Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Miami
Posted on: October 18, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: October 18, 2011 1:23 pm
 

Eye On College Football Midseason Report: ACC



Posted by Chip Patterson


Offensive Player of the Year: David Wilson, Virginia Tech. One of the most important aspects of Virginia Tech's success has been their ability to lean on the ACC's leading rusher for production while new starting quarterback Logan Thomas becomes accustomed to the offense. Wilson carried the load early, averaging 129.0 yards per game in his first four outings. Thomas has shown his rapid development in back-to-back wins against Miami and Wake Forest, and now Virginia Tech is more dangerous offensively than they've been all season. Wilson not only has shown the capability to carry a 20+ attempt load, but has rushed for 120+ yard in six of Virginia Tech's seven games. Also considered: Tajh Boyd, Clemson; Lamar Miller, Miami; Tanner Price, Wake Forest

Defensive Player of the Year: Sean Spence, Miami. Few defensive players have meant more to their unit than Spence has in Coral Gables. After serving his one game suspension in the opener, the senior linebacker has reinserted himself as the playmaker of the Hurricanes defensive unit. In many cases this season, Miami's defense has been shaky - missing assignments and finding themselves out of position. On more occasions than I can count, Spence comes flying across the field to save the play with a big tackle. His game-saving sack of North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner to ice a must-win road game in Chapel Hill on Saturday was a perfect example of Spence delivering when the Canes need him most. Also considered: Luke Kuechly, Boston College. Jeremiah Attaouchu, Georgia Tech. Andre Branch, Clemson.

Coach of the Year: Dabo Swinney, Clemson. After last season's disappointing 6-7 finish, Swinney made some swift changes on the coaching staff and hit the recruiting trail hard. With 42 of his 85 scholarship players either true or redshirt freshman, the ability to bring that youth into the program and develop them quickly would be essential to the Tigers' success. Clemson's uber-talented lineup, led by sophomore Tajh Boyd and true freshman Sammy Watkins, has played with the enthusiasm and energy of their coach. Swinney's personality is all over this team, and this team is undefeated and sitting in the top 10. Pretty good job for a coach who once held the "interim" tag. Also considered: Jim Grobe, Wake Forest

Surprise: Wake Forest. After a disastrous 2010 season, with no notable additions to the roster, the media selected the Demon Deacons to finish at the bottom of the ACC Atlantic Division in the preseason poll. However, what wasn't considered is that Jim Grobe's best teams tend to show up when there is continuity from one season to the next. Grobe and his staff have a roster made of mostly of high-IQ recruits from Florida and Texas that were passed over by some of the powers that dominate those areas. Wake Forest still has several ACC challenges ahead, but the 3-1 conference start and victory over Florida State is plenty to hang your hat on at this point in Winston-Salem. Also considered: Clemson

Disappointment: Florida State. Coming into the season, the buzz was back in Tallahassee. Florida State had a strong finish to Jimbo Fisher's first season at the helm, and returned 17 starters from the squad that knocked off South Carolina in the Chick Fil-A Bowl. They gave Oklahoma everything they had in a memorable top-five bout in Tallahassee, but after that 24-13 loss things began to unravel for the Seminoles. Much of the frustrations can be blamed on a long list of injuries, but three straight losses is incredibly disappointing considering the expectations coming into the season. Also considered: Boston College

Game of the Year So Far: Clemson at Maryland. The game of the year might have been this past weekend with Clemson's 18-point comeback victory over Maryland in College Park. From the Terps' freshman quarterback CJ Brown lighting up the Tigers defense for 162 yards rushing to Sammy Watkins' 89-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarter, there was no shortage of fireworks in the 56-45 Clemson win. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris (former Tulsa OC) reportedly told Swinney after the game the 28 combined fourth quarter points was "just like another night in Conference USA." Also considered: Miami at Maryland; Georgia Tech at Virginia; Oklahoma at Florida State.

