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NFL Calender - Fall Meetings End Today

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October 7-9 - Fall League Meeting, Washington, D.C.

October 15 - Beginning the day after the conclusion of the sixth regular season weekend and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend, clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period.

October 27 - NFL International Series, San Francisco 49ers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, London, England.

October 29 – NFL trading ends for 2013 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.

October 30 - Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.

November 12 - At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive Offer Sheets.

November 12 - Prior to 4:00 p.m. New York time
Deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive Offer Sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
Deadline for clubs to sign their Unrestricted Free Agents to whom the “June 1 Tender” was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.
Deadline for Clubs to sign their Restricted Free Agents, including those to whom the “June 1 Tender” was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2013.

November 29 - Deadline at 4:00 p.m. New York time, for reinstatement of players in Reserve List categories of Retired, Did Not Report, and Exclusive Rights, and of players who were placed on Reserve/Left Squad in a previous season.

December 29 – Week 17 ends Regular season games.

December 30 - Clubs may begin signing free agent players for the 2014 season.

December 30 - Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.

December 30 - Option exercise period begins for Fifth-Year Option for First-Round Selections from the 2011 College Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after December 30, 2013 but prior to May 3, 2014.

2014
January 4-5 - Wild Card Playoff Games.

January 5 - Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.

January 11-12 - Divisional Playoff Games.

January 12 - Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.

January 19 - AFC and NFC Championship Games.

January 26 - AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii.

January 26 - An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.

February 2 - Super Bowl XLVIII, MetLife Stadium, New Jersey.

Alabama Heads Coaches and AP Polls

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Alabama Heads Coaches and AP Polls
15 Teams Remain Undefeated

Photo – QB A.J. McCarron - Alabama

Team of the Week - Ohio St

Coaches Poll
Rank /Team / Record / First Place Votes / Previous Rank

1 Alabama - 5-0 - 57 - 1
2 Oregon - 5-0 - 3 - 4
3 Ohio St. - 6-0 - 0
4 Clemson - 5-0 - 1
5 Stanford - 5-0
6 Florida St. – 5-0
7 Georgia - 4-1
8 Louisville - 5-0
9 Texas A&M - 4-1
10 Oklahoma - 5-0
11 LSU - 5-1
12 South Carolina - 4-1
13 UCLA - 4-0
14 Miami - 5-0
15 Baylor - 4-0
16 Michigan - 5-0
17 Florida - 4-1
18 Northwestern - 4-1
19 Washington - 4-1
20 Oklahoma St. - 4-1
21 Texas Tech - 5-0
22 Fresno State - 5-0
23 Northern Illinois - 5-0
24 Nebraska - 4-1
25 Virginia Tech - 5-1

Dropped Out: #24 Arizona State

AP Poll
1 Alabama - 5-0
2 Oregon - 5-0
3 Clemson - 5-0
4 Ohio St. - 6-0
5 Stanford - 5-0
6 Florida St. - 5-0
7 Georgia - 4-1
8 Louisville - 5-0
9 Texas A&M - 4-1
10 LSU – 4-1
11UCLA - 4-0
12 Oklahoma - 5-0
13 Miami - 5-0
14 South Carolina - 4-1
15 Baylor - 4-0
16 Washington - 4-1
17 Florida - 4-1
18 Michigan - 5-0
19 Northwestern - 4-1
20 Texas Tech – 5-0
21 Fresno State - 5-0
22 Oklahoma St. - 4-1
23 Northern Illinois - 5-0
25 Virginia Tech - 5-1
25 Missouri - 5-0

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 18 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

NFL Power Rankings - Seahawks, Broncos, Saints & Patriots Top Charts

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NFL Power Rankings – 2013 Season
NFL Power Rankings - Week 5

Photo - QB Peyton Manning - Broncos -

Offensive Player of the Week - QB Philip Rivers - Chargers
Defensive Player of the Year - LB Junior Galette - Saints
Offensive Rookie of the Week - QB E.J. Manuel - Bills
Defensive Rookie of the Year - DE Barkevious’ Mingo - Browns

Team of the Week - Chargers -

Rank / Team / Record

1. Seattle Seahawks (4-0)
The Seahawks won a major road test at Houston last week that marks them one of the clubs to beat this season.

