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NFL Power Rankings Week 17 - Four Divisional Titles At Stake

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Packers at Lions and Bengals at Steelers Determine North Winners
Bucs and Titans In Chase for #1 overall Selection for NFL Draft 2015

NFL Power Rankings Week 17 –
Falcons Host Panthers With NFC South Title in the Balance

Rookies of the Week –
Offensive Player – WR Odell Beckham - Giants

Defensive Player – LB Khalil Mack - Raiders

Photo - QB Philip Rivers - Chargers

Players of the Week
Offensive Player - QB Philip Rivers - Chargers

Defensive Player – LB Justin Houston - Chiefs

Team of Week 16 - Seahawks
Matchup of Week 17 - Lions at Packers

Rank / Team / Record
1. Seattle Seahawks (11-4)
Seahawks have won 8 of last 9 and the defense is dominant again currently.

2. New England Patriots (12-3)
The veteran Patriots know how to win at less than full speed.

3. Denver Broncos (11-4)
Broncos are struggling down the stretch and Peyton is not right now.

4. Green Bay Packers (11-4)
Packers face the Lions in the divisional title game that determines home field advantage.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1)
The Bengals travel to Pittsburgh with North title in the balance and matchups for two playoff teams.

6. Detroit Lions (11-4)
Lions host a huge contest with Packers that may determine this team’s destiny.

7. Dallas Cowboys (11-4)
Cowboys win the East title and hope to gain home field advantage thru NFC playoffs.

8. San Diego Chargers (9-6)
Chargers will ride the hot Philip Rivers with critical finale vs Chiefs this Sunday.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)
Steelers’ host the Bengals in a huge matchup that will determine AFC playoff matchups.

10. Indianapolis Colts (10-5)
QB Andrew Luck hides a ton of problems with this average club that probably struggles in the postseason.

11. Arizona Cardinals (11-4)
Cards have gone far despite key injuries, but probably struggle with 3rd string QB Lindley the rest of the way.

12. Baltimore Ravens (9-6)
The Ravens lost a vital game at Houston last week and need help to win playoff berth.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6)
Eagles have caved in since Thanksgiving game and go home again to watch playoffs.

14. Kansas City Chiefs (8-7)
The Chiefs have a slim chance for playoffs with Alex Smith out for critical finale vs Chargers.

15. San Francisco 49ers (7-8)
The 49ers came up short this season with HC Jim Harbaugh packing for next destination.

16. Buffalo Bills (8-7)
The Bills have turned the corner, but need more production from the QB spot.

17. Miami Dolphins (8-7)
The Dolphins have improved nicely with young QB Ryan Tannehill making huge strides in year three.

18. Carolina Panthers (6-8-1)
The Panthers are amazingly in first place with final in Atlanta for South title.

19. New York Giants (6-9)
Odell Beckham is a superstar, but GMen are winning meaningless late games once again.

20. Houston Texans (8-7)
Texans have been consistent but lack the firepower of the top clubs.

21. St. Louis Rams (6-9)
The Rams’ punk defense was smoked by the Gmen.

22. Cleveland Browns (7-8)
QB Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel one and done after bombing in debut and sustaining a concussion.

23. Atlanta Falcons (6-9)
Falcon’s won key road matchup with the Saints and host the Panthers in win take all NFC South divisional contest.

24. Minnesota Vikings (6-9)
Vikings have improved slightly yet need a strong postseason to become playoff contender.

25. New Orleans Saints (6-9)
Saints were bombed at home by Falcons and probably the NFL’s most disappointing club this season.

26. Chicago Bears (5-10)
The Bears may be dismantled this offseason after a horrible 2014 performance.

27. Washington Redskins (4-11)
Washington beat the Eagles last week and seek revenge vs the Cowboys in home finale.

28. New York Jets (3-12)
The Jets play out the string before whole changes on coaching and personnel staffs.

29. Oakland Raiders (3-12)
The Raiders had been horrible again, and lost with a veteran group with little upside.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12)
The Jaguars beat the Titans but probably cost them a top two selection in April.

31. Tennessee Titans (2-13)
The Titans were beat by the inept Jets and in the race for the #1 overall selection.

32. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-13)
Bucs are near the bottom in all offensive and defensive statistics and deserve the #1 pick.