Game of the Year (To Come) - Clemson at Georgia Tech, Oct. 29. With Virginia Tech turning the corner and Georgia Tech picking up their first division loss against Virginia, this game will be a must-win for the Yellow Jackets. In addition to being a rematch of the 2009 ACC title game, both teams are hoping this will be a preview of the 2011 title game in Charlotte. Georgia Tech has the offense that can keep Clemson's explosive weapons off the field, but the rushing attack has been sputtering in their last two outings. The kickoff has already been set for 8 p.m., and Bobby Dodd Stadium should be packed for a inter-division showdown under the lights.

Atlantic Division Champion: Clemson. Six conference wins normally can put you in a good spot to lock up the division, and a home victory over North Carolina will bring the Tigers to 5-0 with Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, and N.C. State left on the schedule. Even with an upset against the Yellow Jackets the Tigers should lock this up in the coming weeks.

Coastal Division Champion: Virginia Tech. The beginning of the season showed a Hokies team struggling to impress while Georgia Tech was setting all kinds of offensive records. At the midpoint, Virginia Tech is playing their best football while the Yellow Jackets are looking to get back on track on both sides of the ball. Typical early loss, strong finish season for Frank Beamer will result in another ACC title game appearance.

ACC Champion: Clemson. After that memorable comeback win against Maryland, you have to feel like the Tigers have that never-say-die attitude needed to claim the conference crown. After falling short in 2009, Clemson claims their first ACC title since 1991.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 17, 2011 4:15 pm
Edited on: October 17, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Week 8 Picks: Who do you like?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Each week, the CBSSports.com college football staff offer their choice for the week's Expert Picks. But before we make our selections for Week 8, we spin the wheel o' games to select a handful of contests we want your take on. You can see the results of the voting each Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on Inside College Football, which airs on CBS Sports Network. 

Your options are below, and choose wisely, because if you're wrong we will send somebody to your house to laugh at you. Seriously, we will. Don't test us.

Posted on: October 16, 2011 2:00 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 5:01 pm
 

ACC Winners and Losers: Week 7


Posted by Chip Patterson


A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.

WINNER: Sammy Watkins

Best freshman in the game? Best freshman in the game.

With 345 all-purpose yards, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins broke C.J. Spiller's single game school record. Spiller re-wrote most of the offensive record book for the Tigers, and seven games into his collegiate career Watkins is already making a dent. The special teams play may become a non-factor as teams learn to kick away (as they did with Spiller), but there is just not an answer for a player of Watkins' caliber and potential at this point in the ACC. The freshman's combination of physical attributes and understanding of the game have been well documented, mostly by his coaches. Swinney started singing his praises days after his arrival on campus in the offseason, and never has his ability come in handy more than in leading the Tigers' greatest comeback in program history. Clemson still has plenty of challenges left between now and their ultimate goal of an ACC title, but I struggled to find a newcomer that has made a more significant impact on his team than Watkins.

LOSER: Clemson's not-so-kind reputation

Until proven otherwise, the Tigers' comeback has silenced Clemson's "watch them pull a Clemson" critics. The Tigers have started plenty of seasons with a talented roster that wows fans and experts alike, only to fall to an opponent they should defeat. Saturday night in College Park was the perfect opportunity to "pull a Clemson." But thanks to outstanding play of Boyd, Ellington, Watkins, and enough plays by the Brandon Thompson and the defense; they pulled a 2011 Clemson. The 2011 Clemson is an act that is not so dissimilar from a 2010 Auburn. They just find a way to win. Expecting a similar result to the Tigers' national title run is outrageous. But expecting a comparable finish (ACC title and BCS bowl win) might not be so crazy at this point.

