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College Football Mondays

'College Football Mondays' - Frank Coyle's New Weekly Column

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.

#2 Florida St. beats #5 Notre Dame in Classic Matchup

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College Football Monday - Week 8

#2 Florida St. beats #5 Notre Dame in Classic Matchup

Team of the Week: Florida St.

Players Of Week
Offense: QB Jameis Winston – Florida St
Defense: S Cedric Thompson - Minnesota

Photo: QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi St.

Upcoming Game of the Week: #2 Ole Miss (6-0) at #22 LSU (6-2)

SEC West Places Four Clubs in Top Five

The top ten had another major shakeup with three clubs losing critical matchups. Florida St. beat Notre Dame in a classic battle that ended with an Irish penalty on an apparent go ahead touchdown. ND was rightly called for a pass interference call on a pick play that scored the winning score. The Seminoles made a great comeback to go 7-0 behind a laser hot QB Jameis Winston who climbed right in the middle of the Heisman Trophy race with the victory. The win extended the FSU winning streak to 23 games Winston was incredible throughout the 2nd half comeback that saw him complete 15 of his last 16 passes. He still faces possible suspensions from an alleged sexual assault from Dec. 2012 and illegal earning money for signing autographs through the recent offseason. The Seminoles face a fairly easy remaining schedule that probably earns them a spot in the final four in January.

The SEC West division continues to get national news with four teams ranked in the top five clubs, a new milestone in the AP polls. With Mississippi St sitting out this past week with a bye and Ole Miss beating a soft Tennessee club, both Alabama and Auburn moved into the top five with Baylor and Notre Dame losing. Both the Egg Bowl (Mississippi St vs Ole Miss) and Iron Bowl (Alabama vs Auburn) will have major final four implications this year, in two the best rivalries in college football.

Ole Miss goes to LSU this week in what may be the best matchup on the schedule. LSU is currently in 5th place in the SEC West, though certainly capable of beating the Rebels at home. The sleeping Giant in the SEC may be the East leader Georgia which moved into the top ten off a nice win over Arkansas. They play Florida in the biggest cocktail party game, though the matchup has lost its luster with the Gators falling significantly in recent years. The countdown on HC Will Muschamp’s tenure is reaching a peak with only five games remaining on the schedule.

Kansas St. hung on to beat Oklahoma that puts them atop the balanced Big 12 Conference. K-State and TCU have moved into the top ten area but will need help to elevate into the top five. TCU thumped Oklahoma St. 42-9. An unbeaten Baylor team was thrashed by an underrated West Virginia team that saw them fall to #12 in the AP Poll. Baylor had dodged a bullet the prior week, coming back from a 21 point deficit to beat a TCU team in overtime.

Heisman Trophy Race
QB Jameis Winston – Florida St
Erratic sophomore passer comes off his best performance in a huge victory over Notre Dame. The effort puts in position to repeat as both the Heisman Trophy and national champion.

QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi St.
Junior passer is back in action this week at Kentucky. His biggest games come late vs Alabama and Ole Miss that could determine the final Heisman race overcome.

RB Todd Gurley - Georgia
Power junior back sat out his second consecutive game due to suspension for signing memorabilia. It has all but eliminated him form the Heisman race.

QB Marcus Mariota – Oregon
Slick mobile passer had a strong game vs Washington that keeps him in the discussion. With no matchups vs top ten clubs on the schedule, he may have trouble gaining momentum for a push over the second half of the season.

Upset of the Week – LSU beats Ole Miss in Baton Rouge.

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.

Mississippi St. Beats Three Top 10 Teams in Recent Weeks

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College Football Monday - Week 7

Team of the Week: Mississippi St.

Players Of Week
Offense: QB Bryce Petty – Baylor
Defense: LB Zach Vigil – Utah St.

Photo: QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi St.

Upcoming Game of the Week: #6 Notre Dame (6-0) at #2 Florida St (6-0)

Mississippi St Leaps Florida St to Claim #1 Spot

In another wild early regular season weekend, the top ten had a major shakeup with three clubs losing critical matchups. Mississippi St. and Ole Miss won huge top twenty matchups. The Miss. St Bulldogs beat #2 Auburn in the biggest game in Starksville, Mississippi in years that propelled them to the #1 national ranking. Cross state rival Mississippi beat Texas A&M convincingly to solidify their #3 ranking.