NFL Draft 2015 Selection Order - Bucs and Titans Chase #1 Overall Pick

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NFL Draft 2015 Selection Order

Tampa and Tennessee will go into the final weekend to determine the #1 overall selection in the NFL Draft 2015. Both play at home this week vs divisional rivals, the Titans vs the Colts and the Bucs against the Saints. There are three teams at 3-12 with only one club at 4-11 and 5-10. The top ten clubs in the draft order will go down to the wire with 5 teams at 6-9 entering the close of the NFL 2014 season. The final weekend will determine 4 divisional titles which will have a huge effect on the playoff matchups and home field advantage.

Pro Prospect Rankings - December Postseason Top 250 Prospects - available now
December 2014 Newsletter (12 pages) - available next week

NFL Draft 2015 Order
y - Clinched division x - playoff team

1 Tampa Bay - 2-13 - .485
2 Tennessee - 2-13 - .498
3 Jacksonville - 3-12 - .515
4 NY Jets - 3-12 - .554
5 Oakland - 3-12 - .579
6 Washington - 4-11 - .492
7 Chicago - 5-10 - .523
8 Atlanta - 6-9 - .481
9 Minnesota - 6-9 - .481
10 New Orleans - 6-9 - .485
11 NY Giants - 6-9 - .513
12 St. Louis - 6-9 - .533
13 Cleveland - 7-8 - .473
14 San Francisco - 7-8 - .538
15 Houston - 8-7 - .448
16 Miami - 8-7 - .513
17 Cleveland (Buffalo) - 8-7 - .521
18 Kansas City - 8-7 - .525
19 Baltimore - 9-6 - .481
20 Philadelphia - 9-6 - .490
21Carolina - 6-8-1 - .490
22 San Diego - 9-6 - .508
23 x- Pittsburgh - 10-5 - .440
24 y - Indianapolis - 10-5 - .481
25 x - Cincinnati - 10-4-1 - .494
26 y - Dallas - 11-4 - .446
27 x- Detroit - 11-4 - .469
28 x- Green Bay - 11-4 - .481
29 x - Arizona - 11-4 - .525
30 y - Denver - 11-4 - .527
31 x - Seattle - 11-4 - .527
32y - New England - 12-3 - .510

North Dakota State Bisons (14-1) Defends FCS Title

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North Dakota State (14-1) Defends FCS Title with 4th-Straight Championship Game

For the first time in FCS history, two teams from the same league (MISSOURI VALLEY FOOTBALL) will play one another in the title game. The FCS began conducting a tournament in 1978 (then called I-AA).

Semifinal #1 (Friday, Dec. 19) -- #2 North Dakota State 35, Sam Houston State 3
Semifinal #2 (Saturday, Dec. 20) – #5 Illinois State 21, #1 New Hampshire 18

Photo – DE/LB Kyle Emanuel – North Dakota St.

Next: Jan. 10, 2015 – 12 noon CT (ESPN2) – Frisco, Texas. Illinois State vs. North Dakota State

Illinois State (13-1) is making its first title game appearance. The Redbirds beat UNI, Eastern Washington and New Hampshire in the playoffs to get there.

North Dakota State (14-1) is making its fourth-straight title game trip. The Bison are the three-time defending national champions and beat South Dakota State, Coastal Carolina and Sam Houston State to reach Frisco this year.

The teams did not play each other this year and shared the MVFC title with identical 7-1 league records (both teams lost at UNI). The teams (ISU, NDSU) were declared co-champions and NDSU earned the league’s automatic bid designation to the playoffs by virtue of a better national GPI rating (NDSU-1, ILS-2 in that rating).

The MVFC finished the season 30-2 against non-league FCS teams, with the only two losses on the road at then-ranked #4 Montana (regular season) and then-ranked #8 Chattanooga (playoffs).

The league also set a record with 11 wins against non-conference top-25 teams (five in the regular season, six in the playoffs).

The MVFC set a record with 9 playoff wins (the league is 9-3 in the playoffs this year, and that includes two games in which it played another league member). The previous record was 8 by CAA Football in 2004, 2008, and 2009). The MVFC is guaranteed a 10th win.

Valley Football teams have defeated the No. 1 tournament seed five times (including New Hampshire this year). Illinois State's win at New Hampshire also marked the 14th win for the league against a No. 1-ranked team.

North Dakota State has won 15-consecutive playoff games.

A Valley Football team has played in the title game 7 previous times, winning five of those games.
Valley Football teams are 76-54 all-time in the playoffs (since the league was founded in 1985). The league is 28-10 this decade. And the league is 24-7 in the last four tournaments, including this year.

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, 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.