WINNER: Jacory Harris

The oft-criticized Harris has been silencing the nay-sayers with his most recent performances against two talented defenses. Ever since halftime of Miami's loss to Virginia Tech, Harris has been sharp and on point with his delivery. Against North Carolina on Saturday, Harris got off to a fast start thanks to big plays from Allen Hurns and Tommy Streeter. The senior signal-caller torched North Carolina's secondary for 233 yards in the first half, a new career high. But even with an impressive production, the most important improvement has been his lack of turnovers. Harris' most frequently detrimental fault has been his tendency to misread a route and toss the ball to the opposing defense.

But since getting picked off in Miami's 28-24 loss to Kansas State, Harris has been perfect in the interceptions column. Miami could not afford to fall to 0-3 in the conference, and the Hurricanes got the fast start they needed to ensure it didn't happen in Chapel Hill. The win was a huge step forward for first-year head coach Al Golden, and another building block in Jacory Harris' final season with The U.

LOSER: Maryland's confidence

Quarterback controversies, suspensions for team rules, reports of locker room unrest - it's all been present in Maryland's roller coaster start to the Randy Edsall era. As the Terrapins pushed Clemson to the brink and had Byrd Stadium rocking like it was Labor Day all over again, it seemed like all of the issues were evaporating. A win over No. 8 Clemson could have been the jolt of positivity this team in transition has needed, but instead they suffered a deflating loss. Blowing an 18-point lead is no moral victory, and now the onus will be on Edsall to spin this into the best possible learning experience for Maryland. Sitting at 2-4 with plenty of ACC play left, the Terps are now in jeopardy of missing the postseason. Such a finish would not send great vibes through a program looking to rebrand around their new coach.

WINNER: The Mike London Movement


Throughout the offseason, there was a definitive buzz around second-year coach Mike London at Virginia. The former Richmond head man took the job as one of the touted young coaches in the game, but London's fast impact on the recruiting trail raised eyebrows across the nation. After a slow start, the happy feelings of hope around Virginia football seemed to have turned from a bubble to a fizz until the Cavaliers' upset win over No. 12 Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Cavaliers got it done by winning the battle in the trenches, physically dominating the Yellow Jackets on the offensive and defensive line. That physical attitude is embodied in London's steadfast attitude towards his football team, and it showed on the big stage against the undefeated Yellow Jackets. With an off-week to prepare, the Cavaliers entered the game with an unwavering confidence defensively and held Georgia Tech to a season-low for rushing yards and total yards of offense. As the fans rushed the field, London celebrated the big win with his players. This might not be THE year for Virginia, but Cavs fans have to feel like they have found THE coach moving forward.

LOSER: Duke

The Blue Devils walked into a losing situation facing Florida State after three straight losses. After losing three straight games over a four week span, the talented Seminoles roster was angry and looking for redemption. EJ Manuel got his first start since the Oklahoma game, and got to work early with three 50+ yard passes in the first quarter. The junior quarterback finished with 239 yards and two touchdowns on the day, sharing the spotlight with freshman running back Devonta Freeman. The lack of a consistent rushing attack has been the most common criticism of Florida State this season, and Freeman's 109 yard outing led the way for an impressive 242 team rushing yards. Duke never really had a chance against this angry Florida State team.

WINNER: Logan Thomas' maturation

The only for Thomas to follow his 23 for 25 outing against Miami with a game-winning touchdown was to repeat the routine again in a crucial road game against a surging Wake Forest team. Thomas was not as accurate statistically, but he was just as effective in providing the big plays needed for the Hokies to bounce back from an early 14-0 deficit. Star receiver Jarett Boykin was the target of choice for the big redshirt sophomore, snagging in seven catches for 149 yards and a touchdown. In addition to his 280 yards and two touchdowns through the air, Thomas once again was a threat on the ground and punched in two goal line scores.

Thomas' maturation as a passer and rushing threat has forced defenses to focus less on running back David Wilson. Focusing less on Wilson is a bad thing, as he demonstrated on Saturday with a 136 yard outing against the Demon Deacons. After another slow start and early season loss, Virginia Tech is hitting their rhythm at the right time. If things continue to progress in Blacksburg, a rematch against the Tigers in Charlotte could be in the cards for Virginia Tech.

