College Football Week 3 Recap

College football summary & players to watch for week 4.

Ninjasports College Football Monday Morning Quarterback dissects the week that was , and looks forward to the week ahead. 

stanford qb nunes completes a pass

Stanford QB Josh Nunes completes a pass to his TE during a victory over rival USC.

ACC

You have got to be kidding me, Virginia Tech. You lost to Pittsburgh?!  Sure, it was at Pitt, but Virginia Tech WAS the 13th ranked team in the country.  To lose to a team who started off the season 0-2 has got to aggravate the gobbler, Frank Beamer.  Especially since one of the losses was to Youngstown State.  It’s no wonder Beamer can’t win a big game when he does things like become Paul Chryst‘s first victory at Pitt.  That is just flat out inexcusable.  Florida State continues to dominate, though they have yet to have a real test this season.  The Noles took out a Wake Forest team that upset North Carolina the previous week.  The big test looks to be next week versus Clemson, who is coming off a 41-7 rout of Furman in the return of phenom Sammy Watkins.  The Hurricanes got things back on track, somewhat, as they handled Bethune-Cookman in what was yet another highlight day for freshman sensation Duke JohnsonJohnson found the endzone four times with two TD runs, a screen that he took the distance, and a kick return that put the first points on the board for the Canes.  In an early ACC matchup, Paul Johnson and his Yellow Jackets silenced a Virginia team that many saw, and still see, as a sleeper in the conference.  Last season, the Cavaliers racked up over 200 yards on the ground versus the Jackets.  This season, they failed to even hit the century mark.  North Carolina almost pulled off quite an impressive comeback against top Big East contender Louisville.  The Heels trailed 36-7 at halftime only to have Bryn Renner conduct a rally consisting of five TD passes to fall five points short.

Scores Around the ACC
Maryland 21
Connecticut 24
Bethune 10
Miami 38
UNC 34
Louisville 39
V Tech 17
Pittsburgh 35
Boston Collge 13
Northwestern 22
Wake 0
FSU 52
Furman 7
Clemson 41
South Alabama 7
NCST 31
Virginia 20
Georgia Tech 56
NC Central 17
Duke 54
sammy watkins wr clemson

WR Sammy Watkins says ‘cheese’ on his way to a touchdown.

Big East

Paul Chryst finally got the monkey off of his back and got his first win as the head coach at Pitt, and it was impressive.  While the Panthers struggled with the start of the season falling 0-2, it was all work no play against the HokiesRay Graham just couldn’t be stopped as he found the end zone three times on 94 yards.  Tino Sunseri found his groove opening up for 283 yards and three scores via air mail.  Sophomore sensation Teddy Bridgewater got his Cardinals off to an early lead only to come a couple of  plays away from blowing it versus the Tar HeelsUCONN was in for all that they could handle as they beat Maryland behind Lyle McCombs and Scott McCummings‘ two TDs each. The win has got to be sweet for the Huskies players that are still there from the Randy Edsall fiasco.

Scores Around the Big East
Maryland 21
Connecticut 24
Stony Brook 17
Syracuse 28
V Tech 17
Pitt 35
USF 13
Rutgers 23
Delaware St 7
Cincinnati 23
North Carolina 34
Louisville 39
Jawan Jamison rb rutgers

Jawan Jamison stiff arms a USF defender during a victory over the Bulls.

Big 12

After a discouraging loss to Arizona, Oklahoma State got down to business against UL-L.  Quarterback J.W. Walsh stepped in for the injured Wes Lunt and the offense didn’t miss a beat.  The second-stringer threw for 347 and four TDs.  Geno Smith led the Mountaineers accounting for 411 yards through the air with five TDs to boot.  Both Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey topped 100 yards receiving and combined for four of Smith‘s five scores.  Is anybody going to slow down West Virginia?  A week after annihilating the Miami Hurricanes, the Kansas State workhorse, the BillSnyder Kleinsdale, had a slow start against North Texas.  If not for Klein‘s performance, who threw for 230 and tallied three scores, there is a good chance the Wildcats would be mourning an embarrassing loss.  The Longhorns could be back, and could be for real.  Mack Brown’s squad got a nice tune up session against the Rebels of Ole MissDavid Ash looked as if he had been waiting on Brown to remove the shackles, and he finally let loose.  Ash threw for a career high 326 and four TDs while the Longhorns gained 676 yards of offense.

Scores Around the Big 12
North Texas 21
K State 35
W Illinois 3
Iowa St 37
James Madison 12
WVU 42
Sam Houston St 23
Baylor 48
Kansas 0
TCU 20
New Mexico 14
TTU 49
Ole Miss 31
Texas 66
LA-Laf 24
OKST 65
jw walsh qb oklahoma state

QB J.W. Walsh eludes the defense on his way to a first down

B1G Ten

The B1G Ten posted and impressive 10-2 record this weekend, though questions arose about certain teams.  We know Ohio State has talent, and lots of it.  Their game against California came down to a busted coverage assignment where Braxton Miller happened to find Devin Smith behind the defense really late in the game to go up seven in what many people thought was a game destined for OT.  Penn State has to be thrilled after finally getting Bill O’Brien his first PSU victory against Navy on Military Appreciation Day.  BUT, don’t get TOO thrilled, Peed State fans, it was the awful Midshipmen.  It was one of those days for Umass, as eight different Michigan players scored a touchdown en rout to a 63-13 shellacking.  D-Rob threw for 291 and rushed for over 100 yards.  While the Wolverines laid a smackdown, their instate rivals weren’t so lucky as the Spartans fell to Notre Dame in a game that Michigan State got dominated.  The Fighting Irish played like a team possessed.  Wisconsin squeaked by Utah State as Montee Ball finally found the end zone and tallied up 139 yards with his feet.  Nebraska got back on track after the disaster against UCLA as they bounced back to take care of Arkansas StateKenny Bell had two TD receptions, possibly grabbing more attention from the other B1G Ten schools as a key when they play the Huskers, as long as Taylor Martinez can throw the ball (that’s a reach, I know).

Scores Around the B1G Ten
W Michigan 23
Minnesota 28
Cal 28
Ohio St 35
Michigan St 3
ND 20
Indiana 39
Ball St 41
Navy 7
Penn St 34
Mass 13
Michigan 63
E Michigan 16
Purdue 54
N. Iowa 16
Iowa 27
Utah St 14
Wisconson 16
Arkansas St 13
Nebraska 42
BC 13
Northwestern 22
CSU 0
Illinois 44
Kyle Baublitz penn state

Kyle Baublitz #84 pursues the QB during a easy victory over Navy.