The Bulldogs get Kentucky on the road while the Ole Miss Rebels will host Tennessee in what appears to be easy matchups. The SEC has proven anything but easy with Alabama sneaking out a tough win at Arkansas 14-13 last week.

Both Ole Miss and Mississippi St are part of the SEC West division that brings strong challenges through the rest of the fall. Ole Miss goes to LSU in two weeks with Auburn at home the following week before finishing with Arkansas and the instate rivalry Egg Bowl vs Mississippi St.

Mississippi St faces a stubborn Arkansas club on November 1st with a tough challenge mid November at Alabama before the potentially epic Egg Bowl matchup.

The Pac 12 was established itself as the nations’ 2nd best conference with Oregon a legitimate candidate for the final four. Both Arizona St and Arizona have had strong first half performances while a young USC club has made nice progress and appears ready to challenge for a top 15 placement with a run facing a soft schedule this month.

The only game this weekend of undefeated teams is Notre Dame at Florida St. Though neither team faced a strong first half schedule, the winner here is almost guaranteed placement in the final four playoff teams for the national championship. QBs Jameis Winston and Everett Golson get the spotlight and a big performance here puts them in the middle of the Heisman Trophy race.

The TCU vs Oklahoma St. may be another wild shootout. TCU allowed Baylor to get back in the game after a big early lead. They lost in overtime 61-58 to a Baylor club that rode the hot passing of QB Bryce Petty. Auburn gets South Carolina at home in a possible trap game while Alabama goes to Texas A&M where the Aggies face a key game after losing the past two weeks to top five ranked teams Mississippi St and Ole Miss.

Heisman Trophy Race
QB Bryce Petty – Baylor
Senior pocket passer threw six TD passes last week vs top ten opponent TCU, all of the scoring passes over 25 yards. His statistics will rival any passer in the nation and with a top 5 rankings get him heavy national attention.

QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi St.
Junior passer accounted for 3 TDs (2 rushing) in huge win over Auburn that propelled the Bulldogs to the #1 rankings in the polls. He faces Kentucky this week.

RB Todd Gurley - Georgia
Power junior back is currently suspended for signing autographs. He led the nation in rushing despite special attention weekly in the tough SEC.

QB Marcus Mariota – Oregon
Mobile passer had another top game with 2 TDs passing and 2 TDs rushing as the Ducks pounded UCLA 42-30. He faces a major challenge with Washington coming to town on Saturday.

Upset of the Week – Notre Dame beats Florida St. in Tallahassee. This should be a shootout between QBs Jameis Winston and Everett Golson with the winner in the Heisman Trophy finalist discussion.

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.

College Football Monday - Top Ten Shakeup

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College Football Monday - Week 6

Team of the Week: Ole Miss

Players Of Week
Offense: QB Bo Wallace – Ole Miss
Defense: DE Bud Dupree - Kentucky

Photo: QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi St.

Upcoming Game of the Week: #2 Auburn (5-0) at #3 Mississippi St. (5-0)

Upset Saturday Shakes Up Top Ten and Playoff Hopes

In the wildest early regular season weekend in decades, the top ten had a major shakeup with four clubs losing critical matchups. Ole Miss beat #3 Alabama in the biggest game in Oxford, Mississippi in years. Cross state rival Mississippi St was not outdone with an impressive whipping of Texas A&M who entered the game undefeated at 5-0. The Bulldogs jumped on A&M with a strong 48-31 victory. Both Ole Miss and Mississippi St are part of the SEC West division that is comparable to the NFC West. Incredibly, LSU at 4-2 and Arkansas at 3-2 bring up the rear in this powerful division.

The SEC West features another two major clashes this week with Auburn at Mississippi in the only game this weekend of undefeated teams, in addition to the Ole Miss at Texas A&M matchup in College Station. These two games will have a strong bearing on the SEC West leadership entering the critical second half of the season. The top ten could undergo another major reshuffling with six matchups that feature potential playoff finalists for January 2015.

The Auburn at Mississippi St. clash is the only game this weekend of undefeated teams with Ole Miss at Texas A&M, Oregon at UCLA, TCU at Baylor, Alabama at Arkansas and Georgia at Missouri, other great top twenty five matchups.