LOSER: Bryn Renner

After starting as one of the ACC's most efficient passers, Renner seems to have regressed since starting conference play. There were only eight incompletions on the stat sheet, but the sophomore looked uncomfortable under center against Miami on Saturday. He was uncharacteristically off-target on a few routine throws, and seemed unhappy with his pass protection throughout the entire game. The numbers may look sharp from Saturday's game, but many of the completions were screen passes and check downs to star running back Gio Bernard. Renner knew he was going to face an uphill battle against Miami's defense, now he needs to help his team bounce back on the road against an undefeated Clemson team.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: October 12, 2011 11:48 am
 

FAU interested in Mike Leach, Randy Shannon

Posted by Tom Fornelli

With Howard Schnellenberger retiring at the end of the season, FAU has already begun planning for his replacement, and the school has a couple of big names in mind. According to a report in the Miami Herald, FAU athletic director Craig Angelos plans on talking to both former Miami head coach Randy Shannon and former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach.

"Randy is a man of integrity, a first-class guy and first-class coach,” Angelos told the Herald. “I want to see if he’s interested.

“A lot of times when you give people a second chance they are better than the first time. They’ve learned from mistakes. They’re hungrier. That was the case with our basketball coach Mike Jarvis, and he won the conference here after three years. Randy can be better the second time around.”

Angelos also said that he "would consider" Leach and that the issues surrounding Leach that have kept him from getting a job elsewhere after his acrimonious -- and litigious -- departure from Texas Tech wouldn't be a problem at FAU. Angelos also mentioned the name of Jim Leavitt as a candidate, as he plans to "cast a wide net" and hopes to have something in place by December.

As for whether or not the interest in Shannon and Leach would be mutual, it doesn't sound like it with Shannon. According to the report, a "close associate" of Shannon's says he prefers a higher profile job than that of FAU, and would prefer it was out west, with the Arizona job currently catching his eye.

Leach, on the other hand, didn't say no.

“I do plan to coach,” said Leach when asked if he'd consider the FAU gig. “Craig is a great man and FAU is a great program. Anything negative that happens to Miami can only help FAU and FIU.”
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:34 am
 

Keys to the Game: Virginia Tech at Wake Forest

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WILL WIN IF: Logan Thomas performs the way he did against Miami last Saturday. Thomas had struggled with inconsistencies so far in his first year as the Hokies' starter, but his showing against the Hurricanes as good as anyone could expect. The athletic sophomore completed 23 of 25 passes for 310 yards, three touchdowns, and the game-winning 19-yard touchdown run to seal the 38-35 Coastal Division victory. Running back David Wilson is a star, and the ACC's second-leading rusher is going to get his yards against most opponents. But Thomas' accuracy through the air now forces opponents to respect the passing game, which in turn also will open things up for Wilson to get even more yards.

WAKE FOREST WILL WIN IF: The Demon Deacons can get an effecting running game going against a thin Virginia Tech defensive front. The Hokies defense has been hit hard by injuries, particularly on the defensive line. It showed late in the game against Miami as Lamar Miller took over for the Hurricanes in the fourth quarter, collecting all 90 yards on the way to Miami's final touchdown. Wake Forest running back Josh Harris is fresh off a 100-yard performance against Florida State, and backup Brandon Pendergrass has been effective in short yardage situations. The Hokies back seven is well coached and will be less likely to bite on many of the trick plays, so a solid rushing attack will be needed to keep them honest.