Pac-12

New year, same result for Mark Barkley as USC fell to Stanford.  Barkley is the first QB to go 0-4 or worse versus any school since Florida State‘s Chris Rix went 0-5 against Miami (FL)Stanford‘s Stepfon Taylor scored twice and ran for 153 yards while the StanfordD held the always dangerous USC offense to just 14 points.  Oregon topped 50 for the second time in three games as they ran the train on Tennessee Tech.  De’Anthony Thomas, Marcus Mariota, and Kenjon Barner were the story yet again.  UCLA continues to roll as they take out Houston showing no signs of slowing down after the huge win versus Nebraska last week.  The NCAA‘s leading rusher, Johnathan Franklin, ran for 110 yards moving into second place on UCLA‘s all-time list.  Things are looking up out in Washington as the Huskies QB Keith Price threw for three TD passes in a record-tying 45-point first half.  RB Bishop Sankey ran for 100+ and two scores.  Utah got out of the scare of a game they were in once BYU missed two field goals.  The Cougars got a second chance at a field goal once Utah fans rushed the field prematurely.

Scores Around the Pac-12
Cal 28
Ohio St 35
Colorado 14
Fresno St 69
UNLV 27
WSU 35
Houston 6
UCLA 37
Wisconsin 7
Oregon St 10
Tenn Tech 14
Oregon 63
Portland St 13
Washington 52
Nebraska 30
UCLA 36
ASU 20
Missouri 24
S Carolina St 0
Arizona 56
USC 14
Stanford 21
BYU 21
Utah 24

Stephan Taylor jumps over Morgan Breslin of USC on his way to a score during a victory over rival USC.

SEC

The Florida Gators went in to Neyland Stadium, and yet again, came out victorious for the eighth time in as many tries against the Volunteers.  Are the Gators really that good after beating a Tennessee team whose success greatly depends on QB Tyler Bray and WRs Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson?  No way.  And it’s not like we’ll get to see next week either as they take on SEC foe Kentucky who hasn’t beat the UF since 1986.  The real test comes week six versus The Mad Hatter and his Bayou BengalsJeff Driskell has played good. When I say good, I mean just good enough to get by.  Don’t expect the Gators to continue winning as their next five opponents have a very good chance at picking apart Florida.  Those games, other than LSU and Kentucky, consist of going to Vandy, hosting The Ol’ Ball Coach,and SEC newcomer Mizzou, as well as the big match up versus Georgia in Jacksonville at the end of OctoberAlabama continues to dominate the competition as they rolled over a Tyler Wilson-less Arkansas team.  McCarron really seems to be understanding his role in this offense, but can he hold back from trying to do too much in November when the Tide have to travel into a hostile LSU stadium to face a nasty, ass-kicking defense?  Bama‘s schedule seems to favor them going undefeated if they get by LSU, we won’t really have any idea after this week either as they play the big and bad FAU Owls.  After the game Saturday, Tyler Wilson called out his Hogs saying he felt that they quit at times.  This was a great move to light a fire under his teammates asses.  He didn’t drop names, and he didn’t point fingers.  Besides, if your team just dropped back-to-back games, including a disaster against Louisiana Monroe, you better find something to get your team going.  Hell, anything.  Speaking of ULM, after taking out the Razorbacks, they find themselves in OT with Auburn!  Is the SEC losing it’s “best conference” label?  Let’s see a couple more weeks before touching that subject that oh so many people get riled up about, including myself.  Georgia continued to dominate and Aaron Murray is doing work to keep his name in the Heisman talks as he threw for 340+ and two TDs.

Scores Around the SEC
Troy 24
Miss St 30
UAB 6
South Carolina 49
Tenn 20
UF 37
Arkansas 0
Bama 52
ASU 20
Missouri 24
SMU 3
TAMU 48
Idaho 14
LSU 63
Ole Miss 31
Texas 66
Kentucky 31
WKU 32
FAU 20
UGA 56
Presbyterian 0
Vanderbilt 58
LA-Monroe 28
Auburn 31
jeff driskel qb florida gators eludes the rush against tennessee

QB Jeff Driskel avoids the Vols passrush during a big SEC victory this weekend.

Games to Watch Week 3:

Vanderbilt @ Georgia

Miami (FL) @ Georgia Tech

Virginia @ TCU

Clemson @ FSU

Michigan @ Notre Dame

Kansas State @ Oklahoma

Oregon State @ UCLA

California @ USC

Arizona @ Oregon

Players to Watch Week 3:

Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina

Brandon Coleman WR Rutgers

Casey Pachall QB TCU

Damien Williams RB OU

Bojern Werner DT FSU

Ka’Deem Carey RB Arizona

Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

Colin Klein QB K State

Ninja Sports Offensive Performance of the Week:

Chris Thompson RB FSU 9 carries 197 yards 2 TD

Ninja Sports Defensive Performance of the Week:

Darius Slay DB MS ST 6tkl 2int

Ninja Sports College Football Play of the Week:1:57

Ninja Sports Image of the Week:

Matt Barkley USC quarterback

Pretty much sums up Barkley’s career vs Stanford. 

Be sure to check back every Monday for all your college football needs!

Like the Monday Morning Quarterback? Hate him? @Tbradley11

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Fantasy Football Breakouts and Sleepers

Week 1 Breakouts, Week 2 Sleepers

Every fantasy football owner is always looking for the next move to propel his team to championship status. I will highlight one player from each major position that had a break out game in week 1 and share with you my sleeper’s for week 2.  Here is the Ninja’s breakout players for week 1, and sleepers for week 2.

BREAKOUT PLAYERS

robert-griffin

QB=The breakout QB in week 1 is no other than Washington’s newest celebrity and number two overall draft pick this fall Robert Griffin III (RG3).  RG3 dropped 33 fantasy points this weekend according to Yahoo’s default settings and went into the 40s in leagues that use bonuses over 300 yards. RG3 ended with 320 yards, 2 pass TDs, and 42 rush yards last week against the New Orleans Saints, who did not lose at home last year.

Stevan Ridley

RB= The breakout RB in week 1 goes to Stevan Ridley and the new found rushing attack the Patriots put on display last week in Tennessee.  Stevan Ridley scored 22 points according to Yahoo’s default settings and ended in the thirty’s in leagues that use bonuses when a player rushes over 100 yards. Stevan Ridley ended with 125 rush yards, 1 rush TD, and 2 receptions for 27 yards. Last year Ridley ended the season with 87 rushes and a 5.1 yards/rush average but carried the ball 21 times this Sunday, which has fantasy owners very happy about the future.

Julio-Jones

WR= The breakout WR in week 1 is the second year player out of Alabama Julio Jones who looked like a veteran receiver on Sunday, shredding the Kansas City secondary all afternoon. Jones ended with 6 catches for 108 yards and 2 Tds this week which earned him 28 points in Yahoo’s default scoring and well into the 30s in leagues that use accelerators over 100rec yards. Jones, like every other Rookie missed OTA’S/Training camp last year due to the NFL lockout and missed out on gaining timing with QB Matt Ryan; it took all the way into Week 9 last year for Julio to find the end zone. It looks like he found that timing and is prime for a big season reeling in 2 Tds Week 1.

