Author: Mark Blaudschun

No. 9 Penn State

 Midway through last season, the Nittany Lions were struggling through a 2-2 start and were headed for a loss to Minnesota at home. Just when the Penn State beat writers started to get their “coaching search” faces on in searching for potential replacements for Penn State head coach James Franklin, everything changed. Penn State pulled off an overtime win against the Gophers and did not lose the remainder of the regular season, which included a win over eventual Big Ten champion Ohio State. Only a wild 52-49 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl soiled the comeback.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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No. 10 Auburn

Auburn didn’t have the best recruiting class in the country, nor in the SEC, nor in the SEC West.  But the Tigers will have a newcomer who could make all the difference this fall.  Graduate transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham (that rule will be eventually tweaked) will play for Auburn this season after transferring from Baylor. Stidham was good enough to srart for Baylor two years ago and he is good enough to lead an Auburn offensive unit that also includes a pair of running backs Kamryn Pettway and Kerryon Johnson who combined for 2,000 yards rushing last season. Throw in a kicker in Daniel Carlson who made 28 of 32 field goals last season and the Tigers will put points on the board every week. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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Is BC QB job still open?

((An outsiders view of goings on at Boston College, aka The Heights) Three weeks into training camp and still there is no official word on who has won the No. 1 starting QB at Boston College, redshirt freshman AJ Brown or junior Darius Wade. With training camp coming to an end later this week and preparation for the Sept. 1 season opener at Northern Illinois, BC coach Steve Addazio has not given any real hint as to which QB will emerge, other than to emphasize the depth BC now has at QB. Three scrimmages haven’t established a front runner yet, although the evaluations that Addazio and offensive coordinator Scott Loeffler make on the QBs may be different than the public perception–which is there is NO clear cut front runner. Privately, Brown, a 6-foot-1 inch 210 pound QB from Cliffwood, N.J. appears to have established himself as a front runner. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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No. 11 Oregon

New coach (Willie Taggart), new defensive coordinator (Jim Leavitt) and a new chance to re-establish themselves as a Pac-12 power. Sounds good to us for the Oregon Ducks, who tumbled from 9-4 to 4-8 last season, which was enough to cost low key Mark Helfrich his job. Taggart was a somewhat surprise pick from South  Florida, where he won a consistent basis. Taggart got off to a rocky start in Eugene when the Oregon strength coach was suspended after three players were hospitalized after some rigorous off season workouts and new co-offensive coordinator  David Reaves was arrested on a DUI charge and resigned.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here....

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No. 12 Michigan

Was last year the chance for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh to walk away with not only a Big Ten title, but a spot in the Final Four? Could be. Coach Jim Harbaugh had all the ingredients–talent, depth, and a user friendly schedule, which guided the Wolverines to a 9-0 start.   But then came a pot hole and a one point loss at Iowa.  The Wolverines recovered and were poised again, but then went into Columbus, squandered a lead and then lost a 3-point overtime game to Ohio State.  A 1-point loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl ended the year and the season on a sour note.  The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.  ...

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Notes

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