X-FACTOR: The Virginia Tech defense and special teams failed to force a turnover against Miami on Saturday. It is the first time the Hokies have not done so in a game since Oct. 16 of last season. Interestingly enough, the opponent on that day was the Demon Deacons. Saturday also marked the end of a 12-game steak of intercepting the opposing quarterback. Thankfully Logan Thomas put together that memorable performance, and the Hokies were able to win on the final drive. With so much of Wake's offensive success relying on quarterback Tanner Price, getting an interception or two to kill drives and rattle the sophomore's confidence could go a long way in keeping the Hokies in the ACC title hunt.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: October 10, 2011 5:55 pm
 

The Poll Attacks: Week 6

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The latest college football polls are out and now it's time to rip them to shreds. Senior college basketball writer Gary Parrish has been calling out voters in the major hoops polls for thinking a little bit too far outside of the box when it comes to their AP ballots every week.

With the football season starting, I thought I'd steal take the baton on the idea from my colleague and keep all of the writers across the country who vote honest. I've come to know a good number of these people through time and twitter but relationships do not matter, bad votes do.

AP Poll           Coaches Poll           Harris Poll

(Details of AP ballots courtesy of PollSpeak.com)

Poll reactions: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC

Rodney Dangerfield "No respect" team of the week: Kansas State

  You would think that the coaches (or sports information directors) that vote in the Coaches Poll would appreciate what Bill Snyder has done at Kansas State this year. The Wildcats are undefeated so far this season with wins at Miami and against Baylor and Missouri. They don't have much of a passing game (115th in the country) but do have a good ground game, even without the services of former former five-star running back Bryce Brown. Not sure then why the coaches have Kansas State 18th then, one spot below where they are underrated in the AP Poll. They're below South Carolina and Nebraska, both of whom are one-loss teams that have more issues. This is the ultimate "don't get no respect" program but Snyder has them playing hard and playing tough this season.

Overrated: Auburn

  First of all, no one expected Auburn to be sitting 3rd in the SEC West with only two total loses approaching the halfway mark in the season. They're one of only two teams to play three teams that are currently ranked in the top 25. They are, however, not supposed to be one of them. The Tigers are just barely in the top 25, ranked 24th in the AP Poll and unranked in the Coaches. Once again, some kudos for the latter for keeping them out. Gene Chizik's group has gotten lucky in most of their wins - they're 80th in total offense and 105th in total defense - and really only the South Carolina one is notable. That's why it's funny to see Jon Wilner put them 12th and Andy Staples to rank them 17th. Too high gentlemen, act more like Brett McMurphy who has Auburn unranked.

California Craziness

A trio of voters from California (CSN Bay Area/CBSSports.com's Ray Ratto, San Jose Mercury News' Jon Wilner, LA Daily News' Scott Wolf) are an interesting voting block. Some would call them progressive, others would call them extreme and just about everybody else will call them crazy given their fluctuations in their ballots each week. All three are consistently in Pollspeak's group of "extreme voters" so we'll highlight the most baffling decision(s) out of each.

  Three in a row for Wolf! He pulls into the lead in the race to the top/bottom of the California Craziness derby. Wisconsin is 8th, lowest on any ballot in the country, while West Virginia is right behind them ranked 9th, highest on any ballot. Florida is still a top 15 team according to Wolf, despite quarterbacks that were born in the 1990's who have barely taken any snaps. Undefeated Illinois is 22nd, behind two-loss Notre Dame, while Auburn is 17th. Undefeated Kansas State is 24th (see above) and SMU is on the ballot at 25th. Yeah...

What were you thinking? Ron Higgins, Memphis Commercial Appeal

Ron, I feel for you. You probably have to watch Memphis Tigers football closely and have to do so more often than anyone. That's rough but you still have to vote in the AP Poll. You didn't turn in a ballot this week, causing some angst back in the office for those that coordinate and release the thing we have to rip to shreds every Monday on CBSSports.com. Remember, every vote counts and, unlike the state of Florida, we know how to count them. Thanks! (P.S. if you want me to email a reminder, I'll do so!)

Team bias

Our tech team at CBSSports.com is pretty awesome and came up with this neat tool to take a look at team and region bias in the AP Poll. Check it out below, it's a fun thing to play around with.