SLEEPERS

christian_ponder

QB= The Week 2 sleeper at QB is second year player out of Florida State Christian Ponder. Ponder was 20 for 27 last week, and threw for 270 yards. Ponder did not find the end zone Week 1 as first year head coach Chuck Pagano wanted to reward Adrian Peterson in the Redzone for his dedicated rehab all summer, handing AP two scores on the day. This week, Ponder is going up against the Indianapolis Colts secondary that gave up 293 pass yards/game in 2011, and a whopping 333 yards week 1 to Jay Cutler. Ponder can be a great start week 2.

Isaac Redman

RB= The week 2 sleeper at RB is Isaac Redman of the Pittsburg Steelers. Redman only rushed for 21 yards on 11 carries last week against Denver’s stingy rush defense, and even lost some carries to Jonathon Dwyer down the stretch. This sounds bad, but starting RB Rashard Mendenhall is likely out again this week, and Redman still got more carries than Dwyer Week 1, so it looks like he will receive most of the carries this week against the Jets. The Jets gave up 195 rush yards Week 1 to the Bills and is a great team for  a hungry Redman to bounce back against.

Brandon Lloyd

WR= The Week 2 sleeper at WR that can do damage as a WR3 or WR/RB spot this weekend is Brandon Lloyd of the New England Patriots. Lloyd ended Week 1 with 4 catches for 69 yards which is a double digit day in any PPR leagues. His matchup in Week 2 is the Arizona Cardinals who gave up 254 yards week 1 to a suspect Seattle Seahawks offense ran by rookie QB Russell Wilson. Lloyd also has 3 career TDs against Seattle in 9 games.

 Check back each Thursday for the Ninja’s fantasy breakouts and sleepers

@PenaJT2, @ninjasblog

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College Football Week 2 Recap

Ninjasports Monday Morning Quarterback


ACC

What a heartbreaker for North Carolina against Wake in this early season conference matchup.  Bryn Renner’s 271 yards just wasn’t enough as the Heels fell 28-27.  Renner’s counterpart, Tanner Price, threw for an outstanding 327 yards as he was all of the offense the Deacons needed.  Georgia Tech laid a beat down on Presbyterian 59-3 gaining some team confidence after the disappointing loss to Virginia Tech last week.  Zach Laskey led the Yellow Jackets rushing attack with 11 yards.  Back up QB Vad Lee wasn’t far behind though, accumulating 101 yards on the ground as well.  Virginia Tech rolled Austin Peay 42-7 while Logan Thomas  continues to impress with 212 yards through the air with two TDs and a rush TD to boot.  After losing to the Canes last week, Boston College took care of Maine 34-3.  Chase Rettig continues to have his way with opponent’s defenses as he stays hot tossing three TDs.  Clemson looked to be on point dropping 52 on Ball State led by Heisman Candidate Tajh Boyd who delivered three TDs via airmail.  Michael Rocco managed a game winning drive capped off with a TD pass to Jake McGee as Virginia improves to 2-0.  Perry Hills put three TDs on the board for the Terps en route to a 3-27 victory over Temple.  NC State snuck away from Connecticut with a win thanks to Bryan Underwood’s 4 yard TD catch to win it 10-7.

Scores Around the ACC
Connecticut 7
NC State 10
Miami (FL) 13
Kansas State 52
UNC 27
Wake Forest 28
Temple 27
Maryland 36
Penn State 16
Virginia 17
Savannah St 0
FSU 55
Ball St 27
Clemson 52
Maine 3
Boston College 34
Austin Peay 7
Virginia 42
Duke 13
Stanford 50

Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins pulls in a reception for a touchdown while being covered by Ball state’s Jason Pinkston

Big East

Louisville breaks the 30 point barrier for the second time in as many weeks as they blew by Missouri StateUSF and BJ Daniels turned it on in the fourth quarter as the Bulls make a 32-31 comeback against the WolfpackDaniels launched a 56 yarder to Andre Davis with 38 seconds left to complete the victory.  Rutgers Kyle Flood gets his first home victory as head coach of the Scarlet Knights.  Brandon Coleman hauled in two TD grabs.  Pretty decent week for the Big East as the conference tallies up a weekend record of 4-4.

Scores Around the Big East
Connecticut 7
NC State 10
Syracuse 29
USC 42
Pitt 10
Cincy 34
Temple 27
Maryland 36
Missouri State 7
Louisville 35
Nevada 31
USF 32
Howard 0
Rutgers 26

Munchie Legaux of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Big 12

Collin Klein and the Wildcats made a statement against the Canes to the rest of the nation, though Miami (FL)’s mistakes didn’t help.  They are the first team since the 1998 Syracuse Orangmen to put up 50 on The UKlein threw for 210 and a TD, while scampering for 71 yards and three more TDs.  Could this be the year for Bill Snyder and the CatsIowa State fought off the Hawkeyes as Steele Jantz’s TD pass was the lone TD in the 9-6 win.  Jayhawks fans have got to be disappointed as they drop to Rice at home.  The Kansas defense played a “bend, don’t break” game as Rice mustered up four FGs.  Seth Doege threw five TDs as the Red Raiders annihilate Texas State.  Oklahoma RB Damien Williams was lights out running for four TDs on 10 carries.  Did I mention he had 156 yards to go with it?

Scores Around the Big 12
Miami (FL) 13
K State 52
Iowa 6
Iowa St 9
Kansas 24
Rice 25
FAMU 13
Oklahoma 69
Grambling St 0
TCU 56
Texas St 10
TTU 58
New Mexico 0
Texas 45
Oklahoma St 38
Arizona 59

Running back Damien Williams #26 of the Oklahoma Sooners tries to outrun defensive back Antwain Mathews #16 of the Florida A&M Rattlers

B1G Ten

The Nebraska Cornhuskers have got to be beating themselves as they fall to UCLA 36-30.  Taylor Martinez’s 92 yard TD run is about all there is to write about the Huskers as they were obviously affected by the absence of All American RB Rex Burkhead.  The Nittany Lion fan base is demanding O’Brien shows them something promising.. and soon.  The post-JoePa era is off to the worst start possible after losing to Virginia.  Michigan rebounds after the embarrassing loss to Alabama to overtake Air ForceDenard Robinson took out some frustration while running and throwing for over 200 yards.  Fitz Touissant’s first game back after suspension was a quiet one as he was not a factor at all.  Indiana RB Tre Roberson had TD runs of 50 and 39 yards before hurting his left leg as the Hoosiers beat UMASS in their first home game as an FBS team.  Braxton Miller showed out throwing for 155 and a TD, and rushing for 141 yards and three more.  One can’t help but wonder.. Will he be a better fit in this offense than.. wait a minute.. Tim Tebow?