All-Star Game Postseason Begins Today

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All-Star Game Schedule 2014-2015

Photo – WR Tre McBride – William & Mary

Euro-American Challenge
Dec 19 - Myrtle Beach - 7 PM
www.playCDFL.com

DIII Senior Classic
Dec 20 - Myrtle Beach - 12:30 PM
www.playCDFL.com

DII vs NAIA Star game
Dec 20 - Myrtle Beach - 4 PM
www.playCDFL.com

FSC Senior Scout Bowl
Dec 20 - Myrtle Beach - 7:30 PM
www.playCDFL.com

College Gridiron Classic
Jan 10 - Arlington, Texas - Noon ET

East-West Shrine
Jan 17 St. Petersburg, Florida - 4 PM NFL Network

Senior Bowl Week - Jan. 19-24
Game Jan 24 Mobile, Alabama

4 PM - NFL Network

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, 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.

College Bowl Schedule 2014-2015 Thru National Title Game

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College Bowl Schedule Thru National Title Game Jan. 12, 2015

Players of the Year
Offense - QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon
Defense - DE Shane Ray - Missouri

Photo - DE Shane Ray - Missouri -

ROSE BOWL GAME - SEMIFINAL
ESPN - Jan. 1, 2015 | 5:00 PM ET
Pasadena, CA
#2 Oregon (12-1) vs #3 Florida State (13-0)

SUGAR BOWL - SEMIFINAL
ESPN - Jan. 1, 2015 | 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans, LA
#1 Alabama (12-1) vs #4 Ohio State (12-1)

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 20, 2014 | 11:00 AM ET
New Orleans, LA
Nevada (7-5) vs LA-Lafayette (8-4)

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 20, 2014 | 2:20 PM ET
Albuquerque, NM
Utah State (9-4) vs UTEP (7-5)

ROYAL PURPLE LAS VEGAS BOWL
ABC - Dec. 20, 2014 | 3:30 PM ET
Las Vegas, NV
22 Utah (8-4) vs Colorado State (10-2)

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 20, 2014 | 5:45 PM ET
Boise, ID
W Michigan (8-4) vs Air Force (9-3)

RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELLIA BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 20, 2014 | 9:15 PM ET
Montgomery, AL
South Alabama (6-6) vs Bowling Green (7-6)

MIAMI BEACH BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 22, 2014 | 2:00 PM ET
Miami, FL
BYU (8-4) vs Memphis (9-3)

BOCA RATON BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 23, 2014 | 6:00 PM ET
Boca Raton, FL
Marshall (12-1) vs N Illinois (11-2)

S.D. COUNTY CREDIT UNION POINSETTIA
ESPN - Dec. 23, 2014 | 9:30 PM ET
San Diego, CA
Navy (7-5) vs San Diego State (7-5)

POPEYES BAHAMAS BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 24, 2014 | 12:00 PM ET
Nassau
Cent Michigan (7-5) vs W Kentucky (7-5)

HAWAI'I BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 24, 2014 | 8:00 PM ET
Honolulu, HI
Fresno State (6-7) vs Rice (7-5)

ZAXBY'S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 26, 2014 | 1:00 PM ET
Dallas, TX
Illinois (6-6) vs Louisiana Tech (8-5)

QUICK LANE BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 26, 2014 | 4:30 PM ET
Detroit, MI
Rutgers (7-5) vs North Carolina (6-6)

BITCOIN ST. PETERSBURG BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 26, 2014 | 8:00 PM ET
Saint Petersburg, FL
NC State (7-5) vs UCF (9-3)

MILITARY BOWL PRES. BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN
ESPN - Dec. 27, 2014 | 1:00 PM ET
Annapolis, MD
Cincinnati (9-3) vs Virginia Tech (6-6)

HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
CBS - Dec. 27, 2014 | 2:00 PM ET
El Paso, TX
15Arizona State (9-3) vs Duke (9-3)

DUCK COMMANDER INDEPENDENCE BOWL
ABC - Dec. 27, 2014 | 3:30 PM ET
Shreveport, LA
Miami (FL) (6-6) vs South Carolina (6-6)

NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 27, 2014 | 4:30 PM ET
New York, NY
Boston College (7-5) vs Penn State (6-6)

NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HOLIDAY BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 27, 2014 | 8:00 PM ET
San Diego, CA
Nebraska (9-3) vs 24USC (8-4)

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 29, 2014 | 2:00 PM ET
Memphis, TN
Texas A&M (7-5) vs West Virginia (7-5)

RUSSELL ATHLETIC BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 29, 2014 | 5:30 PM ET
Orlando, FL
Oklahoma (8-4) vs 17 Clemson (9-3)