2. Denver Broncos (4-0)
Peyton Manning is having his greatest season ever this year.

3. New Orleans Saints (4-0)
Saints are almost unbeatable at home.

4. New England Patriots (4-0)
Patriots won a huge game at Atlanta on Sunday night.

5. Baltimore Ravens (2-2)
The Ravens’ added LOT Eugene Monroe to take a run at the AFC North down the stretch.

6. Houston Texans (2-2)
Texans are struggling to turn the corner in big games.

7. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
The Bengals were beat in a key AFC North game at Cleveland last week.

8. Kansas City Chiefs (4-0)
The Chiefs with QB Alex Smith and an emerging young defense gives this club one of the rising units in the AFC.

9. Detroit Lions (3-1)
Lions won a huge game vs the Bears that may be the pivotal game on their entire season.

10. San Francisco 49ers (2-2)
The 49ers beat the Rams but must get ready for the Texans at home this week.

11. Chicago Bears (3-1)
The Bears have to lick their wounds from loss to Lions and get ready for the Saints.

12. Indianapolis Colts (2-2)
Colts coming off win at Jacksonville and start core of their schedule this week with Seahawks in town.

13. Miami Dolphins (3-1)
The Dolphins are off this week and regroup after their first loss to the Saints.

14. Dallas Cowboys (2-2)
Cowboys are a .500 club but atop the weak NFC East thus far.

15. Atlanta Falcons (1-3)
Falcons are the best 1-3 team I have ever seen.

16. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
Packers’ had two weeks to prepare for Lions coming to town.

17. Tennessee Titans (3-1)
The Titans off to a fast start but QB Jake Locker down for the next month plus.

18. San Diego Chargers (2-2)
Chargers get a critical AFC West matchup at Oakland this week.

19. Cleveland Browns (2-2)
The Browns won a huge game vs the Bengals that has them thinking playoff contention.

20. New York Jets (2-2)
The Jets face a very difficult matchup in Atlanta this week.

21. Buffalo Bills (2-2)
The Bills are competitive this season but probably too young to stay in contention.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)
Eagles enter critical NFC games over next month of schedule.

23. New York Giants (0-4)
The GMen are still making critical mistakes that cost games.

24. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Cards are struggling to mesh and have a killer schedule over next month.

25. St. Louis Rams (1-3)
The Rams get the Jaguars at home this week and need a W big time.

26 Washington Redskins (1-3)
The Skins came back vs the Raiders for first victory and go into their bye week prior to facing key midseason matchups.

27. Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Vikings defense stops no one this far.

28. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
Panthers looked great vs the Giants and come off their week with two soft games on the agenda.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-4)
Steelers look terrible, but get their bye week to regroup.

30. Oakland Raiders (1-3)
The Raiders face two critical AFC West matchups vs Chargers and Chiefs over next two weeks.

31. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-4)
Bucs make major changes at QB with Josh Freeman release.

32 .Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4)
Only drunks go to Jacksonville games.

College Football Mondays – Southern Cal Fires HC Lane Kiffin

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College Football Monday – Week 5

Team of the Week: Georgia

Players of the Week
Offense: QB Aaron Murray - Georgia
Defense: DE Shayon Green - Miami

Upcoming Game of the Week: Ohio St (5-0) at Northwestern (4-0)

Southern Cal Fires HC Lane Kiffin
Southern Cal Athletic Director Pat Haden fired HC Lane Kiffin after an embarrassing 62-41 loss to Arizona St. The loss left the Trojans at 3-2 in the early action and only 4-7 over the last 11 games. That includes so-so wins over Hawaii and Utah St. His 10-8 record the past two seasons was done with basically his recruits while his marginal early success were players recruited by prior HC Pete Carroll.
Kiffin has been one of the youngest head coaches at his recent stops with the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee University prior to Southern Cal. All three tenures were a disaster especially with the Raiders where he proved he was over his head especially with people skills. He battled with legendary Raider owner Al Davis that led to an abrupt firing. His short tenure at Tennessee was a disgrace where he openly lied to UT officials and left abruptly in year two for the Southern Cal position.