Scores Around the B1G Ten
UNH 7
Minnesota 44
UCF 16
Ohio St 31
Purdue 17
ND 20
Mass 6
IU 45
Penn State 16
Virginia 17
Air Force 25
Michigan 31
CMU 7
MSU 41
Iowa 6
ISU 9
Wisconsin 7
Oregon St 10
Nebraska 30
UCLA 36
Vandy 13
Northwestern 23
Illinois 14
ASU 45

Ohio State’s Braxton Miller breaks away from Central Florida players on his way to a touchdown during the first quarter

Pac-12

Johnathan Franklin ran wild, again.  This time, the senior rushed for 217 yards as the Bruins stunned Nebraska 36-30.  Brett Hundley also had a big game racking up 300+ in the air with four TDs.  Don’t sleep on UCLA this year; we’ll get to see some more of these guys next week versus HoustonIan Soefle ran for a TD and 104 yards as California handled Southern Utah.  If De’Anthony Thomas’ name isn’t in Heisman talks, it is because of the big shadow cast over him by Kenjon Barner who was the workhorse of Oregon’s offense running the ball 34 times for over 200 yards and three TDs.  Thomas only had seven carries but managed 102 yards and two scores out of them.  If only Chip Kelly would give him the ball a little bit more…  USC still wasn’t too impressive as they took on Big East bottom feeder SyracuseBarkley’s six TDs was more than plenty as they nearly dropped 50.

Scores Around the Pac-12
SUU 31
Cal 50
Colorado 28
CSUS 30
EWU 20
WSU 24
Syracuse 29
USC 49
Wisconsin 7
Oregon St 10
Fresno St 25
Oregon 42
Washington 3
LSU 41
Nebraska 30
UCLA 36
Illinois 14
ASU 45
Ok St 38
Arizona 59
Duke 13
Stanford 50
Utah 20
Utah St 27

Running back Johnathan Franklin #23 of the UCLA Bruins celebrates after a 54 yard run to the 21 yard line in the fourth quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Rose Bowl

SEC

Hear that squealing sound?  That’s the Arkansas Razorback’s dropping out of the top 25 after losing to Louisiana Monroe!  The Razorbacks choked on the big one and dropped from top ten to unranked, ’07 Michigan style.  Florida was in for all they could handle at College Station.  Although the Aggies lost, TAMU freshman QB Johnny Manziel had an impressive first half and showed he has a lot of potential to evolve into an elite QB with his arm AND legs.  Tennessee looks to be in a pretty good team rhythm as Tyler Bray throws for 310 and four TDs and a 2-0 start for the VolsGeorgia gave Missouri a big boy’s welcome to the SEC as Aaron Murray got the offense on track, again, to engineer a 41-20 victory.

Scores Around the SEC
Auburn 10
Miss St 28
ECU 10
South Carolina 49
TAMU 17
UF 20
WKU 0
Bama 35
GSU 13
Tenn 51
Arkansas 31
ULM 34
Washington 3
LSU 41
UTEP 10
Ole Miss 28
Kent St 14
Kentuck 47
Mizzou 20
UGA 41
Vanderbilt 13
Northwestern 23

Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray (8) throws during the second quarter against Georgia State

Games to Watch Week 2:

Rutgers @ USF

Alabama @ Arkansas

North Carolina @ Louisville

Florida @ Tennessee

Arizona State @ Missouri

USC @ Stanford

Notre Dame @ Michigan

Houston @ UCLA

Players to Watch Week 2:

Johnathan Franklin, RB UCLA vs Houston

Tyler Bray, QB Tennessee vs Florida

Marqise Lee, WR USC @ Stanford

Andre Ellington, RB Clemson vs Furman

Austin Franklin, WR New Mexico State @ UTEP

Cameron Marshall, RB Arizona State @ Missouri

Ninja Sports Offensive Performance of the Week:

Denard Robinson, QB Michigan

14/25 208 yards 2 TD

20 carries 218 yards 2 TD

 

Ninja Sports Defensive Performance of the Week:

Arthur Brown, LB Kansas State

7 solo tackles 3 asst. tackles

1 sack

Ninja Sports College Football Play of the Week:

Ninja Sports Image of the Week:

Tennessee defenders Maurice Couch (44) and A.J. Johnson sent Georgia State tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi to the field level.


Be sure to check back every Monday for all your college football needs!

Like the Monday Morning Quarterback? Hate him? @Tbradley11

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Best College Football Coach: If He Existed

Nick Saban and Urban Meyer both posses attributes that the best college football coach would have.

There are many attributes that come into play when assessing a great college football coach. There is the recruiting side of coaching, where coaches must be able to speak with players and parents, gaining their trust to get top recruits around the nation to come to their school. A coach must also have understanding of strength and conditioning, and be able to implement a program that oftentimes flies under the radar to most fans. The best strength and conditioning programs will get the team faster and stronger as a whole, which leads to fewer injuries and more wins. A great football coach will pay attention to his teams mastery of special teams, oftentimes overseeing the unit, and this unit plays a huge role in winning or losing games. The special teams unit is special for a reason, and can flip field position in an instant, score a touchdown in a flash, or block a game winning kick to save a game.

The offensive side of the ball obviously scores points, but also gives the team’s defense a rest by sustaining long drives. A great coach and can develop his team’s culture on offense, for example, a “smash mouth” culture where the run is established, or a “speed kills” culture that spreads the opponent out. A great team culture will lead to satisfaction among players, and easy recruiting material. Lastly, there is the defensive side of the ball, which is the most important attribute a great college football coach possesses, in the ninja’s opinion. “Defense wins Championships” and if you do not believe in this quote, simply look at last year’s BCS Championship game that displayed the top two defenses in the country last season with Alabama and LSU.

Now that we covered the attributes that make a great college football coach let’s build the Ninja Sports Best College Football Coach!

Note: active coaches were considered

Jimbo Fisher isn’t only friendly with recruits, he makes time for everyone!

Recruiting: This is the starting point to every great team, and when building the best college football coach you need to have to have Coach Jimbo Fisher’s recruiting skills. Since Jimbo Fisher took over in Tallahassee in 2010, he has landed 8 five star recruits (Lamrcus Joyner, Cornellius Carradine, Nick O’ Leary ,Timmy Jernigan ,Mario Edwards, Eddie Goldman, Ronald Darby, James Winston), earned the best recruiting class in the nation according to 247sports.com in 2011, and the number 2 recruiting class in 2012 while dominating the state of Florida signing 41 players in his first 3 years as Head Coach for the Noles.

Coach Marotti

Strength and Conditioning: This is a very important aspect; if your team is not getting bigger and faster they are simply at a disadvantage to other teams that are running a great strength and conditioning programs. The best college football coach would have the knowledge and passion for strength and conditioning that Coach Mickey Marotti possesses. “Coach Micks” current occupation title is “assistant athletic director for football sports performance at Ohio State” but also worked under Coach Meyer at Florida from 2005-2011 where he developed 22 All-Americans and eight first-round NFL draft choices. The team also won two National Championships, two Southeastern Conference Championships and had three 13-win seasons under Coach Mick’s Strength and Conditioning Program.