Heisman Trophy Race
RB Todd Gurley - Georgia

Powerful junior back continues to pound the rock with big numbers weekly vs tough SEC defenses. He faces Missouri this Saturday

QB Dak Prescott – Mississippi St.
Junior passer accounted for 5 TDs (3 rushing) in huge win over Texas A&M. He is in the spotlight this week with #2 Auburn coming to town.

QB Marcus Mariota – Oregon
Mobile passer had another good game, but the Ducks came up short vs Arizona. He faces a major challenge with road game at UCLA on Saturday.

Upset of the Week – Texas A&M recovers from their loss to Mississippi St and beats Ole Miss with help from the 12th man.

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.

2013 Draft Insiders’ Digest 2013 All-American Team

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2013 Draft Insiders’ Digest 2013 All-American 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 2013 College season.

Players of the Year
Offense - RB Tre Mason - Auburn
Defense - DT Aaron Donald – Pittsburgh

Photo – WR Sammy Watkins - Clemson

First Team Offense
Pos./ Name / School / Ht / Wt / Class

QB AJ McCarron, Alabama - 6-4, 214 - Sr.
RB Tre Mason, Auburn - 5-10, 200 - Jr
RB Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona - 5-10, 207 - Jr.
RB Andre Williams, Boston College - 6-0, 227 - Sr.
WR Mike Evans, Texas A&M - 6-5, 225 - Soph
WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson - 6-1 205 - Jr.
TE Jace Amaro, Texas Tech - 6-5, 260 - Jr.
OL Jake Matthews, Texas A&M - 6-5, 305 - Sr.
OL Cyrus Louandjio, Alabama - 6-6, 310 - Jr.
OL David Yankey, Stanford - 6-5, 313 - Sr.
OL Cyril Richardson, Baylor - 6-5, 340 - Sr.
C Travis Swanson, Arkansas - 6-5, 310 - Sr
PK Anthony Fera, Texas - 6-2, 208 - Sr.
PR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State - 5-10, 186 - Jr.

First Team Defense
DE Michael Sam, Missouri - 6-2, 255 - Sr.
DE Trent Murphy, Stanford - 6-6, 261 - Sr.
DT Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh - 6-0, 285 - Sr.
DT Ra’Shede Hegeman, Minnesota - 6-5, 310 - Sr.
LB C.J. Mosley, Alabama - 6-2, 238 - Sr.
LB Shayne Skov, Stanford - 6-3, 240 - Sr
LB Anthony Barr, UCLA - 6-4, 248 - Sr.
DB Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State - 5-11, 197 - Sr.
DB Jason Verrett, TCU - 5-10, 176 - Sr.
DB Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State - 5-8, 190 - Sr.
DB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State - 6-0, 200 - Sr.
P Tom Hornsey, Memphis - 6-3, 200 - Sr.
KR Ty Montgomery, Stanford - 6-2, 215 - Jr.

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.

Top 25 Teams - Florida St. Beats Miami

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Alabama Heads Polls - Florida St. Beats Miami
Seven Teams Remain Undefeated

Players of Week
Offense: QB Derek Carr – Fresno St
Defense: DE Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina

Photo: Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina

Upcoming Game of the Week: Oregon (8-0) at Stanford (7-1)
Florida St. Posts Impressive Win over Miami

Coaches Poll
Team of the Week -Florida St

Rank /Team / Record / First Place Votes
1 Alabama - 8-0 - 54 - 1
2 Oregon - 8-0 – 5 - 2
3 Florida St. - 8-0 – 3 -3
4 Ohio St. - 9-0
5 Baylor - 7-0
6 Stanford - 7-1
7 Clemson - 8-1
8 Oklahoma - 7-1
9 Missouri -8-1
10 Auburn - 8-1
11 Oklahoma St. - 7-1
12 LSU - 7-2
13 Texas A&M - 7-2
14 Miami - 7-1
15 South Carolina -7-2
16 Louisville - 7-1
17 Fresno State - 8-0
18 UCLA - 6-2
19 Michigan St - 8-1
20 Northern Illinois -9-0
21 Central Florida - 6-1
22 Wisconsin - 6-2
23 Texas Tech - 7-2
24 Arizona St. - 6-2
25 Notre Dame -7-2