His immaturity and arrogant attitude alienated many USC officials and alumni, not to mention the media in general and many at prior coaching stops. He is the perfect example of nepotism at high levels. He has been a self-promoted job hoppin coach whose success was marginal at best. His past three positions leave some serious questions about his ability to coach and motivate athletes. His lies at Tennessee did serious damage to one of the premier college programs in the nation.

His poor performance and maturity with the Raiders left a lingering negative image with NFL personnel men, though in a sport mired in nepotism, he will probably surface as an offensive coordinator or QB coach with some pro club.

2013 Season Insight:
Alabama drilled a young Ole Miss squad with a 25-0 shutout that keeps them as the #1 club in all the polls. Ole Miss is an up and coming program but was not able to handle the physical Bama team that can beat a club on all levels. The Tide might cruise into the LSU game on Nov. 9th undefeated with marginal challenges on their schedule. They could be headed to a showdown with Georgia in the SEC title game if both clubs continue their strong performances.

Georgia won a dramatic 44-41 shootout with LSU with QB Aaron Murray putting his signature on a major win for the program in a critical SEC matchup. Murray lead a game winning drills with 1:47 to play to defeat the unbeaten Tigers in a classic contest. Both QB Murray and LSU QB Zach Mettenberger put on a clinic matchup drive after drive until the former passer closed it out for the Bulldogs’ victory.

Georgia has the roster to beat the champion Bama team especially if they meet later in the season after their young defense can gain valuable experience. The Bulldog’s opening game loss to Clemson will hang over their head, though they are capable of running the table into the SEC title game. That can put them in a major bowl matchup and possible rematch with Clemson for national honors.

Wisconsin lost a tough game at Ohio St at 31-24 with a last second first half TD pass that was the ultimate difference. The Badgers young defense failed in critical spots that enabled the Buckeyes to get over a major hurdle in the Big Ten. They face an undefeated Northwestern club that enters the toughest part of their Big Ten schedule. This may be the biggest game in Evanston, Il in over a decade. The Wildcats have had good seasons recently, but continually fail in key Big Ten matchups.

Stanford faces a major test vs Washington at home this week in a contest of unbeaten before they face their toughest run vs Pac 12 opponents. Their young offense has gained valuable experience entering the strong midseason schedule. They look like a club building with each game and still have a month before battling Oregon at home in early November. The Stanford-Washington clash is one of three games this weekend of undefeated teams with Northwestern vs Ohio St and Florida St vs Maryland the others.

Upset of the Week – Utah knocks UCLA from the unbeaten ranks this Saturday.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

Pro Prospect Rankings - NFL Draft 2014

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Pro Prospect Rankings - NFL Draft 2014
Early 2013 Season Rankings * underclassmen

Draft Insiders’ – Pro Prospect Rankings – available now
Free for Full Subscribers – Order Today on Publication Page or
Call 1-800-776-1949

Photo: QB A.J. McCarron - Alabama

Offense
Quarterbacks:

1. * Teddy Bridgewater, 6-2, 220 - Louisville
2. AJ McCarron, 6-3, 215 - Alabama
3. Tajh Boyd, 6-0, 225 - Clemson
4. Aaron Murray, 6-1, 210 - Georgia
5. Derek Carr, 6-3, 210 - Fresno St
6. David Fales, 6-3, 220 - San Jose St
7. Stephen Morris, 6-2, 210 - Miami
8. Logan Thomas, 6-5, 255 - Virginia Tech
9. Tyler Russell, 6-5, 220 - Mississippi St
10. Keith Price, 6-1, 205 - Washington
11. Zach Mettenberger, 6-5, 225 - LSU
12. Garrett Gilbert, 6-3, 225 - Southern Methodist
13. Tom Savage, 6-5, 230 - Pittsburgh
14. James Franklin, 6-2, 230 - Missouri
15. Bryn Renner, 6-3, 225 - North Carolina