Coach Meyer

Special Teams:  As explained above Special Teams is very special unit and plays a big roll in winning and losing games. The best college football coach without a doubt would have Coach Urban Meyer’s Special team skills. Coach Meyer’s Florida football team averaged more than 1,000 kick return yards a season from 2007-2010, and blocked a whopping 18 kicks/punts during this time period.

A Chip Kelly sign shows his innovative capabilities

Offense:  This is a very important aspect of any team, as you have to score points to win, and sometimes have to blow teams out to impress voters and move up in the polls. The best college football coach would have the brilliant offensive mind of Chip Kelly, the head coach for the Oregon Ducks. Last year, the Oregon offense averaged 57 points per game, 297 rushing yards per game, and 308 passing yards per game, while running the fastest pace offense in the nation, averaging 78.3 plays per game. Good luck to the defense.

Nick Saban gives instructions

Defense: This is the most important attribute to the ninja, and the best college football coach will have the defensive schemes of Coach Nick Saban from ‘Bama. Last year Coach Saban’s defense allowed on average only 8.2 points per game, 111 pass yards per game, 2.4 yards per rush, and had 17 takeaways (13int, 4 fumble recoveries). So is it a surprise that Alabama won the 2011 National Championship? No “Defense Wins Championships”.

 

Guest Blogger: @PenaJT2

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Dr. Ann McKee, Football’s Ally or Enemy?

Dr. Ann McKee is villainized by some as the woman who wants to kill football. McKee, a world class neuroscientist who has written widely on many neurodegenerative diseases including: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Frontotemporal Degeneration, Corticobasal Degeneration and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). She is met with hostility by the NFL, and it could be because her eventual findings could lead to huge changes in the fast-paced, hard-hitting, game of football that we all love and pay big dollars for. Lets just say that the thought of a brainy, brawny, blonde women walking in and dissecting a major part of what is wrong (or right?) with their sport is not exactly welcome with open arms:

“This is a problem that is not going to be solved by (helmet) technology,” McKee said. “The helmet industry may improve, perhaps, conditions, but because the brain is floating inside your skull — and think of the skull as nature’s helmet — the helmet really protects the surface of the head. It doesn’t prevent that acceleration and deceleration that’s happening inside the skull.

“I don’t see that there’s any way of lowering the incidence of this without changing the way the game is played. I’m sure it’s going to be incredibly unpopular, but it’s going to have to be a game that maybe isn’t such a violent sport, that doesn’t have the thousands of sub-concussive hits that occur in every season.

“That’s what really distinguishes football from the rest of sports, the frequency of mild repetitive injuries. Maybe we change the type or number of practices, or maybe change the game entirely in a really unpopular way.”

McKee has dedicated most of her current time to solving CTE issues in military victims and athletes. So far she has found CTE in 70+ athletes, or 80% of those she has examined. For former NFL players, her mark is 18/19 brains infected with CTE, a disease that cannot be diagnosed until a victim is deceased.

People are starting to take notice. On June 13th  Pop Warner football banned head-to-head hits and limited contact in practice to 40 minutes a day. Before that, on May 2nd  Junior Seau was found dead from suicide, a gun shot to the chest. He let a suicide note behind, requesting his brain be sent to Dr. McKee for examination. She diagnosed CTE within 30 seconds of looking at his brain.

Before you are completely sold that McKee is poised to kill our beloved game of football as we know it, I would suggest that she actually may be trying to save football from itself.

Let’s be honest, how much longer can a game go on that is causing high rates of its former players to have all kinds of problems related to brain injuries such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, death, and CTE? How long can the NFL support a business that will be facing lawsuit after lawsuit and former employees either dead or crazy by the time they are 50?

The answer is in fundamental changes. Concussion awareness has risen in the past 3-5 years, but it is time for a change in the rules. The NFL needs to use research from scientists such as McKee to find the right way to keep the sport going. If kids are forced to play flag football until they are 14 then so be it. If contact has to be limited in high school to 1-2 times a week including game day, then that’s fine. If an NFL player has to take 11 tests to get back on the field after being concussed, then that is okay as well.  The argument that the players accept the various risks associated with head injures and play anyways is dead. Any industry continues to improve safety standards to maximize safety and usage of current technology. The NFL needs to speed up their improvements.

The game that many across America have accepted as their past time is in need of some fundamental and drastic changes. It is no longer okay to support the gladiator mentality, because it is no longer sustainable. It is time for the NFL and Roger Goodell to lose their bravado-filled, stubborn mind set, and accept the findings of their own staff, doctors, trainers, and scientists.

Recently, Terry Bradshaw, the former Steelers quarterback who now receives treatment for short-term memory loss at the Amen Clinic in Newport Beach, California, told Jay Leno: “In the next decade, we will not see football as it is.”

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Barry Bonds is the Greatest Baseball Player of All Time

Steroids did take him above and beyond, but Bonds is still the greatest ever.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Barry Bonds since December of ’01 when Bonds was accused of using steroids. Bonds claimed boyhood friend Greg Anderson gave him a supplement he took named “Cream and Clear” and told him it was a nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis. Bonds said he did not know what he was taking was a banned substance. The truth will likely never be fully known, but most suspect Bonds is a cheater. Even if he is, you should not automatically discard Bonds from the Hall of Fame and the conversation of greatest baseball player ever; and if you do, you are dead wrong.

First, let’s start with the MVP award that is given out to the best American League and National League player at the end of the season. Bonds has won a Major League leading 7 MVP awards ( ’90, ’92, ’93, ’01, ’02, ’03, ’04) and has the most consecutive MVP awards in MLB history with 4. First ballot Hall of Famer and Yankee great Mickey Mantle only won 3. Barry Bonds played in 14 all-star games, which puts him 7th on the all-time list in MLB history, tying him with Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, and Warren Spahn. Add 8 gold glove awards, placing Bonds in the top 5 in MLB history. Bonds also stole 514 bases, which makes him one of 37 players in MLB history to ever reach this mark, and puts him ahead of Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio and Paul Molitor. Bonds racked up 1,996 RBI’S over his career, 3rd all time in MLB history behind Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. Bonds is one of only 10 players in MLB history to ever reach 1900 RBI’S. Bonds added 2,935 hits and had a career batting average of .298 that shows how pure of a hitter he was. Lastly, of course, Barry Bonds is the all-time home run leader in MLB history with 762.

MVPs 7 (4 consecutive)
All-Star Games 14
Gold Gloves 8
SB 514
RBI 1,996
Hits 2,935
Avg .298
HR 762

Again, if you are automatically discarding Bonds from the Hall of Fame and the conversation of greatest baseball player ever, you are dead wrong.

