Purdue got lucky.

    What will you remember most about the Kliff Kingsbury era at USC? Mostly, there never was one as Texas Tech's old coach spent a month on campus as offensive coordinator before jumping to the with the Cardinals. Athletic director Lynn Swann seemed to be caught flat-footed when his de facto coach-in-waiting left Troy. It took three weeks for Clay Helton to hire Kingsbury's replacement in fellow Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell (the offensive coordinator at North Texas).  USC looks in disarray. In retaining Helton, Swann basically said every part of the program was "deficient." Huh? Swann may now his fate to Helton. If the Trojans tank in 2019, Swann might find himself out of work, too. 

    The Scarlet Knights retained Ash despite his 1-11 season and a 7-29 record in four seasons. In this age of impatience, it doesn't make sense. Ash is a good coach and fine man, but let's be honest: He is still the coach because Rutgers couldn't afford his $10 million buyout. The athletic department is upside down financially since joining the Big Ten. The school has borrowed heavily from Rutgers' internal bank hoping for a bridge to 2021 when the school gets its first full share in rights fee money from the Big Ten. Ash is only part of the problem.

    For so many reasons, but let's consider its current commitment to football. The league continued its ongoing streak of 15 straight years without a national championship. Everything from its officials to its spending have been called into question. But if Meyer was a free agent, which he technically is at the moment, how many Pac-12 schools have the money and/or desire to hire one of the best coaches in the game? We're talking at least $8 million in salary a year, but we're also talking about some sort of guaranteed success in exchange for that money. The possibilities: USC? Washington? Maybe Oregon? That's about it.

    To put it in sharper focus: Since November 2017, half of the league has changed coaches (UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State and Colorado). None of those teams seriously considered Jeff Tedford, who just finished 12-2 at Fresno State. That's the most wins in the program's 50-year FBS history from a coach who has 12 years' experience in the Pac-10 (11 as a head coach) and tutored Aaron Rodgers.

    Continue reading  
  • Alabama-Clemson IV may bore some, but it’s the best possible result in this Season of Chalk

    content_img

    No. 1 Alabama wasn't even close to being done trucking No. 4 Oklahomk of an offer arriving from Chelsea this week.It's emerged Chelsea have slapped in a €20m bid for Diallo.The 24-year-old has managed 10 goals and one assist in 19 Ligue 1 appearances for Metz this term.Asked about reports of an offer, Diallo respona on Saturday night when, halfway across the country in an interview room at AT&T Stadium, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins of No. 2 Clemson was already looking ahead to the seemingly inevitable: Alabama-Clemson IV.

    "It's like they almost should almost be part of our regular schedule," Wilkins said of the Crimson Tide. "We get used to playing them every year. It's like they're in our conference."

    Though not in the same conference, the two programs are definitely in the same league, if you know what I mean. Alabama and Clemson not only separated themselves from the rest of this year but are the signature programs of the College Football Playoff era. They will meet for the fourth consecutive postseason next Monday in the CFP National Championship. By that time, one or the other (or both) will have played in 13 of the 15 games in the five-year history of the CFP.

    In the last four seasons, everyone else has literally been playing for second.

    You bored yet?

    Maybe that's too harsh. The matchup is great for those teams, their conferences and fan bases. But as far as everyone else?

    There are already whispers about seats not being filled at Levi's Stadium on Monday. Tickets on the secondary market have reportedly declined in price. If you've waited until this late to book, airfare to San Jose for the game is prohibitive. Don't even try landing a decent room in the area.

    Essentially, Alabama-Clemson IV on the West Coast is a big ask for fans to travel across the country -- especially when they've seen that game before.

    The dominance doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon. Nick Saban could set the record for national championships out of sight. His next one will be his seventh overall, sixth at Alabama where Saban is poised to overtake Bear Bryant in that category.

    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has assembled the best four-year run of excellence in program history. "It never gets old," he said Saturday. 

    Yes, but will it get old? College football was never meant to be inclusionary. The game and its revenue are basically controlled by the Power Five conferences, not the NCAA.  It just so happens Alabama and Clemson have consolidated the power on the field.

    Remember? 

    These teams are meeting for the fourth straight year in the CFP and for the third time in the championship game. There will the rote questions about whether such dominance is good for the game.

    Yes, because brand names always sell. This isn't the Alabama-LSU same-season rematch in 2012 that was the final straw before dumping the BCS in favor of the CFP. This is a game of the two best teams, no doubt.

    We'll watch because we always do. This a championship game. No doubt it will pull a fine ratings number on ESPN. We'll watch for the same reason we watch Yankees-Red Sox or Cowboys-whoever. Those brand names draw eyeballs. You don't have to like those teams but hate fuels a lot of ratings, too.

    College football has almost always been exclusionary. From the time it was born almost 150 years ago, it was a game for the elite. (The schools in that first game in 1869 -- Rutgers and Princeton -- are still considered upper-class institutions.)

    Only 30 teams have won national championships in the wire-service era (since 1936). The last team to win it all outside the Power Five was BYU in 1984.

    Only 10 teams have played for it all in CFP era. When Notre Dame is the latest "newcomer" to the dance, you know this is an exclusive club. The CFP Rankings said Notre Dame was the No. 3 team in the country. The Irish lost by 27 in a game that was noncompetitive for much of the night.

    It continues to be, then, a long way to the top two. One example: USA Today's Steve Berkowitz reported Alabama owes more in bonuses to its assistants to date this season ($1.35 million) than 32 programs pay their assistants in regular salary.

    Saturday's results might have added to the misguided screams for expansion of the bracket. Those screamers have missed the original point. Alabama and Clemson have separated themselves from the rest of the sport. Since teams put on the pads in August, Alabama and Clemson have been projected to play for it all. They began the season 1-2 and stayed that way for nine of the 14 weeks of the regular season. Bama went wire to wire at No. 1. Clemson never dropped below third in the AP Top 25.

    This is the first CFP title game between two unbeaten teams.

    Lately, everyone else has literally been playing for second. It is assured that Alabama or Clemson will now have won the last four national championships.

    The last time two teams dominated like that in a four-year period it was Nebraska (winning in 1994, 1995, 1997) and Florida (1996).

    The way the Tide and Tigers have monopolized the sport, it's worth asking who ya got in 2019: Alabama-Clemson V … or the field?

    Clemson's two best players Saturday night were freshmen -- quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Justyn Ross. Alabama returns a Heisman Trophy runner-up named Tua Tagovailoa. The three receivers he threw touchdowns to on Saturday are all sophomores.

    I know where my money would go on next season's favorites.

    The FBS commissioners and CFP management committee will meet next week in Santa Clara, California, to review the system. Based on folks I talked to in Dallas last week, there continues to be no momentum for expansion of the bracket.

    At this rate, it makes more sense to go back to two teams than to expand to eight. With either system in place this season, Alabama and Clemson would be playing for it all.

    Might as well tread lightly before going to eight. The 10 CFP semifinal games have basically failed as appointment television. They've mostly been blowouts. Eight of the 10 semis have been dec Burnley.The attacker has committed his future to the club until 2021, with the club having an option to add another year to the deal.The 30-year-old has been an integral part of the team this season.Barnes has four goals in 10 games in the Premier Lided by at least 17 points. The average margin of victory has been three touchdowns. 

    Have we seen enough of the Tide and Tigers? Before answering, conWest Ham defender Reece Oxford remains available this summer.The Express & Star says West Brom are interested in the Hammers youngster.The defender was expected to complete a move to Augsburg, but that move now looks unlikely, according to reports.Middlesbrough are also thought to be keen on the 20-year-old.sider this: You might as well get used to it.   

    Continue reading