Running Backs:
1. * Lache Seastrunk, 5-9, 2105 - Baylor
2. * Ka'Deem Carey, 5-9, 205 - Arizona
3. * Michael Dyer, 5-9, 210 - Louisville
4. Damien Williams, 5-10, 215 - Oklahoma
5. * James Wilder, 6-1, 230 - Florida St
6. Marion Grice, 5-11, 205 - Arizona St
7. Antonio Andrews, 5-11, 215 - Western Kentucky
8. * Charles Sims, 5-11, 215 - West Virginia
9. James White, 5-9, 200 - Wisconsin
10. Silas Redd, 5-9, 200 - Southern Cal
11. LaDarius Perkins, 5-9, 195 - Mississippi St
12. Dri Archer, 5-7, 175 - Kent St
13. * Bishop Sankey, 5-9, 205 - Washington
14. Marcus Coker, 5-11, 230 - Stony Brook
15. Glasco Martin, 6-0, 220 - Baylor
16. * Carlos Hyde, 5-11, 245 - Ohio St
17. David Fluellen, 5-11, 215 - Toledo
18. Charles Ross, 6-0, 230 - Rice
19. * Malcolm Mitchell, 6-0, 190 - Georgia
20. John Hubert, 5-7, 195 - Kansas St
21. Tim Flanders, 5-10, 200 - Sam Houston St.
22. Orleans Darkwa, 5-11, 210 - Tulane
23. Waylon James, 5-8, 205 - Texas Christian
24. Brennan Clay, 5-10, 200 - Oklahoma
25. AJ Blue, 6-1, 215 - North Carolina

Fullbacks:
1. Trey Millard, 6-1, 260 - Oklahoma
2. J.C.Copleland, 6-1, 270 - LSU
3. Trey Burton, 6-0, 225 - Florida
4. Ryan Hewitt, 6-3, 245 - Stanford
5. Jay Prosch, 6-0, 255 - Auburn
6. Chad Abram, 5-11, 240 - Florida St
7. C.J. Zimmerer, 6-0, 230 - Nebraska
8. Maurice Hagens, 5-10, 250 - Miami
9. Mike Trumpy, 6-0, 210 - Northwestern
10. Pat Zerbe, 6-0, 245 - Penn St

Wide Receivers:
1. * Marquise Lee, 6-0, 195 - Southern Cal
2. * Sammy Watkins, 6-0, 200 - Clemson
3. Jordan Matthews, 6-2, 205 - Vanderbilt
4. * Brandon Coleman, 6-5, 220 - Rutgers
5. * Jarvis Landry, 6-1, 195 - LSU
6. Cody Hoffman, 6-3, 215 - BYU
7. Jalen Saunders, 5-9, 160 - Oklahoma
8. * Allen Robinson, 6-2, 205 - Penn St
9. Mike Davis, 6-1, 195 - Texas
10. Kevin Norwood, 6-1, 195 - Alabama
11. * Odell Beckham, 5-10, 190 - LSU
12. Josh Huff, 5-10, 205 - Oregon
13. Ryan Grant, 6-0, 190 - Tulane
13. Jared Abbrederis, 6-2, 190 - Wisconsin
14. Devin Street, 6-3, 190 - Pittsburgh
15. * Kenny Bell, 6-0, 185 - Nebraska
16. Bernard Reedy, 5-8, 175 - Toledo
17. Chandler Jones, 5-10, 175 - San Jose St
18. Shaq Evans, 6-0, 210 - UCLA
19. Michael Campanaro, 5-11, 195 - Wake Forest
20. Noel Grigsby, 5-10, 175 - San Jose St
21. Eric Ward, 5-11, 205 - Texas Tech
22. Corey Brown, 5-11 190 - Ohio St
23. D.J. Coles, 6-3, 240 - Virginia Tech
24. Brandon Wimberly, 6-2, 225 - Nevada
25. Quinton Payton, 6-3, 215 - North Carolina St

Tight Ends:
1. * Austin Seferian-Jenkins, 6-5, 270 - Washington
2. * Eric Ebron, 6-4, 245 - North Carolina
3. * Xavier Grimble, 6-5, 250 - Southern Cal
4. * Colt Lyerla, 6-5, 250 - Oregon
5. Arthur Lynch, 6-5, 255 - Georgia
6. C.J. Fiedorowicz, 6-6, 265 - Iowa
7. Jacob Pedersen, 6-4, 240 - Wisconsin
8. Crockett Gillmore, 6-5, 255 - Colorado St
9. Ted Bolser, 6-5, 255 - Indiana
10. Chris Coyle, 6-2, 225 - Arizona St
11. Asa Watson, 6-4, 235 - North Carolina St
12. Justin Jones, 6-7, 275 - East Carolina
13. Jordan Najvar, 6-5, 260 - Baylor
14. Marcel Jensen, 6-5, 260 - Fresno St
15. Gator Hoskins, 6-2, 245 - Marshall
16. Asante Cleveland, 6-4, 260 - Miami
17. Kaneakua Friel, 6-4, 250 - BYU
18. Gabe Holmes, 6-5, 250 - Purdue
19. Matt Lehman, 6-5, 255 - Penn St
20. Joe Don Duncan, 6-3, 265 - Dixie St