Taking steroids makes you stronger but it does not make you have great hand eye coordination, does not help you read the ball off the bat to run down a ball in the gap, and it does not make you know when it is a good runner’s count to swipe a bag. Zydrunas Savickas and Terry Hollands are the World’s Strongest Men, but I doubt either one of them can hit a High School pitcher, and defiantly can’t hit Major League pitching.

If you are discarding Bonds’ numbers because you feel he got added strength from a supplement, you should drop that debate. An athlete can have all the strength in the world literally, but without the pure swing he or she is a weightlifter- not the greatest baseball player of all time. Can you really leave a player out of the Hall of Fame who leads MLB history in HRs and MVP awards while being one of five players ever to win 5 gold gloves and 3rd all time in RBIS? Is it a stretch to say he is the greatest baseball player of all time when he has more HRs than Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth, more RBIs than Lou Gehrig and Stan Musical, and the same career batting average as Dom DiMaggio at .298?

By: Guest blogger – Justin Pena – @PenaJT2

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College Football Week 1 Recap

Ninja Sports College Football Monday Morning Quarterback

ACC

Clemson showed that they don’t need Sammy Watkins to display their explosive offense.  Andre Ellington racked up 231 yards on the ground and DeAndre Hopkins set the school record for receptions in a game with 13.  While Tajh Boyd had to be frustrated with numerous drops, the Tigers still put up an impressive 528 yards against Auburn.  Miami (FL) Freshman RB Duke Johnson had plenty of hype surrounding him coming into the season and what a better coming out party than to have two 50+ yard rushing TDs in the Canes 41-32 victory over Boston CollegeJohnson finished the game with seven rushes for 135 yards including his two scoring runs, impressing the likes of NBA Champion LeBron James enough to have him tweet “Duke Johnson is the truth out there for the U! True freshman. #speedkills”.  Johnson and Ellington weren’t the only two ACC running backs to have big days, North Carolina‘s Giovanni Bernard set a career record with three first half scores, one rushing and two receiving, finishing with 93 yards on nine carries.  Granted it was against Elon, Bernard showed the ability many Tar Heel fans have anticipated bringing a sense of hope to the Tar Heel Nation.  FSU manhandled Murray State (surprise, surprise) 69-3.  With such a cupcake schedule, expect to see many more scores like this for weeks to come.   Ok, maybe not 69 points, but you get the idea.  FSU DE Bjoern Werner had a career day with four sacks (-28 yards), five tackles (-30), and a forced fumble at Murray State‘s two yard line.

Scores Around the ACC

NC State 21

Miami (FL) 41

Elon 0

W&M 6

Richmond 19

Tennessee 35

BC 32

UNC 62

Maryland 7

Virginia 43

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech – 9/3

Miami freshmen RB Duke Johnson breaks free from a BC defender during an impressive debut.

Big 12

Oklahoma has plenty of work to do if they want to be taken seriously as a Big 12 contender.  It wasn’t until the fourth quarter with 2:55 to play when OU RB Damien Williams took a Landry Jones  handoff 65 yards to the house sealing the game 24-7 against UTEPOU‘s rush defense was real suspect as they gave up 177 yards to UTEP RB Nathan Jeffrey.  West Virginia is good.. Like scary good.  Geno Smith picked up where he left off last season tossing the rock for 323 yards and four TDs while running in a fifth as the Mountaineers trampled Marshall 69-34.  Texas, much like the Sooner’s, need to see a great improvement on the defensive side of the ball as the Longhorns gave up 345 yards to Wyoming.  Texas QB David Ash completed 20 of 27 passes without turning the ball over which has to encourage Mack Brown that he made the right QB decision, even if it is only one game into the season.  Oklahoma State displayed quite the rushing attack with nine rushing TDs

in an 84-0 rout of Savannah State.

Scores Around the Big 12

WVU 69

Tulsa 23

Savannah State 0

South Dakota S.17

Richmond 19

Marshall 34

Iowa State 38

OK St 84

Kansas 31

TTU 44

Kansas St 51

Wyoming 17

Oklahoma 24

SMU 24

MOSU 9

Texas 37

UTEP 7

Baylor 59

Geno Smith celebrates after throwing a TD against Marshal.

Big East

Ray Graham didn’t have quite the impact on Pittsburgh‘s offense as they fall to Youngsto.. YOUNGSTOWN STATE?!?!  What a debut for new Panther‘s coach Paul Chryst.  Not only did Pitt lose, they trailed the ENTIRE GAME!! Before the season, the Ninja didn’t think too highly of UCONN but with the way their defense played Saturday, they could b the toughest in the conference asthey beat UMASS.  Sure, it was UMASS who was playing their first game as an FBS team.  UCONN unrolled the welcome mat by holding them to three first downs and 59 yards.  Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib showed he’s got skills, mad skills.  Unfortunately, the Orange need more than just a good QB as they fell to Northwestern 42-41.  B.J. Daniels seems to have found his groove early this season as the Bulls of South Florida took care of Chattanooga 34-13.  Daniels threw for 265 yards and three TDs while running for another.  Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater picked up right where he left off last season taking care of SEC opponent Kentucky 32-14.  Bridgewater missed only two of his 21 attempts adding 232 yards to his stat book.

Scores Around the Big East

Umass 0

Villanova 10

NW 42

YSU 31

Chattanooga 13

Uconn 37

Temple 41

Syracuse 41

Pitt 17

USF 34

Rutgers 24

Kentucky 14

Tulane 12

Louisville 32

Teddy Bridgewater eludes the rush while easily handling Kentucky.

B1G Ten

The Nebraska Cornhuskers had quite the performance from QB Taylor Martinez as he threw for five TDs.  Martinez, known for his explosive speed and terrible throwing fundamentals, still looked like a left handed running back trying to throw right handed (can’t picture it? Click HERE).  Though his throwing motion needs a ton of work, he got the job done and put the ball where it needed to be.  Let’s be serious here, it was Southern Miss.  Whether he can keep it up against quality teams remains to be seen.  Taking pressure off of Martinez is All-American RB Rex Burkhead who showed his ability early on three carries including a 57 yard TD.  His day ended soon after it began due to a sprained MCL.  While running game is the topic, how can I not mention Le’Veon Bell from Michigan State?  This kid was absolutely dominant in MSU’s 17-13 scare against Boise State scampering for 210 yards and two TDs on 44 carries.  Liar Meyer’s tenure started in Colombus the way most Bucks fans expected in a 56-10 blowout of Miami (OH).  Braxton Miller showed some maturation in his passing game connecting on 14 of 24 passes for 207 yards and two TDs before being replaced by his back up.  Pedd State took a blow from Ohio falling 24-14.  Bill O’Brien’s debut didn’t quite go as planned as Ohio QB Tyler Tettleton had his way with the PSU defense throwing for 324 yards and two TDs while running in a third.  Fan’s up at Camp Randle can quit biting their nails as their beloved Badgers nearly let one get away against Northern Iowa 26-21.  Danny O’Brien had an impressive debut after transferring from Maryland going 19 for 23 for 219 and two TDs, including a 53 yarder to Jared Abbrederis.  Then there’s Michigan.  The biggest disappointment of the weekend.  The Ninja was hoping for at least SOMEWHAT of a competitive game.  Could this be another let down year for the Wolverines like 2007?