ADVOCARE V100 TEXAS BOWL
ESPN - Dec. 29, 2014 | 9:00 PM ET
Houston, TX
Arkansas (6-6) vs Texas (6-6)

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
ESPN -Dec. 30, 2014 | 3:00 PM ET
Nashville, TN
Notre Dame (7-5) vs 23 LSU (8-4)

For Complete Bowl Schedule Go to Next Page

Oregon's Marcus Mariota Wins Heisman Trophy

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Marcus Mariota Wins Heisman Trophy
Heisman Trophy Voting

Oregon junior quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy in a landslide.
A look at the voting:

Player Total 1st
1. Marcus Mariota - 2,534 - 788
2. Melvin Gordon - 1,250 - 37
3. Amari Cooper - 1,023 - 49
4. Trevone Boykin - 218 - 8
5. J.T. Barrett - 78 - 0
6. Jameis Winston - 51 - 4
7. Tevin Coleman - 44 - 2
8. Dak Prescott - 42 - 2
9. Scooby Wright III - 21 - 0
10. Bryce Petty - 13 - 1
-- Max possible points: 2,787

Photo – QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon

Mariota received the second-highest percentage of possible points (90.92) in Heisman history, behind only Ohio State QB Troy Smith, who had 91.63 in 2006. Southern California tailback Reggie Bush received 91.77 percent of possible points in 2005, but his victory was later vacated for violating NCAA rules.

Mariota is the first Hawaii native to win the Heisman and accounted for a Pac-12-record 53 TDs (38 passing, 14 rushing and one receiving) while directing the Ducks spread offense.
"In Hawaii, if one person is successful, the entire state is successful,'' he said, draped in leis at his news conference.

In the inaugural College Football Playoff, Mariota and the No. 2 Ducks will take on 2013 Heisman winner QB Jameis Winston on New Year’s day in the Rose Bowl national title semi-final.

Ducks QB Marcus Mariota took home 90.9 percent of the possible points in the Heisman Trophy voting, the second-highest mark in the past 50 years:

Year / Player / Pct.
2006 Troy Smith 91.6
2014 Marcus Mariota 90.9
1998 Ricky Williams 85.2
1993 Charlie Ward 83.8
2010 Cam Newton 81.5
1968 O.J. Simpson 79.3
2013 Jameis Winston 79.1

Mariota had a consistently strong 2014season with only for the early October to Arizona a blemish on his and the Ducks’ record. They avenged that loss with an impressive Pac 12 title win over Arizona.

He leads the nation in passer rating (186.2), is fifth in total offense (342.5 yards per game) and has led the Ducks to a Pac-12 title with a chance to play for their first national championship.

He didn't start for his high school team until he was a senior -- then led Saint Louis in Honolulu to a state title. A quiet leader with a nice-guy reputation, Mariota brought no off-field baggage to this Heisman

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, 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.

Draft Insiders’ 2014 All-American Team - QB Marcus Mariota and DE Shane Ray Earn Player of the Year Honors

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Draft Insiders’ 2014 All-American Team
By Frank Coyle

Draft Insiders’ Digest All-America Team
Draft Insiders.com has produced an All-American team for over 20 years. Here is this year’s version of the most outstanding players from the 2014 college season.

Players of the Year
Offense - QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon
Defense - DE Shane Ray - Missouri

Photo - DE Shane Ray - Missouri

First Team Offense
QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon
RB Melvin Gordon - Wisconsin
RB Tevin Coleman - Indiana
WR Amari Cooper - Alabama
WR Kevin White - West Virginia
TE Nick O'Leary - Florida State
OL Brandon Scherff - Iowa
OL Tre' Jackson - Florida State
OL Cedric Ogbuehi - Texas A&M
OL A.J. Cann - South Carolina
C Reese Dismukes - Auburn
PK Roberto Aguayo - Florida State
PR Tyler Lockett - Kansas State

First Team Defense
DL Nate Orchard - Utah
DL Shane Ray - Missouri
DL Joey Bosa - Ohio State
DL Malcolm Brown - Texas
LB Vic Beasley - Clemson
LB Scooby Wright III - Arizona
LB Shaq Thompson - Washington
LB Paul Dawson - TCU
DB Gerod Holliman - Louisville
DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Oregon
DB Senquez Golson - Ole Miss
DB Landon Collins - Alabama
P Tom Hackett - Utah
KR Jamarcus Nelson - UAB

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, 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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