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

NFL Power Rankings - Seahawks Earn Top Spot

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NFL Power Rankings – 2013 Season
NFL Power Rankings - Week 4

Photo - QB Drew Brees - Saints -

Offensive Player of the Week - QB Peyton Manning - Broncos
Defensive Player of the Year - DE Greg Hardy - Panthers
Offensive Rookie of the Week - RB Giovani Bernard - Bengals
Defensive Rookie of the Year - DE Ziggy’ Ansah - Lions

Team of the Week - Bengals -

Rank / Team / Record

1. Seattle Seahawks (3-0)
The Seahawks face a major road test at Houston this week that could be a pivotal contest for both conference playoff races.

2. Denver Broncos (3-0)
Peyton Manning is in a total zone that can take this club far this season.

3. New Orleans Saints (3-0)
It’s a new season in the Big Easy.

4. New England Patriots (3-0)
Tom Brady vs Matt Ryan in a great Sunday night QB matchup.

5. Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
The Ravens’ took it to the Texans and are still a club to deal with in big games.

6. Houston Texans (2-1)
Texans face a major test at home with the Seahawks coming to town.

7. Cincinnati Bengals (2-1)
The Bengals came back and beat the Packers at home that could be their turning point for this young club.

8. Miami Dolphins (3-0)
The Dolphins are hungry and look to press the Patriots for the AFC East title.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (3-0)
The Chiefs young defense gives club one of the best units in the AFC and an emerging contender.

10. San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
The 49ers are struggling and face the Rams who they did not beat last season.

11. Chicago Bears (3-0)
The Bears are off to a fast start and now face a huge road game vs divisional rival Detroit.

12. Detroit Lions (2-1)
Lions get the Bears at home this week that may be the pivotal game on their entire season.

13. Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
Colts go to Jacksonville this week and look to take command of the AFC South.

14. Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Cowboys are the only NFC East club that has not imploded in the first month.

15. Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Falcons failed to hold lead vs Dolphins and have Patriots coming to town this week,

16. Green Bay Packers (1-2)
Packers’ are mediocre on both sides of the ball and welcome their bye week to regroup.

17. Tennessee Titans (2-1)
The Titans get the Jets this week before starting a tough month vs playoff clubs.

18. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)
Eagles have been very inconsistent and go to Denver to face the hot Broncos.

19. San Diego Chargers (1-2)
Chargers need a win at home vs the Cowboys to stay in the hunt in the improved AFC West.

20. New York Giants (0-3)
The GMen did not show up in shutout loss to the Panthers and face a difficult road game in KC this week.

21. Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Cards need a win in Tampa to stay in the hunt in the NFC West.

22. St. Louis Rams (1-2)
The Rams get the 49ers on Thursday night and need to show they stay in the NFC West race.

23. Cleveland Browns (1-2)
The Browns are loading the cannon for the NFL Draft 2014 after the trade of Trent Richardson for another #1 pick.

24. New York Jets (2-1)
The Jets face a key AFC East contest with the Bills that may be a pivotal game for young offense.

25 Washington Redskins (0-3)
The Skins look terrible with no spark and allowing 2nd most points in the league.

26. Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
Vikings face Steelers in London in a battle of winless clubs.

27. Buffalo Bills (1-2)
The Bills keep coming up short and face the Ravens this week.

28. Carolina Panthers (1-2)
Panthers looked like world beaters vs the Giants last week.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3)
Steelers look older with every game over past two seasons.

30. Tampa Bay Bucs (0-3)
Bucs might make major changes at QB if Josh Freeman continues to struggle.

31. Oakland Raiders (1-2)
The Raiders face a critical home matchup vs winless Washington this weekend.

32 .Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
Jaguars are much worst than their record.