Scores Around the B1G Ten

Minnesota 30

Boise St. 13

Northwestern 42

Ohio 24

Miami (OH) 10

UNLV 27

Michigan St 17

Syracuse 41

Penn St 14

Ohio St 56

W Michigan 7

So. Miss 20

No. Iowa 21

E. Kentucky 6

Iowa 18

Illinois 24

Nebraska 49

Wisconsin 26

Purdue 48

NIU  17

Indiana St 17

Michigan 14

Indiana 24

Alabama 41

Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez throws on the run during a 5 touchdown performance against USM.

Pac-12

After week one, we still don’t have an idea on just how good USC really is after a 49-10 romping of Hawai’iOregon showed us they can still execute with a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota (18-22 200 3), whom some wondered how he would fare taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Mariota did impress (granted it was Arkansas State), De’Anthony Thomas stole the show catching two TDs and running for a third.  Stanford was really un-Luck-y  this week as they barely held off San Jose State 20-17.  Stepfan Taylor pretty much carried the load for the Cardinals as he rushed for 116 yards on 26 carries with one TD.  UCLA  RB Johnathan Franklin ran wild Thursday night as he had his way with Rice’s defense tallying up 214 yards and three scores.  The Bruins took care of business 49-24.  Keep an eye on them next week as they take on B1G Ten contender Nebraska.

Scores Around the Pac-12

N. Co. 0

UCLA 49

Wash St. 6

N. Arizona 6

San Jose St 17

Utah 41

Rice 24

BYU 30

ASU 63

Stanford 20

Cal 24

Colorado St. 22

Hawai’I 10

Toledo 17

San Diego St 12

Nevada 31

Colorado 17

USC 49

Arizona 24

Washington 21

Ark St 34

Oregon 57

Oregon’s offense celebrates one of many week 1 touchdowns.

SEC

 South Carolina survived an early scare vs Vandy in Marcus Lattimore’s return from knee surgery.  Lattimore ran for 110 and two TDs while the defense seemed to have trouble stopping the Commodores all game long taking it to the end.  Aaron Murray started his Heisman Trophy campaign with pretty solid numbers (15/26 258 3) against Buffalo (I know, it’s Buffalo).  Tyler Bray  was impressive on Friday as Tennessee took down NC State 35-21.  Bray, who some consider a Heisman candidate, threw for 333 yards and two TDs.  Florida nearly let one get away against Bowling Green, at The Swamp?! The Ninja didn’t see the Gators having a good year to begin with, but Bowling Green at home?! Sure, Mike Gillislee had a career day (148 yards and two TDs), but as a team, they should be very concerned in Gainesville and might want to buckle up for this roller coaster of a season they are about to encounter.  Zach Mettenberger and LSU seem to be just fine as they rolled past North Texas.  Let’s see how Mettenberger fares next week against a better Washington defense.  Tyler Wilson and the Razorbacks thrashed Jacksonville State 49-24.  Wilson starts off this year looking like the seasoned vet he is going 19 for 27 for 367 yards and three TDs.  Knile Davis returned rushing for 70 yards on 18 carries and a TD.

Scores Around the SEC

USC 17

NC St 21

Buffalo 23

Bowling Green 14

Clemson 26

Vanderbilt 13

Tenn 35

Georgia 45

Florida 27

Auburn 19

Jax St 24

North Texas 14

SE La 10

Cent Ark 27

Jackson St 9

Arkansas 49

LSU 41

Mizzou 62

Ole Miss 49

Miss St 56

Michigan 14

Kentucky 14

Alabama 41

Louisville 32

T.J. Yeldon bruises forward for positive yards as Alabama crushes Michigan.

Games to Watch Week 2

Miami (FL) @ Kansas State

Florida @ Texas A&M

Washington @ LSU

Nebraska @ UCLA

Georgia @ Missouri

Players to Watch Week 2

Keith Price, QB Washington @ LSU

Taylor Martinez, QB Nebraska @ UCLA

Joseph Randle, RB Oklahoma State @ Arizona

Tyler Wilson, QB Arkansas vs ULM

Matt Barkley, QB USC vs Syracuse

Duke Johnson, RB Miami (FL) @ Kansas State

TJ Yeldon, RB Alabama vs Western Kentucky

Todd Gurley, RB/KR Georgia @ Missouri

Ninja Sports Offensive Performance of the Week:

Le’Veon Bell, RB Michigan State

44 carries 210 yards 2 TD

6 rec. 55 yards

Ninja Sports Defensive Performance of the Week:

Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State

4 sacks, 5 tackles

Ninja Sports College Football Play of the Week:

Devin Smith, WR Ohio State

Ninja Sports Broken Record of the Week:

Sam Durley, QB Eureka College

739 Passing Yards

Ninja Sports Image of the Week:

Bell hurdles a defender while placing Michigan State on his back against Boise

Be Sure to Check Back Every Monday for All of Your College Football Updates

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2012-13 SEC Football Outlook

Aaron Murray and the Georgia Bulldogs are facing high expectations in Athens this season.

As the 2012 season kicks off, many analysts seem to think Alabama will pick up right where they left off, and why not,  right?  While Eddie Lacy takes over for first round draft pick Trent Richardson, the question surrounding the Tide is this: Can McCarron lead, again,  and not try to do too much?  Bama faces a couple of tough road conference games in which it will be tough to come out with the W, though with Nick Satan, err, Saban, is definitely more than capable of making it happen.

The Dawgs bring back Senior signal caller Aaron Murray who looks to put up Heisman Trophy Winning numbers in an offense featuring three skilled and experienced wide receivers in Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Conley, and Tavarres King.  The Dawg’s defense, whom was ranked fifth nationally,  returns nine starters to Todd Grantham’s relatively new 3-4 scheme in Athens.  Look for a vaunting defense to keep points off of the board while Murray is putting them up.

LSU turns to QB Zach Mettenberger after the departure of Jordan Jefferson.  If Mettenberger can live up to the hype, the offense should be better than last season as they also bring back a four-headed monster backfield with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue, and Kenny Hilliard who together combined for more than 2,300 yards and an astounding 30 TDs.  They have the talent to run the table, the question is whether the Tigers will step up or not.

Missouri and Texas A&M make their conference debuts coming from the defensive lacking Big 12.  Look for them to have somewhat successful years in their rookie seasons and spoil SEC contender’s hopes.  Keep an eye on Mizzou QB James Franklin as he has the tools to become a big-name-QB for the SEC with his arm as well as his legs.