Dropped Out: 21 Michigan

AP Poll
1 Alabama - 8-0 - 56 - 1
2 Oregon - 8-0 - 6 - 2
3 Florida St. - 8-0
4 Ohio St. - 9-0
5 Baylor - 7-0
6 Stanford - 7-1
7 Auburn - 8-1
8 Clemson - 8-1
9 Missouri -8-1
10 LSU - 7-2
11 Texas A&M - 7-2
12 Oklahoma - 7-1
13 South Carolina - 7-2
14 Miami - 7-1
15 Oklahoma St. -7-1
16 UCLA - 6-2
17 Fresno State - 8-0
18 Michigan St - 8-1
19 Central Florida - 6-1
20 Louisville - 7-1
21 Wisconsin - 6-2
22 Northern Illinois - 9-0
23 Arizona St. - 6-2
24 Notre Dame -7-2
25 Texas Tech - 7-2

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.

College Football Mondays - Florida St. Climbs After Big Win over Clemson

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College Football Monday - Week 9

Team of the Week: Oregon

Players of the Week
Offense: QB Connor Shaw - South Carolina
Defense: DT Ra’Shede Hageman - Minnesota

Photo: DT Ra’Shede Hageman - Minnesota

Upcoming Game of the Week: Miami (7-0) at Florida St (7-0)

Florida St. Climbs in Polls After Impressive Win over Clemson
In a soft weekend schedule that saw many top ranked clubs romp over easy opponents, the upcoming week presents a classic Miami/Florida St clash. This weekend, both clubs will enter the matchup in the top seven rankings, a rare event since the glory days of the ‘90s.

The national matchup showcases QB Jameis Winston of FSU and Stephen Morris of Miami who are having fine seasons. Winston is one of the top two Heisman Trophy candidates entering this contest and a top performance here on a big stage might push him to the forefront. Morris has quietly had a fine senior effort that has elevated his status for the NFL Draft 2014. The winner here can claim a chance at the national title with a strong final month. Both clubs are cut in the mold of their school’s tradition – speed, defense and big play ability.

A gritty performance by South Carolina QB Connor Shaw vs Missouri was one of the more impressive efforts this season and spoke volumes of his intangibles as a leader for the position. He threw 3 TD passes and came off the bench to rally the Gamecocks to a double OT victory over an undefeated Tiger club on the road. The victory puts SC within reach of the SEC East title behind only Missouri in the division. The SC-Clemson finale on Nov. 30th will have top ten ramifications that could influence the top BCS matchups, in addition to both the SEC and ACC races.

One of the roller coaster rides this season is the Minnesota Gophers. Between their surprising 6-2 start and the inconsistent health of HC Jerry Kill, their weekly report ranges from shocking to disappointing. Kill has had repeated seizures over recent seasons before returning. His health and recovery have become part of the momentum of this squad. The club has been a streaking hot and cold team over that period with the talent to win at least 8 or 9 games this season. DT Da’Shede Hageman put on a dominant performance Saturday in their upset of #23 Nebraska. Hageman combines rare speed, quickness and power for the inside with the ability to win with speed or power as a pass rusher. He can secure a 1st round pick with strong performance at the Senior Bowl.
For pure excitement, the Oklahoma 38-30 win over undefeated Texas Tech included countless big plays on both sides of the ball. Both the Sooner and Bears have two weeks to get their clubs ready with bye weeks on the schedule this week. With the Baylor Bears coming to Norman in November, it will probably be the deciding game in the Big 12 this season.

The upset of the week has to be the Duke 13-10 win over Virginia Tech. It was the Blue Devils first win over a top 25 team since the 1994 season. They gained only 198 yards, but it was enough to defeat the Hokies who struggled behind QB Logan Thomas who threw 4 interceptions. Logan will be a case study this postseason for the NFL Draft. This is a huge athlete at 6’6” 240 lbs., mobility and a strong arm. But he continues to struggle with many critical mistakes. poor decision making and inconsistent throwing technique. His draft status has fallen significantly this season and he needs a strong postseason to establish a potential NFL starting grade.

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 networks, sports publications and web sites.

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