College Football Mondays - Undefeated Teams Move Into Conference Games

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College Football Monday – Week 4
Team of the Week: Fresno St.

Players of the Week
Offense: QB Tom Savage - Pittsburgh
Defense: LB C.J. Mosley - Alabama

Photo: LB Shayne Skov - Stanford

Upcoming Game of the Week: LSU (4-0) at Georgia (2-1)
With the first month of the college football season in the books, there are still 20 clubs undefeated with the top eight teams in the rankings showing perfect records. Coming off a soft overall weekend schedule, Alabama continues to hold their #1 ranking in every poll with the top five unchanged.

Though Bama holds the top spot in the national rankings, many feel that Oregon and Clemson will rise in the point totals over the next month. Both are legitimate national threats to upset the Bama club. Within the SEC, the Tide will face a huge test from LSU in November, though little else with a soft overall schedule with no Georgia, Florida or South Carolina on their regular season agenda.

The Tide faces a rejuvenated Ole Miss (3-0) club this week that comes off a bye week. Ole Miss is a very young club that had a great recruiting class and a potential force going forward in the SEC. This week’s matchup is interesting to see how mature they are at this point of their development. Oregon faces Cal at home and Clemson hosts Wake Forest in two expected mismatches.

The Game of the Week is LSU at Georgia in a battle of two Top Ten clubs. The winner could vault themselves into the top five if any of the higher rank clubs struggle. LSU is a powerhouse, though another very young club after losing a record 11 underclassmen to the pro ranks after last season. Georgia is also a SEC power that reloads the cannon annually after sustaining huge losses to the NFL especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Both clubs have senior QBs in Georgia’s Aaron Murray and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger and strong ground games built around power backs Todd Gurley and Jeremy Hill. The two young defenses will be fully tested in this contest that can carry huge national impact through the year. The two clubs have not met in the regular season since 2009 in a SEC quirk in the schedule. The Tigers did pound the Bulldogs 42-10 in the SEC Championship after the 2011 season.

2013 Season Insight:
Pittsburgh senior QB Tom Savage had an impressive performance that earned him Offensive Player of the Week honors. Savage threw for a Pitt record 6 TDs for 424 yards on 23 of 33 passes with no interceptions. The TD passes tied an ACC record and the yardage was the 4th best in Pitt history. That is very impressive considering HOF QB Dan Marino played for the Panthers. Savage is a much travelled senior who began his career at Rutgers. He has NFL talent that may finally be maturing entering his critical final season. Ohio St. has not missed QB Braxton Miller much with backup QB Kenny Gulton setting a new Buckeye record with 6 TD passes vs Florida A&M.

Maryland is undefeated and off to their best start (4-0) since 2001. They were impressive Saturday when their shutout West Virginia 37-0. HC Randy Edsall was 4-8 last season and 6-18 over his short two year tenure. The Terps were highly criticized last season after going only 2-6 in the ACC and no postseason. They are winning with only a handful of seniors starting. Edsall’s first recruiting class are only true juniors this season and it looks like blue skies ahead in the tough Atlantic division that features Florida St and Clemson.
UCLA is a hot club going into their bye weekend. They begin their Pac 12 schedule Oct 3rd at Utah. They face key midseason road games at Stanford and Oregon that could move them into the top ten rankings. They are a young club is gaining confidence under HC Jim Mora and emerging star QB Brett Hundley that made fast progress over his second starting season.

Rutgers won a big game at a home sellout vs Arkansas, coming back with 21 second half points for a 28-24 victory. Rutger’s QB Gary Nova threw for 346 yards and 3 TDs. They go on the road to SMU and Louisville that will fully test a young club especially on defense. Their defense will be fully tested by QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Garrett Gilbert. If they survive those games they will be home for 4 of their final 6 contests with a strong chance for the postseason.

One of the remarkable coaching jobs over the past two seasons is by HC Bill O’Brien. After losing the first two games on the 2012 season, the Nittany Lions went 8-2 the rest of the season prior to their fast 3-1 start this fall. That is amazing considering the pressure the PSU program was under after the Jerry Sandusky tragedy/ scandal. Hopefully the institution continues to heal and rectify their mistakes within the community. They begin their Big Ten schedule at Indiana after a bye week this Saturday with tough conference opponents Michigan and Ohio St. to follow.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

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