Will Muschamp starts off season two in Gainesville after a disappointing first year.  Though Florida always has a talent filled roster, don’t look for them to impress too many people this season as they have yet to even name a starting QB, and seem to be  irrelevant in the SEC title race.  This could be a big year for the Gators and Muschamp as fans are getting restless and don’t want to accept mediocrity.

Arkansas returns top two of the SEC’s top players in RB Knile Davis and QB Tyler Wilson.  Wilson, you may remember last year, broke several of former Arkansas’ QB Ryan Mallett’s records and showed the Hogs offense can be a force to be reckoned with.  Look for their offense to carry the load and put up many points to carry the Razorbacks team through the season.

East West
Georgia 7-1 LSU 7-1
South Carolina 5-3 Alabama 6-2
Missouri 4-4 Arkansas 5-3
Tennessee 4-4 Texas A&M 5-3
Florida 4-4 Auburn 3-5
Vanderbilt 2-6 Mississippi St 2-6
Kentucky 1-7 Ole Miss 1-7

National Title hopes could be on the line 11/3 when Nick Saban and the Tide roll into LSU to face the Mad Hatter.

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15: Alabama @ Arkansas

Oct. 20: Alabama @ Tennessee

Oct. 20:  LSU @ Texas A&M

Oct. 27: Florida @ Georgia

Nov. 3: Alabama @ LSU

Nov. 10: Arkansas @  South Carolina

Nov. 23: LSU @ Arkansas

Nov. 24: Missouri @  Texas A&M

Nov. 24: Auburn @ Alabama

Championship: Georgia v LSU

Ninja Sports Preseason All-SEC Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Cobi Hamilton, ARK DE Sam Montgomery, LSU K Caleb Sturgis, Fla
WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M DE Barkevious Mingo, LSU P Brad Wing, LSU
TE Philip Lutzenkirchen, AUB DT Jesse Williams, ALA KR Dustin Harris, Texas A&M
T D.J. Fluker, ALA DT John Jenkins, UGA
T Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M LB Jarvis Jones, UGA
G Chance Warmack, ALA LB Alonzo Highsmith, ARK
G Alex Hurst, LSU LB DeVonte Holloman SC
C Barrett Jones, ALA CB Johnthan Banks, MS ST
QB Tyler Wilson, ARK CB D.J. Swearingwer, SC
RB Marcus Lattimore, SC S Robert Lester, ALA
RB Knile Davis, ARK S Eric Reid, LSU

SEC Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Murray, QB UGA

SEC Defensive Player of the Year: Eric Reid, S LSU

Check out our other conference outlooks:

Pac-12 Preview
Big 12 Preview
Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

 

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Ninja Sports Pac-12 Football Preview

Big 12 Preview
Big East Preview
ACC Preview
Big 10 Preview

Star Lotulelei will terrorize Pac-12 offensive lines this season

With the way things are shaping up, it looks a lot like 2005 in Troy as the Trojans are atop the AP Poll to start the season.  Much like the ’05 squad, the team is loaded with talent from the top of the roster to the bottom.  Resembling the players of the ’05 team are QB Matt Barkley (Matt Leinart), RBs Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd (Reggie Bush and LenDale White), and WRs Robert Woods and Marqis Lee (Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett).  As you see, the possibilities for this USC team are endless.  The defense took a tough blow losing defensive end Devon Kennard to a torn pectoral muscle so look for T.J. McDonald and Hayes Pullard to step up big.

Chip Kelly’s high octane spread offense in Eugene continues to receive praise as they have averaged over 520 yards a game for the past two seasons.  Redshirt Freshman QB Marcus Mariota has received the nod to start week one for the Ducks after an intense seven month battle with sophomore Bryan Bennett.  Though Mariota is young, look for him to step in right away and make an impact taking over for Darron Thomas.  While Thomas had LaMichael James to help him lead the offense, Mariota will have Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas to share the load.  If the defense can hold strong for the whole season, USC better not blink because this team of olympic sprinters will blow by them if the Trojans aren’t at the top of their game.

The big question surrounding Stanford: Can they survive without Luck?  Coach David Shaw wasn’t very enthusiastic about naming Josh Nunes the starting quarterback earlier this week.  The offense that once relied on Andrew Luck seems to be focusing towards a run heavy style placing much of the load on running backs Stepfan Taylor and Anthony Wilkerson.  Stanford’s strength is definitely on the defensive side of the ball led by linebackers Chase Thomas and Shayne Skov.

Washington has great potential this season with an offense run by dual-threat QB Keith Price.  In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Price is the QB who went toe-to-toe with RG3 in the Alamo Bowl last season where the two offenses combined for 123 points.  Though RG3 came out victorious, it was Price that played the better game completing 23 of 27 passes for 438 yards and four touchdowns.  Not only did Price throw four touchdowns but he ran for three more, accounting for seven total.  Expect to see “Teeth” (as his teammates call him for his award-winning smile in interviews) in New York within the next two years as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.  The Huskies may not win the conference this season, but they will be highly competitive and could play the spoiler roll for the Pac 12.

The main question posed by The Ninja:  Will this conference play any defense?  Last year’s numbers were quite ugly as half of the Pac 12 ranked 82nd or lower in total defense.

North South
Oregon 8-1 Southern Cal 8-1
Washington 7-2 Arizona State 5-4
Stanford 5-4 Utah 5-4
California 4-5 UCLA 4-5
Oregon State 2-7 Colorado 3-6
Washington State 1-8 Arizona 2-7

Keith Price will lead the Huskies into Oregon on 10/6

Games to Watch:

Sept. 15:  USC @ Stanford

Sept. 27:  Stanford @ Washington

Oct. 6:  Washington @ Oregon

Oct. 13:  USC @ Washington

Nov. 3:  Oregon @ USC

Nov. 17:  USC @ UCLA

Nov. 17:  Stanford @ Oregon

Nov. 24:  Oregon @ Oregon State

Championship:  Oregon vs. Southern Cal

Ninja Sports Preseason All-Pac-12 Team 2012

Offense Defense Special Teams
WR Robert Woods, USC DE Dion Jordan, ORE K Andre Heidari, USC
WR Marquess Wilson, WSU DE Wes Horton, USC P Jackson Rice ORE
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, WASH DT Star Lotulelei, UTAH KR De’Anthony Thomas, ORE
T Matt Summers-Gavin, CAL DT Justin Washington, ARIZ
T David Bakhtiari. CU LB Chase Thomas, STAN
G Carson York, ORE LB Patrick Larimore, ARIZ
G Sam Brenner, UTAH LB Shayne Skov, STAN
C Khaled Homes, USC CB Aaron Hester, UCLA
QB Matt Barkley, USC CB Nickell Robey, USC
RB Stepfan Taylor, STAN S T.J. McDonald, USC
RB Kenjon Barner, ORE S Marquis Flowers, ARIZ

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year: Robert Woods, WR USC

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year: Star Lotulelei, DT UTAH

2012-13 Pac 12 Football Preview

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