Posted on: October 10, 2011 3:19 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 5:20 pm
 

Week 7 Picks: Who do you like?

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Each week, the CBSSports.com college football staff offer their choice for the week's Expert Picks. But before we make our selections for Week 7, we spin the wheel o' games to select a handful of contests we want your take on. You can see the results of the voting each Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on Inside College Football, which airs on CBS Sports Network. 

We've got eight pretty interesting games for you to choose from this week, including Texas having to rebound from its loss against Oklahoma with a game against Oklahoma State. There's also the battle for the state of Michigan between the Spartans and the Wolverines, Arizona State looking to make a major statement against Oregon, and Florida facing what could be a must-win against Auburn.

So, dear readers, who do you like?

Posted on: October 10, 2011 1:37 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 3:46 pm
 

Big 12 Poll Reactions, Week 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big 12 fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.

(AP/Coaches) 

3/1. Oklahoma

The Sooners don't budge in the polls this week after destroying Texas on Saturday, and while I think the Sooners have a much stronger case for being on top in both polls after that win, I don't really begrudge the AP voters for keeping them third either. So far this season the Sooners two biggest wins have come against a Texas team that it made look really bad on Saturday afternoon, and a Florida State team that just lost to Wake Forest this weekend. That kind of hurts Oklahoma's resume. That being said, LSU and Alabama are going to play each other in November, and as long as Oklahoma keeps on winning, it will likely end up playing for a BCS title.

6/7. Oklahoma State

Much like Oklahoma, the Cowboys don't move in the polls this week after annihilating Kansas on Saturday. Oklahoma State put up 70 points on the Jayhawks, and that was after it took its starters out with over three minutes left in the second quarter. I honestly believe that had Mike Gundy kept Brandon Weeden and company in for the entire sixty minutes, the Cowboys would have broken the century mark. They also might have climbed a spot or two in the rankings because of it.

17/18. Kansas State

This is about right for the Wildcats, as the team moved up three spots in both the AP and Coaches Poll this week. The Wildcats are undefeated, but aside from the win over Baylor, they haven't beat a really strong opponent yet. Yes, the win over Miami on the road was a nice win, but the Hurricanes are 2-3 this season with their only wins coming over Bethune Cookman and a bad Ohio State team. Not that any of this is Kansas State's fault, but until the Wildcats host the Sooners at the end of the month, we won't have a great idea of what exactly we have in Manhattan. Though a win over a Texas Tech team that gave Texas A&M trouble on Saturday night in Lubbock this weekend would make things a bit clearer as well.

20/24. Baylor

I really don't understand why the coaches have no respect for this Baylor team yet. It's only loss of the year has come against an unbeaten Kansas State, and it had a win over TCU to start the season. I've been more impressed with what Baylor has done this season than I have Texas A&M and Texas, yet both of those schools are ahead of them in the Coaches Poll.

21/23. Texas A&M

When the season is over, will Texas A&M be one of the 25 best schools in the country? I'd say, barring some more late collapses, yes. Though that doesn't mean a team that is 3-2 should be ranked right now, especially when both those losses -- which did come against ranked teams -- came in such embarrassing fashion.

22/21 Texas

I said last week that I felt like the Longhorns were ranked a bit too high compared to what they had actually accomplished on the season, and I think that came through on Saturday. This is a young team with a lot of talent and a lot to learn still, and this is the first time all season in which I feel the voters have Texas pegged just right. A good team, but not upper echelon.

Others Receiving Votes

Texas Tech

The Red Raiders lost some support from voters this week, as they showed up on only two ballots in the AP voting and nine coaches ballots. Which makes sense because Tech is coming off a loss, and though it's 4-1 on the year none of those four victories are anything you'd want to brag about. Something that could change when Kansas State comes to town on Saturday. If Tech wins that game then it's going to crack the Top 25.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com